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Ashwagandha dosage: Benefits, safety and how much to take daily

Ashwagandha is a highly potent Ayurvedic medicine and should not be over consumed. Read on to know about the right ashwagandha dosage.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb which comes with a host of health benefits such as lowering blood sugar and helping build immunity. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Updated: 7 May 2024, 16:24 pm IST
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A small plant, with yellow flowers, Ashwagandha is also called Withania somnifera. Be it stress or anxiety, it is believed that Ashwagandha brings out a sense of calm in you. A natural Ayurvedic remedy, the daily Ashwagandha dosage can help relieve you of anxiety and also help keep your blood sugar in check, boosting your mood as well as your memory.

This evergreen shrub, commonly found in Asia and Africa, is quite potent, and a healthcare professional should be consulted in deciding your Ashwagandha dosage. It also helps with insomnia, and overuse can have adverse effects as well.

What is Ashwagandha?

The name “Ashwagandha” is derived from Sanskrit, with “ashwa” meaning horse and “gandha” meaning smell, referring to its distinct odor reminiscent of horse sweat. “The medicinal part of Ashwagandha primarily lies in its roots, which are harvested and processed to extract its therapeutic compounds,” explains Ayurvedic expert Monica B Sood.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is revered as a potent Rasayana, or rejuvenating herb, believed to promote vitality, longevity, and overall well-being. It is classified as a “Balya” herb, which means it enhances strength and stamina, making it particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing fatigue, stress, or weakness. However, getting the right ashwagandha dosage is crucial to get its benefits.

What dosage of Ashwagandha should be taken per day?

The appropriate dosage of Ashwagandha varies depending on age, purpose, and individual health conditions. “For children aged 3-12 years, a typical dosage ranges around 500 mg, adjusting as per age. Adults can generally take up to 2000 mg in the form of powder or tablets, but the dosage may vary based on the intended use,” explains Sood. For instance, cancer patients might require doses up to 2500 mg, while for immunity and general well-being, 1000 mg is often sufficient for eight weeks.

Ashwagandha can be consumed as tablets, powder, capsule or liquid extract. Image courtesy: Freepik

However, it’s crucial to consider one’s body constitution, existing ailments, and any comorbidities. Different problems require different ashwagamdha dosages. According to the National Institutes of Health, cites a study that used 240 to 1,250 mg/day of Ashwagandha a day to relieve stress. Ashwagandha is a potent medicine that should be used under the guidance of a physician.

Benefits of Ashwagandha with appropriate dosage

While it is crucial to go to a doctor for your ashwagandha dosage, here is what science has to say about how much ashwagandha can you have daily.

1. Stress and anxiety management

Ashwagandha is renowned for its adaptogenic properties, helping the body cope with stress by regulating cortisol levels and promoting relaxation. It aids in reducing symptoms of anxiety and promoting a sense of calmness and well-being. According to this study, published by National Institutes of Health, a daily ashwagandha dosage of 225-600 mg for about two months, showed a decrease in stress and anxiety levels of the participants.

2. Enhanced cognitive function

Ashwagandha supports cognitive health by enhancing brain function, and improving concentration, focus, and mental clarity. It is known to enhance memory retention and cognitive performance, making it beneficial for individuals experiencing cognitive decline or memory loss. According to this study, published in the Journal of dietary supplements, a daily dosage of ashwagandha extract of 300 mg, twice a day, for eight weeks, improved the memory as well as the attention span of the participants.

3. Supports immune function

Ashwagandha possesses immunomodulatory properties, bolstering the body’s natural defence mechanisms and promoting overall immune health. It helps in combating infections and diseases by strengthening the immune response. According to this study. Published in Journal of Clinical Medicine, a daily ashwagandha dosage of 60 mg for 30 days helped improve immunity to fight infections.

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4. Anti-inflammatory effects

Ashwagandha exhibits potent anti-inflammatory properties, reducing inflammation and alleviating symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. According to a study, published in Journal of the American Nutrition Association, 250-500 mg is the ideal ashwagandha dosage for 60 days to reduce C-reactive protein that leads to inflammation.

5. Enhanced endurance and stamina

Ashwagandha is valued for its ability to enhance physical performance and endurance by increasing stamina and reducing fatigue.
It supports muscle strength and recovery, making it popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It is observed that 240 and 600 mg daily can help to build strength, according to this study, published in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology.

6. Hormonal balance

Ashwagandha helps in regulating hormone levels, particularly cortisol and thyroid hormones, thereby promoting hormonal balance. It is beneficial for individuals experiencing hormonal imbalances, menstrual irregularities, or symptoms of menopause. A study, published in Cureus, states that cortisol levels of participants decreased with 250 mg per day of Ashwagandha.

