Ashwagandha is a shrub that grows in India & Africa and is known for its holistic benefits on various aspects of the body’s health and overall wellness. In addition to fighting disease and relieving inflammation, it can improve neurological health, sleep patterns, and hormone balance. 

Also known as Withania Somnifera, Winter Cherry, or Indian ginseng, Ashwagandha is one of the central herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine, which focuses on rebalancing the body and mind, optimizing health, and fighting the effects of aging. 

What Makes Ashwagandha an Effective Healing Herb? 

Ashwagandha’s medicinal benefits come down to its active ingredients and natural health-endorsing substances. For example, ashwagandha’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are derived from protective compounds known as withanolides, which are essentially naturally occurring steroids that can help ease the symptoms of several conditions and illnesses. 

Other health-improving substances found in Ashwagandha include amino acids, alkaloids, flavonoids, glutathione, lignans, phytoestrogens, sterols, and tannins. Ashwagandha is also an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that manages stress in the body.  

7 Benefits of Ashwagandha

Although most commonly used within the realms of Ayurvedic medicine over the last 6,000 years, ashwagandha has experienced a global popularity boost in the modern world for its wide-ranging healing powers. 

Available as powder, extract, capsule, or tea, many people incorporate ashwagandha into their daily wellness routine to improve various aspects of their health. Below are 7 benefits of ashwagandha based on scientific research and clinical trials. 

1. Ashwagandha Can Relieve Stress & Anxiety

Whether the source is emotional, physical, or psychological, every human will experience stress at some stage. Regardless of how it manifests within each person, stress always involves increased levels of cortisol, which is a hormone released by the adrenal glands. 

In addition to feeling stressed and irritable, high cortisol levels can also cause headaches, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, muscle weakness, and weight gain, as well as various illnesses.

Anxiety is also tied to high cortisol levels but rather than feeling stressed or tense about something anxiety manifests as fear or feelings of dread over a situation that is happening or could happen. Frequently occurring anxiety is known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and it has been proven to adversely affect a person’s health.    

Studies investigating the efficacy of Ashwagandha as an adaptogen in combatting stress and anxiety concluded that it can successfully lower high levels of cortisol. Participants taking a daily dose of 250 or 600 mg reported significantly reduced feelings of anxiety and/or stress. 

2. Ashwagandha to Reduce Inflammation and Fight Disease

A withanolide found in Ashwagandha known as Withaferin A (WFA), which behaves like a naturally occurring steroid, has been proven to boost the immune system and help fight several diseases like cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. 

Known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and cytotoxic properties, WFA can play a multifaceted role as an anticancer agent, chemosensitizer, anti-stressor, cardio protector, and anti-pigment agent for skin disorders. This essentially means that Ashwagandha is recognized as a safe and effective accompanying natural remedy to medical treatment for several illnesses.

When disease or illness occurs, inflammation is often the body’s healing response. However, if the body is not capable of healing the illness naturally, the inflammation remains and typically results in pain. When the inflammation caused by an illness or disease is treated, the associated pain is often relieved or reduced. 

In this respect, ashwagandha has been proven to reduce inflammation by lowering inflammatory markers in the body as well as the levels of inflammatory proteins like interleukin-10 (IL-10). 

3. Ashwagandha Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar levels are known to result in fatigue, sugar cravings, mood swings, and excessive thirst, and when left untreated diabetes can also develop. 

Clinical trials involving participants with non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM) concluded that a daily dose of ashwagandha helped to reduce blood sugar levels as successfully as an oral hypoglycemic drug used for treating diabetes.

4. Ashwagandha Can Help Balance Hormones

Several clinical trials have concluded that the phytoestrogens in Ashwagandha have a positive impact on the endocrine system, which is responsible for balancing hormones and managing hormone fluctuations. 

In addition to balancing the reproductive hormones known as gonadotropin hormones, luteinizing hormone (LH), and serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a daily dose of Ashwagandha also manages thyroid health and reduces high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 

Balanced reproductive hormones can help regulate the menstrual cycle, improve fertility, and manage hormone fluctuations during menopause. Conditions affecting the female reproductive system like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also benefit from a daily dose of Ashwagandha. 

5. Ashwagandha Can Relieve PMS

Due to its ability to regulate the endocrine system and manage hormone fluctuations, a regular intake of Ashwagandha can relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Ashwagandha also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which help release water retention and reduce breast tenderness, cramps, and pelvic pain that are often present before menstruation. 

Ashwagandha’s role in reducing cortisol levels can also relieve the irritability and mood swings that often occur around this time of the month. 

6. Ashwagandha Can Improve Sleep & Insomnia

Based on a collection of research studies, evidence strongly suggests that Ashwagandha improves sleep and alleviates insomnia. Participants on a daily dose of 600 mg or more of Ashwagandha root in capsule form for 8 weeks reported not only more restful sleep but also feeling more attentive after waking. 

Regular users of Ashwagandha for better sleep also reported more focus and concentration, less anxiety, higher energy levels, and an improved quality of life. 

7. Ashwagandha Can Improve Brain Health 

Much research has shown that a daily dose of Ashwagandha can improve cognitive function, boost brain health, and reduce the effects of depression, as well as neurological conditions like ADHD and Alzheimer's. 

Participants with diminished cognitive function reported better decision-making skills and information processing, as well as improved memory after a daily dose of 225-600 mg of Ashwagandha for 30 days. 

The improvement is believed to be due to the natural antioxidants found in ashwagandha, which track and destroy the free radicals that cause brain cell degeneration. Other nutrients found in ashwagandha have been proven to prevent the growth of beta-amyloid, which is a cell-damaging plaque that contributes to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Another study concluded that a daily dose of Ashwagandha could help people suffering from depression and mental health conditions. This improvement was attributed to the health benefits of Ashwagandha including; improved moods, enhanced cognitive function, reduced brain cell degeneration, and more restful sleep.  

How Much Ashwagandha Should You Take Daily? 

The daily dose of ashwagandha will typically vary depending on your condition, symptoms, and age. Studies are based on a variety of measurements that may not apply to all, so it is best to consult with your healthcare provider for guidance. 


The benefits of a daily dose of Ashwagandha are wide-ranging and effective against several human illnesses, conditions, and diseases. Particularly successful in managing stress, anxiety, hormone fluctuations, heart conditions, brain cell decline, and insomnia, Ashwagandha is a popular and powerful healing herb that is central to Ayurvedic medicine. 

If you’re looking to fight cognitive decline, improve your mood, sleep better, or reduce inflammation consider speaking with your healthcare provider about incorporating a dose of ashwagandha into your daily routine. As well as helping to manage the symptoms of PMS, menopause, endometriosis, and PCOS, ashwagandha has also been proven to help treat cancer and arthritis when taken in conjunction with traditional medicine. 


National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health – Ashwagandha -

Cleveland Clinic – Cortisol -

National Library of Medicine - Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study -

National Library of Medicine - Withaferin A: From Ancient Remedy to Potential Drug Candidate  -

National Library of Medicine - Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root -

National Library of Medicine - Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on Stress and the Stress-Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia -

Annals of Ayurvedic Medicine - Management Of Pre Menstrual Syndrome With Combined Ayurveda Interventions (Ashwagandha Vati And Satvavajaya Chikitsa) - An Open Label Single Arm Clinical Study -

National Library of Medicine - Can Ashwagandha Benefit the Endocrine System?—A Review -

National Library of Medicine - Efficacy and Tolerability of Ashwagandha Root Extract in the Elderly for Improvement of General Well-being and Sleep: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study -

National Library of Medicine - Effects of Acute Ashwagandha Ingestion on Cognitive Function -

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