What is Ashwagandha?

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng or wild cherry, is an evergreen shrub native to Northern Africa, India, and the Middle East.

Ashwagandha contains compounds that may help relax the brain, reduce swelling, regulate blood pressure, and help the immune system. It's also traditionally used as an adaptogen, which is believed to help the body endure physical and mental stress. 

You can use ashwagandha to help manage a variety of ailments, such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and ageing, however, most of these uses lack solid scientific evidence.

What are Ashwagandha capsules?

Ashwagandha is commonly sold as a supplement in the form of capsules, tablets, powders, tinctures, and tea. 

Ashwagandha capsules contain ashwagandha ingredients enclosed in an outer shell. The capsule breaks open when it enters your digestive tract, and then your liver processes the active ingredients and passes them through your bloodstream. 

One advantage of taking ashwagandha capsules is their packaging. The exact dosage can be made because the ashwagandha's components are safely enclosed inside the capsules. If you don't like the taste of ashwagandha, this is a great alternative because the capsule substance doesn't dissolve in the mouth.

Is ashwagandha a safe supplement?

​​Ashwagandha is considered safe for most people. However, due to the limited quantity of research on herbal medicines and the fact that ashwagandha formulations differ in many ways, you should proceed with caution and consult your doctor before beginning a herbal supplement regimen.

In some situations, high doses—typically those above the prescribed dose on the package—can cause nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach. Because of this, it's important to follow the instructions on the label and consult your healthcare professional before changing doses. 


What are ashwagandha capsules used for

You can use ashwagandha capsules for several reasons:

Reduce stress and anxiety

Several studies have found that ashwagandha pills can provide stress and anxiety relief. 

In a small study with 58 participants, those who consumed either 250 or 600mg of ashwagandha extract daily for eight weeks experienced considerably lower levels of perceived stress and cortisol than those who consumed a placebo. 

Increase athletic performance

According to research, ashwagandha may provide athletic performance benefits and may be a good supplement for athletes. 

One study involved 12 men and women who took ashwagandha doses ranging from 120 to 1,250mg per day. The findings imply that the herb might improve physical performance, such as strength and oxygen consumption during exercise.

Reduce symptoms of mental health conditions

According to some research, because ashwagandha is traditionally used as an adaptogen, which can improve the body’s ability to withstand physical and mental stress, ashwagandha may help some lessen the signs and symptoms of depression and other mental health issues. 

In one study, 66 individuals with schizophrenia who were also dealing with anxiety and depression were examined to see how ashwagandha affected them. They discovered that participants who took ashwagandha extract at a dose of 1,000mg per day for 12 weeks experienced decreases in anxiety and depression than those who took a placebo.

Reduce blood sugar levels

According to some data, ashwagandha may also help those with diabetes or excessive blood sugar levels because it boosts muscle cell insulin sensitivity and insulin production.

A review of 24 research, including five clinical trials in persons with diabetes, discovered that ashwagandha medication significantly lowered blood sugar, haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), insulin, blood lipids, and oxidative stress markers.

Reduce inflammation

There is some evidence to suggest that ashwagandha may also assist in lowering inflammatory indicators in people. 

In one research from 2008, adults experiencing stress took ashwagandha extract for 60 days. Compared to individuals who ingested a placebo, they experienced a significant decrease in the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.

Improve memory and overall brain function

Ashwagandha supplements may also enhance cognitive function as it increases acetylcholine levels in the brain, which are linked to enhanced intelligence, memory, and brain function.

Early research suggests that ashwagandha may enhance cognitive functioning in several populations, including older persons with mild cognitive impairment and people with schizophrenia. 

Improve sleep

Ashwagandha is commonly used to promote sound sleep, and some research indicates it may be effective for other sleep-related problems. 

For instance, a study of 50 adults aged 65 to 80 revealed that taking 600mg of ashwagandha root daily for 12 weeks greatly enhanced the quality of their sleep and their mental alertness when they woke up.

Are ashwagandha capsules effective?

Yes. Most ashwagandha research has demonstrated its effectiveness, particularly for people experiencing stress or anxiety. More research is needed, however, to determine the long-term effects on people.

Common Questions about Ashwagandha Capsules

Can anyone take ashwagandha capsules?

Although ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people, certain people should not take it. 

According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, ashwagandha may cause pregnancy loss if used in high doses. Therefore, pregnant or nursing women should avoid using it. Also, people with hormone-sensitive prostates as well as those taking certain medications including anticonvulsants, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines, should avoid taking ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha may also affect the thyroid, so people with thyroid disease should check with their healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha supplements.

When should I take ashwagandha capsules?