7. Helps with diabetes

Ashwagandha has been shown to possess hypoglycemic properties, helping to lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
Studies indicate that Ashwagandha may reduce fasting blood sugar levels, postprandial glucose levels, and haemoglobin A1c levels in individuals with diabetes.

Furthermore, Ashwagandha may protect pancreatic beta cells from damage, promote regeneration of pancreatic cells, and reduce oxidative stress, contributing to better glycemic control. According to a study, published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 250mg to 3 grams of ashwagandha, split over various dosages, showed decreased blood sugar levels.

8. Benefits athletic performance

Ashwagandha can have an impact on the athletic performance of an individual. In a research paper, published in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 12 studies are analyzed where people were given Ashwagandha dosage between 120mg and 1250 mg per day. It was seen that Ashwagandha helped them perform better physically. They were stronger and used oxygen also optimally during the exercise.

9. Helps to improve sleep

If you have been facing issues getting sound sleep, then you might want to give Ashwagandha a try. A study, published in Cureus, suggests that when participants took 600 mg of Ashwagandha root per day, for three months; they had better sleep, and were refreshed when they woke up.

Also Read: From bedroom woes to bliss! Here’s how ashwagandha can boost your sex drive

Ashwagandha helps to relieve stress and sleep better. Image courtesy: Freepik

Best Ashwagandha supplements and how to consume them

Ashwagandha is commonly available as a powder, capsule, tablet, or liquid extract. When taking Ashwagandha powder, it can be mixed with water, milk, or juice and consumed as a beverage. Capsules and tablets offer a convenient option for precise dosing and can be swallowed with water or milk. Liquid extracts or Arishtams of Ashwagandha can be diluted in water for easy consumption.

Side effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, while generally considered safe when used appropriately, may cause side effects in some individuals. It’s important to be aware of potential adverse reactions, especially when consumed without proper guidance or in excessive amounts:

  • Gastrointestinal distress: Some people may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea, or upset stomach when taking Ashwagandha, particularly in high doses or on an empty stomach.
  • Allergic reactions: In rare cases, individuals may be allergic to Ashwagandha, leading to allergic reactions such as itching, rash, or swelling of the throat or face. If any allergic symptoms occur, immediate medical attention should be sought.
  • Interactions with medications: Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, including sedatives, immunosuppressants, thyroid hormones, and medications for diabetes or hypertension. These interactions can potentially amplify the effects of the medications or interfere with their efficacy, leading to adverse effects.
  • Sedative effects: Ashwagandha’s calming and sedative properties may cause drowsiness or dizziness in some individuals, especially when taken in combination with other sedating substances or medications. Therefore, getting the right ashwagandha dosage is a must

What points are kept in mind while starting Ashwagandha?

Consultation with healthcare provider: Before starting any new supplement regimen, including Ashwagandha, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying health conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking medications.

  • Dosage and timing: Follow the recommended dosage guidelines provided by your healthcare provider or as indicated on the product label. Start with a lower dose and gradually increase it as tolerated, if necessary. Take Ashwagandha at the recommended time of day, preferably with meals to minimize gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Quality and source: Choose a reputable brand or supplier that offers high-quality Ashwagandha products. Look for standardized extracts or certifications indicating purity, potency, and safety.
  • Potential interactions: Be aware of potential interactions between Ashwagandha and any medications or supplements you are currently taking. Discuss these potential interactions with your healthcare provider to ensure safe co-administration.
  • Monitoring side effects: Pay attention to any adverse reactions or side effects that may occur after starting Ashwagandha, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, allergic reactions, or changes in mood or energy levels. Report any concerning symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.
  • Duration of use: Consider the intended duration of Ashwagandha use. It can be used short-term for specific health concerns or as part of a long-term wellness regimen. Discuss your goals and concerns with your healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate duration of use for your individual needs.

    Conclusion

    It is crucial to emphasize that Ashwagandha, like any herbal supplement, should not be used without consulting a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying health conditions, are taking medications, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, and individuals with certain medical conditions may require special considerations when using Ashwagandha. Consult with a healthcare provider to determine if Ashwagandha is safe and appropriate for these populations.

FAQs

Can Everyone take Ashwagandha ?

While Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people when used appropriately, it may not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as individual health conditions, medications, and pregnancy or breastfeeding status should be considered before starting Ashwagandha supplementation.

What are the risks of taking too much Ashwagandha ?

Excessive consumption of Ashwagandha can pose several health risks. Overdosing may lead to adverse effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. Additionally, high doses of Ashwagandha may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or headaches. Prolonged excessive intake could potentially result in liver toxicity or exacerbate underlying health conditions.

Anjuri Nayar Singh

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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