- Ashwagandha offers multiple health benefits, including stress reduction and improved cognitive function.
- The dose varies based on individual health goals; generally, 250–1,250 mg per day is recommended.
- Splitting the dose twice daily is an option; consider other ashwagandha sources like tea and powder.
- Consult a physician if you have existing medical conditions or take other medications.
- Avoid ashwagandha if pregnant, breastfeeding, or having specific health conditions like thyroid disorders.
- Side effects are generally mild but can include digestive issues and drowsiness; stick to recommended doses.
- Ashwagandha interacts with medications for diabetes and high blood pressure; exercise caution.
- It's considered safe for short-term use (up to three months); long-term effects still need more research.
Ashwagandha, or "Indian Ginseng," a medicinal herb highly prized in Ayurvedic medicine, has surged in popularity in recent years for several remarkable health benefits. From stress reduction to improved sleep and enhanced cognitive function, this adaptogenic herb offers a range of promising advantages.
But, if you've been asking yourself just how much ashwagandha per day you can take safely while still gaining health benefits, you're not alone! Finding the right balance is crucial. Take too little, and the dose may lack effectiveness. Take too much, and you may risk the side effects associated with overdosing.
In this article, we'll explore the general guidelines for consuming ashwagandha safely, plus determine how to vary your dosage for its proven health benefits. We'll also talk about who should avoid ashwagandha and the side effects you should watch out for.
How Much Ashwagandha to Take Per Day
Generally speaking, the dosage requirements for ashwagandha can vary significantly based on your specific health goals. Clinical studies suggest that consuming ashwagandha may provide a wide variety of benefits, such as:
- Reducing stress and anxiety. Research shows it helps reduce depression.
- Improving athletic performance and endurance.
- Boosting testosterone levels and fertility in men.
- Balancing hormones, alleviating the symptoms of menopause, and boosting fertility in women.
- Decreasing blood sugar levels.
- Fighting inflammation.
- Helping you sleep better.
- Improving brain/cognitive function.
- Increasing muscle mass and strength.
For further insights, you might want to check out our in-depth guide on the 10 incredible benefits and uses of ashwagandha to learn how this magnificent herb can help improve and maintain health.
Research shows that the ideal range for health benefits is 250–1,250 mg for maximum efficacy (see our guide below for more information on dosage for specific health conditions).
You can split the dose to twice daily if that's more convenient. Remember to include the dosage from other non-capsule/tablet ashwagandha sources like ashwagandha tea, ashwagandha root powder, or ashwagandha liquid extract in your final calculation.
If you have any current medical conditions or are taking medications for any specific health challenges, we recommend you check with your physician before you start taking ashwagandha supplements. Ashwagandha may interact with the medications due to its activity on the body's physical and mental processes.
Also, avoid ashwagandha if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. It may increase the risk of miscarriage. Nursing mothers may pass the herbal constituents of ashwagandha to the infant through breast milk.
Ashwagandha Dosage For Specific Health Benefits
What if you want to take ashwagandha for specific health effects like improving immune function or boosting testosterone levels?
We'll be covering this next:
1. Reducing stress and anxiety and improving sleep quality
Based on existing scientific studies, taking 240 mg of Shoden ashwagandha extract per day for 60 days may have a significant effect in reducing stress. Most participants tolerated the extract well and displayed no adverse side effects.
In another study, participants who took a daily dosage of 250 mg and 600 mg per day saw significant reductions in their serum cortisol levels and improvements in their quality of sleep. Cortisol, incidentally, is your body's main stress hormone.
A study suggests that women aged between 18 and 50 with subclinical hypothyroidism can normalize their thyroid indices by taking 600 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily for 8 weeks. These are preliminary findings, and scientists stress the need to carry out more research before reaching a final conclusion.
2. Boosting memory and cognitive function
Consuming 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily (600 mg in total) has shown benefits in improving memory (both immediate and general) and cognitive function in adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
According to the specific study, the group that took the ashwagandha showed significantly greater improvement in executive function, sustained attention, and information-processing speed as compared to the placebo group.
3. Increasing testosterone and boosting fertility in men
One study showed that an 8-week course of supplementation with Shoden ashwagandha (600 mg daily) resulted in significant improvements in salivary DHEA-S (male sex hormone found in both men and women) and testosterone levels in healthy males aged between 40 and 70 years.
Taking 5g of ashwagandha per day helps increase sperm count and motility in men over a 3-month period. It also appears to improve sperm quality in highly-stressed men after the same time period, based on the results of the study. 14% of the partners got pregnant.
4. Improving sexual health and fertility in women with HSDD
Taking 300 mg ashwagandha orally twice daily for a period of 8 weeks has been shown to improve female sexual health ( against the parameters of desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, sexual satisfaction, and pain) for "otherwise healthy women who do not have any hormonal disturbance." The women who participated in the study were aged between 18 and 50 and were diagnosed with HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder).