Ashwagandha can be taken in the morning, at night, or at any other time of day. The best time to take ashwagandha will mostly depend on your personal preferences, tolerance level, and the type of ashwagandha you’re going to take.

You may want to take ashwagandha with any other vitamins or supplements if you're using it as part of your supplement regimen for general health. However, consuming ashwagandha on an empty stomach may cause some people to experience slight stomach pain. Therefore, you might want to take ashwagandha after breakfast or a light snack. 

It’s important to choose a time when you can consistently take your ashwagandha dose. When used consistently, you'll experience the most advantages. It should also be noted that ashwagandha's benefits take time to show, unlike other supplements and drugs. You may not start to feel its effects for days or even weeks.

Can I take ashwagandha capsules at night?

Yes. You can take ashwagandha capsules at night. 

According to a preliminary study, ashwagandha may help people fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and have overall better sleep quality. Participants in one actigraphy-based study also reported that, on average, their sleep was 72% better after taking ashwagandha for six weeks.

How many ashwagandha capsules per day?

There is no specific dose for ashwagandha. The appropriate dose for you may be determined by the condition for which you are taking ashwagandha. 

Most ashwagandha supplements are supplied in bottles containing 150mg to 2g of the plant. Adults have used ashwagandha most frequently in doses of up to 1000mg per day for up to 12 weeks. 

You can determine your tolerance to ashwagandha by starting gradually. Start with one capsule per day to see how you react, then gradually increase the number of capsules until you see results. Also, do not take more than the recommended daily dosage in the label without talking to your doctor. 

Can you open ashwagandha capsules?

Yes. You can open ashwagandha capsules and mix the contents with water, a smoothie, or any other drink of your choice.

Do ashwagandha capsules expire?

Yes, they do, just like any herbal or medicinal supplement. Also, the longer it’s exposed to air or sunlight, the less effective it will be. Make sure to keep your supplement in a cool and dark location to help keep it potent as long as possible. 

Why doesn’t ashwagandha work?

Ashwagandha does not have immediate effects. The effects of ashwagandha will vary depending on how much you consume and for what purpose you take it. Since herbal medications are known to take longer to take effect, most clinical trials on ashwagandha wait at least 30 days before testing for the effects.

Do ashwagandha capsules increase testosterone?

Some research has indicated that ashwagandha supplements can improve male fertility and raise testosterone levels. 

In one study, 43 overweight men aged 40 to 70 with mild fatigue ingested ashwagandha extract or a placebo tablet daily for eight weeks. 

The ashwagandha treatment was associated with an 18% increase in DHEA-S, a sex hormone involved in testosterone production. Participants who used the herb experienced a 14.7% increase in testosterone than those who took a placebo.

Do ashwagandha capsules increase weight?

Ashwagandha is unlikely to cause weight gain. Due to its antioxidant qualities, there is a chance that it could help in weight loss. These antioxidants boost your metabolism, reduce inflammation, and aid in the burning of stored fat in your body. However, losing weight is a complicated process. It's unclear whether or not ashwagandha plays a role, but if it does, it's most likely related to metabolism.

Can ashwagandha cause spots?

Although ashwagandha is well known for reducing inflammation, it occasionally causes spots or acne. These problems are more likely to occur if you use a higher dosage or consume more than your doctor has prescribed.

Can ashwagandha stop you from sleeping?

Ashwagandha will not prevent you from falling asleep but will instead enhance the quality of your sleep and assist in the treatment of insomnia.

What are the best ashwagandha capsules

Here are some of the best ashwagandha capsules sold in the market:

  1. Nature One
  2. Holland & Barrett Ashwagandha 500mg (50 capsules): £11.99
  3. Simply Supplements Organic KSM-66 Ashwagandha 600mg (60 capsules): £14.99
  4. Cytoplan Organic Ashwagandha 500mg (60 capsules): £12.00
  5. SuperSelf Organic Ashwagandha with Black Pepper Extract 1000mg (60 capsules): £15.90

Where to buy ashwagandha capsules

Ashwagandha capsules are available from your local pharmacies, health food shops, and supermarkets. Online retailers like Amazon also sell them on their website.

Which is better: Ashwagandha capsules or powder

Both ashwagandha powder and capsules will have the same effects because they both travel through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream.

For others, especially those who have trouble swallowing capsules, supplements in powder form may be more convenient. However, ashwagandha has a very bitter taste, so you could find it unpleasant to take it in powder form. You can, however, disguise its flavour by mixing your ashwagandha powder with your juice or smoothie.

If you wish to consume ashwagandha in a more practical method, ashwagandha capsules can be a better choice. You will be able to precisely measure how much ashwagandha you take because it is sealed in a shell. Taking capsules can also cover up the bitter taste of the plant.

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