Origin & History Of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha aka Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry is used as a Rasayana (herbal medicinal preparation) in Ayurveda for millennia. It’s indigenous to India and Africa. This multipurpose herb is also known as “royal herb” due to its versatile health benefits. Although sparsely studied in modern medicine, Ashwagandha has evident health benefits for all age groups.
So, the question might arise - When to take Ashwagandha? Here’s the answer:
Ayurveda practitioners have been recommending this herb to relieve stress, improve nutritional intake, cure conditions like insomnia, etc. (1). Some of the recent scientific studies have found Ashwagandha to be a potent stress relieving agent (2). You can take Ashwagandha in certain health disorders like insomnia, anxiety, depression, obesity, heart disorders, etc..
This article covers everything about the health benefits of Ashwagandha and how to use it in a particular health condition.
Purposes Of Ashwagandha With Dosage
There are no standard dosage recommendations available for consuming ashwagandha. It is safe to consume for a period of 3 months. No studies have been conducted to prove its long-term safety. Larger doses of Ashwagandha can lead to stomach and liver problems. Hence, it is advisable to maintain a specific dosage. A tentative range for the same is given below:
- Ashwagandha roots (powdered form) - 1000-6000mg
- Ashwagandha extract - 500-1500mg
Ashwagandha For Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha brings down the levels of stress hormones in our bodies. Consuming ashwagandha root powder/ extract can thus reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety (3). According to Ayurveda, anxiety is a result of Vata dosha and ashwagandha might help you balance this dosha that in turn results in relief from the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Lower doses (50-100mg) of Ashwagandha extract are recommended for a calming effect. You can consume Ashwagandha spiced teas, capsules, and churnas. Pair them up with warm water, milk, ghee, or turmeric for better results.
When to take ashwagandha churnas/ tablets to relieve stress and anxiety?
The best time is after having your food.
Ashwagandha For Diabetes
Ashwagandha can reduce blood sugar levels in diabetic as well as healthy people. Consuming Ashwagandha roots have also been known to lower HbA1c levels in pre-diabetic people (4). It can also enhance insulin secretion and uptake for better glucose metabolism in the body.
Consuming ashwagandha capsules twice a day with warm milk can help you manage your diabetes or lower blood sugar levels.
When and how to take ashwagandha capsules? You can have these tablets (one each) in the morning (after breakfast) and at night (post-dinner).
Higher doses should be considered on your physician’s recommendation.
Ashwagandha For Hypertension
Ashwagandha can aid in reducing your blood pressure, and also in maintaining heart health. According to Ayurveda, hypertension majorly results from stress and anxiety. A daily dose of ashwagandha can reduce stress and anxiety and thus it might control high blood pressure. It might also help you with reducing the total cholesterol as well as triglycerides levels reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (5).
Initially, begin with a single ashwagandha capsule or ¼ to ½ teaspoon of ashwagandha churna. Have it after 2 hours of your meals. When you take Ashwagandha capsules or churna with antihypertensive medicines, make sure that you track your blood pressure from time to time.
The dosage can be increased according to your physicians’ recommendations.
Ashwagandha For Arthritis
One of the active molecules present in Ashwagandha roots plays a significant role in reducing the pain and inflammation that results from Arthritis. Ayurveda says that the root cause of arthritis is the aggravation of Vata dosha in our body. Consuming Ashwagandha can also balance this dosha and might help in relieving the symptoms of arthritis.
When you take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of ashwagandha churna/ root powder daily with a glass of milk, thrice a day, you will start noticing relief in arthritis pain and swelling (6).
Different Ways To Consume Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha capsules are readily available in the market and you can simply have it with water/ milk.
2. Powder/ Churna:
Ashwagandha churna is the powdered form of Ashwagandha roots. Take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of this churna and boil it with water or milk. You can also mix the churna with the doughs, batters, dals, or rice preparations. These churnas are also available in combination with herbs like turmeric, and ginger. You can also choose flavoured ashwagandha churna and add it to the milk.
3. Ashwagandha With Gokshura:
Gokshura can enhance your exercise performance, sexual desire and fertility. ½ - ¼ teaspoon of gokshura along with ¼ - ½ teaspoon of ashwagandha boiled in milk/water, 2-3 times a day can help you achieve desired benefits.
About The Author
Disha Doshi is an expert nutritionist with a post-graduation degree specializing in nutrigenomics along with nutrition and dietetics. She has worked with multiple organizations in her career and has a diverse background in life sciences and healthcare. With an additional flair for writing, Ms Disha comprises a perfect mix for an ideal healthcare marketing professional. While having worked on weight loss, endocrine disorders, cardiac disorders, and other lifestyle issues, she also has steady experience in biochemistry and molecular biology disciplines. Apart from that, she has also worked on balancing the human gut microbiome with diet, nutrigenomic dietary practices, and corporate nutrition. With a keen interest in Ayurveda, she is also engaged in linking the age-old Ayurvedic practices with modern dietary practices.