Whenever we hear the word ashwagandhaour brain gets brimmed with the numerous health benefits imparted by this herb. Withania somnifera aka ashwagandha carries in itself a whole world of medical advantages. But the big question here is “What is the best time to take ashwagandha?”
The different therapeutic boons from the herb require different dosages to work. So, today we are going to discuss the best ways and best time to take ashwagandha for different medical conditions. You can notice evident improvements in your symptoms by following this regimen.
The Right Time For The Right Disease
Ashwagandha is a famous herb in Ayurvedic medicine and is used in the management of a number of ailments. Following is a list of the health benefits imparted by ashwagandha and how to take ashwagandha for that particular benefit:
1. Ashwagandha For Stress And Anxiety
It is believed that ashwagandha produces anxiolytic effects by acting on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) in the brain. This axis or neural connection controls the stress levels of the body.
In a 2019 randomized controlled study, sixty adults were randomly allocated to take either a placebo or ashwagandha extract, once daily. A dose of 240 mg was given regularly for 60 days. Anxiety levels were measured before and after the completion of the study using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A). At the end of the study, there were significant reductions in HAM-A scores for the ashwagandha group as compared to the placebo.
Reductions in cortisol levels and increases in testosterone levels were also seen in the study.
In another 2019 double-blind, randomized controlled study, 60 participants (58 completed the study) were given ashwagandha to analyze anxiolytic and adaptogenic properties of the herb. The study concluded that 250mg/day dosage of ashwagandha for four to eight weeks significantly reduces; perceived stress scale (PSS) scores and serum cortisol levels. Taking 600mg/day ashwagandha also improved stress/anxiety and serum cortisol levels too.
As compared to the placebo, it is also aided in sleeping and has positive effects on sleep quality.
How To Use Ashwagandha For Anxiety And Stress
It is suggested that you take ashwagandha in the morning and evening too (twice a day). Take in the evening to have a better, stress-free sleep in the following way:
- Take 2 cups of water.
- Take half a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder and boil it in the water.
- After it boils/reduces to half add a pinch of ginger.
- Add some honey (for taste enhancement) after it cools down.
- Consume this tea
2. Ashwagandha For Pain Relief
Withania somnifera is also used for the management of pain. The herb works superbly in alleviating neuropathic, and arthritis pain. A 2021 systematic review of clinical trials shows that this herb is effective in imparting analgesic and anxiolytic effects.
According to a study carried out on rats, ashwagandha brought about pain relief in patients with plantar incisions and spared nerve injury. The doses given in this study were 100 and 300mg/kg of the patient’s weight.
When managing upper back pain due to cervical spondylosis, ashwagandha seemed to live up to the reputation. The participants of a study were given 2 tablets (250mg each) for 60 days. At the end of the study, 92% of patients got complete relief from cervical pain, and 98% reported an evident decrease in stiffness.
Ashwagandha shows promising results in reducing pain and stiffness even when administered parenterally for 9 days, a study suggests.
How To Use Ashwagandha For Pain Relief
People with chronic pain such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can follow the following method:
- Take a half tablespoon of ashwagandha powder.
- Mix the powder or tablet in a glass of lukewarm milk.
- Drink the mixture three times a day (morning, noon, and evening) to experience a drop in pain
3. Ashwagandha For Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that kills slowly. All available medications are aimed at helping you manage the glycemic index but come with side effects. Herbs like ashwagandha are at times considered anti-diabetic. Research suggests that ashwagandha can justly be used in the management of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Indian researchers find ashwagandha to be a multi-potent herb.
It was found out in a 2017 study that ashwagandha can be beneficial in the treatment of impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Furthermore, the herb does a wonderful job in preventing and reversing the complications arising from long-standing diabetes.
In a study, diabetic patients suffering from diabetic complications (burning, pain, and tingling) were given 1 gram of ashwagandha twice a day for 2 months. At the end of the study, it was concluded that ashwagandha is a potent treatment modality in the management of diabetic complications, especially neuropathy.
How To Use Ashwagandha For Diabetes
- Mix half glass of water in a glass of milk.
- Boil the mixture.
- Add half a tablespoon of ashwagandha root powder to the mixture and continue boiling for another 5 minutes.
- Add some nuts to the mixture (walnuts and almonds).
- Drink the mixture daily (at a fixed time) to see improvements in your plasma sugar levels
4. Ashwagandha For Sexual Performance And Fertility
Withania somnifera can boost the confidence of young males suffering from poor sexual performance. The herb rejuvenates the body’s reserves of testosterone and helps increase your reproductive health too.
Noticeable improvements in fertility and testosterone levels were seen when 100g/kg ashwagandha was given to lab rats. The study was carried out in 2021 and reveals that ashwagandha can boost fertility too.
In a randomized, double-blind controlled study, overweight men were given 21 mg of ashwagandha extracts for 8 weeks. Researchers noted that this administration of ashwagandha leads to significant improvements in sexual and psychological well-being. A rise in testosterone level was also noted.