Generally, ashwagandha benefits women by balancing their hormones, reducing oxidative stress, and improving fertility.
5. Boosting physical performance and endurance
In a study of 40 elite cyclists, it was seen that supplementation with 500 mg capsules of aqueous roots of ashwagandha twice daily for eight weeks resulted in improvement in cardiovascular endurance, otherwise known as aerobic fitness.
Cardiovascular endurance refers to how well the heart and lungs are able to supply the oxygen you need to exercise at medium intensity. The higher your cardiovascular endurance, the longer you'll be able to exercise at the same intensity without getting fatigued.
Needless to say, boosting your cardiovascular fitness makes your heart and lungs stronger. It also helps you complete the physical tasks you do every day with less effort.
6. Improving thyroid function in women with subclinical hypothyroidism
Based on a study, there is evidence to suggest that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily for a period of 8 weeks can help in normalizing thyroid indices in women aged between 18 and 50 with subclinical hypothyroidism.
Some people might initially experience minor discomforts that eventually go away. During the study, some minor and temporary side effects affected 4 out of the 50 participants.
7. Fighting Inflammation
Studies vary on the specifics, but in general, a dosage of at least 250 mg of ashwagandha or 12 mL of ashwagandha extract appears to offer the most benefits for reducing inflammation when taken over a period of one to two months.
8. Boosting muscle mass, strength, and recovery
Research suggests that supplementation of 300 mg ashwagandha root extract twice daily for eight weeks is associated with significant increases in muscle size, strength, and recovery in healthy men aged between 18 and 50 years.
Two divided doses of increasing dosages of ashwagandha daily for 30 days (750 mg/day ×10 days, 1 000 mg/day × 10 days, 1250 mg/day × 10 days)also resulted in similar findings.
The research suggests that ashwagandha supplementation may be most useful in conjunction with a resistance training program.
9. Alleviating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Research indicates that ashwagandha may offer relief from rheumatoid arthritis. A study found that taking 250 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily led to a suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are key players in the disease's progression.
This aligns with an animal study that showed reduced arthritis index scores and paw swelling. Both studies suggest that ashwagandha seems to have potential as a natural remedy for this autoimmune condition.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
It's important to start with a small "test" dose first to check for sensitivities. Some people may experience adverse effects such as irritation of the digestive lining, leading to symptoms like stomach upset, diarrhoea, and vomiting. A few may experience drowsiness. Consuming ashwagandha supplements may rarely lead to liver injury.
Stick to recommended doses to avoid the potential side effects of ashwagandha.
Who Should Avoid Ashwagandha?
According to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the following categories of persons should avoid consuming ashwagandha:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with autoimmune or thyroid disorders.
- Those with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.
- People who have to go for a surgery.
- Individuals with stomach ulcers or liver disease.
Ashwagandha is also best avoided by people who are taking medications for diabetes and high blood pressure. Ashwagandha is also best avoided by people who are taking medications for diabetes and high blood pressure. People taking immunosuppressants, sedatives, anti-seizure medications (anticonvulsants), and thyroid hormone medications should also avoid ashwagandha.
Figuring out how much ashwagandha you should take each day depends on the health benefits you're trying to achieve. Scroll up for the specifics! Start with a small amount before attempting to take the maximum dosage. It is generally considered safe when taken for periods not exceeding three months, although more research is needed to understand its long-term effects. Also, remember that ashwagandha is just one part of staying healthy. Eating well, exercising, and maintaining good mental health are key to staying fit throughout your life!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How much ashwagandha should I take for testosterone?
Existing clinical research suggests that 600mg of Shoden ashwagandha (delivering 21 mg withanolide glycoside) for an 8-week period is beneficial in increasing levels of testosterone in healthy men aged between 40 and 70 years.
Q2. Do I take ashwagandha in the morning or at night?
You can take ashwagandha either in the morning or at night. There are benefits to both. We do recommend, however, that you do not take it on an empty stomach as it may irritate the digestive lining causing stomach upset. Instead, have it with your meals or after!
Q3. How much ashwagandha per day for muscle gain?
Based on existing research, 300mg of ashwagandha root extract taken twice daily for an 8-week period can result in significant increases in muscle mass and strength while boosting muscle recovery in healthy males. For best results, it is recommended to maintain a resistance training regimen while taking ashwagandha.
Q4. What are ashwagandha benefits for men?
Ashwagandha supplementation has been shown to provide a number of potential health benefits for men. It is seen to help increase muscle mass and muscle strength while boosting muscle recovery. It has been shown to support improved sleep and reduced stress and anxiety. There is evidence to suggest that ashwagandha improves male fertility by increasing testosterone levels and improving semen parameters (for example, increasing sperm count in men who have low sperm count).