Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a well-established and reputed herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used as a “Rasayana” (rejuvenator), nootropic, and as a powerful natural adaptogen. The herb extract is extensively used for general wellbeing and in specific ailments. However, only a few studies have investigated the safety and tolerability of Ashwagandha in humans. This study evaluated the safety of Ashwagandha root extract consumption in healthy adults.
Ashwagandha Root Extract Benefits
- Helping decrease inflammation and protect against oxidative damage
- Acting as a natural stress reliever, such as by helping maintain homeostasis even in moments of emotional or physical stress
- Lowering cortisol levels (considered one of the body’s main stress hormones)
- Balancing thyroid hormones
- Strengthening the immune system after illness
- Enhancing stamina and physical performance and building muscle strength
- Treating adrenal fatigue
- Improving sleep quality
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Reducing brain cell degeneration
- Normalizing blood sugar and helping to protect against diabetes
- Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides
- Potentially helping prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer
- Boosting fertility, including by improving sperm count in males
- Managing symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Ashwagandha Root Extract Dosages
Most experts recommend starting with a dose of about 300 to 500 milligrams per day of ashwagandha extract, with withanolides in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent. A full dose of ashwagandha would be between 1,000–1,500 milligrams per day of extract.
If you choose to take ashwagandha dried root instead of extract, a typical dosage is about three to six grams per day.
Some people may choose to supplement with even higher doses, particularly if working under the guidance of a naturopathic practitioner or health care provider. A high but typically safe dose of ashwagandha can be up to 6,000 milligrams per day. However, around 1,250 milligrams is a safer dosage to experiment with, since this amount has been shown to be safe in studies. In some instances, lower ashwagandha doses ranging about 100 to 250 milligrams per day have also been shown to be helpful for strengthening the immune system.
In terms of ashwagandha dosage timing, most people choose to take divided doses, such as by taking smaller doses two to three times per day. If you choose to take a full dose all at once (usually in the range of 300–500 mg of a root extract) it’s recommended you take the herb with meals, ideally in the morning with breakfast.
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