5 g/day ashwagandha for 3 months can improve semen quality and can, therefore, be used as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of infertility. According to Indian research, you can take benefit of the aphrodisiac effect of ashwagandha by using a mixture of 5 mg of ashwagandha powder in 10 grams of ghee, and 250 ml of milk with sugar.
Women can also use 300 mg of ashwagandha twice daily for 8 weeks to experience improvements in sexual performance, a study suggests.
How To Use Ashwagandha For Libido And Sexual Improvements
- Make a mixture of ashwagandha (5mg), ghee (10 grams), and sugar/honey (as per taste).
- Use the mixture twice a day to improve sperm quality.
You can mix half a tablespoon of ashwagandha root powder in a glass of warm milk and consume it before bedtime to see improvement in libido and semen quality.
5. Ashwagandha For Sleep Disorders
Sleep is a blessing that is not bestowed upon everyone. If you suffer from sleeping disorders such as insomnia, ashwagandha might be the best option for you. According to a 2020 study, consumption of 25 mg/kg ashwagandha can alter brain waves and ultimately improve sleep quality. The herb is efficacious in inducing sleep too.
When 120mg standardized ashwagandha was given to fatigued individuals for six weeks, it improved onset of sleep latency, and sleep efficiency. The 2020 randomized controlled study concludes that ashwagandha supplementation for six weeks straight can improve the overall quality of your sleep.
In another randomized controlled study, two ashwagandha tablets (300mg) per day (containing 21 mg of glycowithanolides) were given for 6 weeks to patients suffering from Non-restorative sleep disorder. The study concludes that ashwagandha consumption is linked to improvement in symptoms.
Studies also suggest that ashwagandha supplementation for 8 weeks can alleviate symptoms of insomnia and improve sleep quality.
How To Use Ashwagandha For Insomnia
- Mix half a teaspoon of ashwagandha root powder in a glass of lukewarm milk.
- Drink the mixture at night, before going to bed
- Enjoy a goodnight’s sleep
6. Ashwagandha For Hypertension
Hypertension (persistently raised blood pressure) can lead to a number of complications. The added strain on your blood vessels can manifest itself in the form of a heart attack or stroke, both of which can lead to death.
Did you know you can manage your raised blood pressure by consuming ashwagandha?You only need to know how and when (best time) to take ashwagandha for hypertension.
The herb affects blood pressure in different ways. In a 2017 study, 51 stress-oriented hypertensive individuals were divided into 2 groups. One group was given 2mg Ashwagandha root powder with milk while the other was given the herb with water.
The milk group noted a greater decrease in systolic pressure as compared to the water group. Fall in diastolic pressure was significant for both groups. Therefore, you can use ashwagandha with milk or water for changes in BP.
In another 2021 randomized controlled study, it was concluded that consumption of 300mg ashwagandha twice daily (orally) for 8 weeks has different positive impacts on the body including:
- Decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure
- Positive changes in Body Mass Index (BMI)
The supplementation was effective and well-tolerated by the participants of the study.
How To Use Ashwagandha For Hypertension
- Take half a teaspoon of ashwagandha root powder in a cup of milk.
- Boil this mixture for 5-10 minutes.
- Add honey for taste.
- Drink the mixture once or twice in the morning (and evening), depending on the severity of your condition.
Note: You can also use water in place of milk.
7. Ashwagandha For Weight Management
Chronic stress is the root cause of weight gain in a number of cases. It is believed that longstanding stress leads to increased food cravings and there is a direct link between binge eating and stress.
According to a randomized controlled trial, ashwagandha can help people lose weight by managing the food cravings. Ashwagandha is well-known for its anti-anxiety effects and is known as an adaptogen (foods that increase the body’s resistance to stress). The participants of the study were given 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily to assess the herb’s effect.
At the end of the study, it was concluded that it can be used in weight management.
The herb also helps in maintaining weight in diabetics by increasing insulin sensitivity in patients.
How To Use Ashwagandha For Weight Management
- Take half a tablespoon of Ashwagandha leaves to powder and mix it in honey (1 tablespoon).
- Take the mixture before meals (twice daily)
- Continue the process for at least a couple of months
Note: You should follow a healthy diet, and exercise routine to get the best results. Ashwagandha-induced weight loss results appear in 1-2 months.
Precautions To Be Taken While Using Ashwagandha
- You should consult your physician before taking ashwagandha for conditions such as hypertension or diabetes
- Consult your midwife about taking ashwagandha during pregnancy and breast-feeding
Where Can I Find The Best Ashwagandha Supplement?
The perfectly natural compound provides stress relief and reboots your energy. You can achieve betterment in sexual performance and underlying health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic pain, and obesity.
Ashwagandha or Withania Somnifera has a superb multi-potent herb. It is a strong adaptogen that casts out stress from your body. This has the added effect of alleviating blood pressure in hypertension patients.
The aphrodisiac properties ensure boosts in sexual performances. The only trick is to consume it at the right time and in the right amount. In general, the herb is used in the form of 300mg doses that are used once or twice daily. To treat chronic pain you can boil it in water to make tea while for insomnia treatment you can consume it before bed. Mixing it in milk has superior effects for hypertension. You might also use honey and lemon for flavoring.