How Long Does Ashwagandha Take To Work?

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    Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic herb with an array of benefits. The time it takes to begin noticing its positive effects depend on a variety of factors.

    As one of the most popular adaptogenic herbs on the market, ashwagandha has been gaining attention for its potential to promote relaxation, manage occasional stress levels, boost sexual wellness, and much more. But how long does it take for ashwagandha to work? In this article, we’ll explore how you can tell ashwagandha is working, and how long it usually takes for its effects to take hold. Let’s dive in!

    Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

    Ashwagandha is an ancient therapeutic herb with a wide range of health benefits. This powerful root is known as an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that can help the body better respond to stress. Its potential to improve endurance, boost cognitive functioning, manage occasional stress levels, promote better sleep cycles, and boost sexual performance has made it one of the hottest topics in natural healthcare today.

    Studies have shown that ashwagandha can help improve athletic performance by enhancing oxygen intake and cardiorespiratory function. In this study, elite cyclists who were supplemented with 500 mg of ashwagandha twice a day reported significant increases in endurance. It has also been found to aid in muscle strength and recovery after exercise. Based on the results of this study, when ashwagandha is combined with resistance training, it can support muscle mass and increase strength.

    In addition to cardiorespiratory function, ashwagandha is gaining traction due to its role in supporting memory and cognitive function. This study found that 300 mg of ashwagandha taken twice daily can be effective in boosting cognitive function and improving executive function, attention, and information processing speed.

    Moreover, ashwagandha has the ability to relieve occasional stress, which creates a positive cascade effect on so many other areas of the body. Ashwagandha is able to assist in relieving occasional stress because of its impact on lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone that is released within the body when there are triggers of emotional or physical stress. In this study, ashwagandha supplementation improved subjects’ perceived levels of stress and cortisol levels at weeks 4 and 8. Additionally, ashwagandha’s ability to manage cortisol levels makes it a great remedy for promoting relaxation and supporting sleep.

    Finally, the management of cortisol levels plays a role in supporting sexual wellness. Females and males can both benefit from ashwagandha because of its ability to boost libido, improve satisfaction, and support sexual function.

    Does Ashwagandha Work Immediately?

    Ashwagandha does not begin working immediately. In fact, according to most studies, results typically appear within 4-12 weeks. Still, some may feel a difference before then. Of course, there are factors that contribute to how long before it begins working. Let’s take a closer look at what those are.

    Factors that influence how long it takes to work

    The answer to how long it takes for ashwagandha to begin working may depend on a variety of factors, including the dose and potency of the ashwagandha supplement taken and how often it is taken.

    The type of ashwagandha supplement chosen can also influence how quickly it works. Additionally, the nature of each individual's body chemistry can affect absorption rates and thus impact the speed at which one experiences results from taking ashwagandha supplements.

    How Do You Know Ashwagandha is Working?

    Many people are now taking ashwagandha supplements as part of their daily self-care routine, but how do they know if it's working? The answer depends on what each person’s individual health goals, as well as any underlying absorption challenges a person may have.

    The best way to determine if ashwagandha is having a positive effect is by tracking its effects over time. Keeping a log and monitoring specific markers such as energy levels, sleep quality, mood, endurance capacity, and stress levels can help you better understand whether or not the supplement is helping you reach your goals. You can review your log every 2-4 weeks to see if there are any changes in trends.

    How Much Ashwagandha Should You Take?

    While the research is still ongoing, we recommend starting with 600 mg per day, as this dosage has been shown to provide significant health benefits without any serious side effects. It is important to note, however, that studies have found dosages ranging from 150 mg-1000 mg can be safely taken and provide similar therapeutic effects.

    When to Take Ashwagandha

    The time of day you take ashwagandha will depend on your own needs and preferences. Some people take it before bed to help them wind down and relax, while others take it during the day to help support mental clarity and focus. Consistency is the key. You should take it daily at whatever time works best for you and will be easiest to remember.

    Potential Side Effects

    Generally speaking, ashwagandha is considered safe for most adults when taken at the recommended dosages. However, in a few studies, participants reported minor digestive discomfort. It’s important to always look at the ingredients on the label to make sure you aren’t ingesting any ingredients you may be sensitive to or trying to avoid.

    Who Should Not Take Ashwagandha?

    There are certain individuals who should not take ashwagandha. In general, you should consult your doctor before starting any new supplementation. Furthermore, pregnant and breastfeeding people, as well as children under the age of 18, should not take ashwagandha, as there have been no studies performed to test its safety for these groups. To ensure safety and effectiveness, anyone considering taking this supplement should speak to their healthcare provider first.

    The Bottom Line

    Ashwagandha is a powerful and effective supplement with many benefits. It can have remarkable effects on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. While it may take 4-12 weeks for some people to start noticing the effects, many have seen positive results before then. The factors that may influence how long it takes to begin working depend on the dosage, potency, and frequency of the supplementation. While the exact time it takes for ashwagandha to start working varies from person to person, you can build up benefits over time with consistent usage!

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Jordana Tobelem, RD
    Freelance Contributor
    Jordana Tobelem is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys helping others become the best versions of themselves through proper nutrition education. Jordana is passionate about promoting lifestyle changes through nutrition, physical activity, and behavior to create a superior quality of life. She uses her experience in the clinical field of dietetics to provide consulting services to an array of healthcare brands and companies. Jordana loves finding the most current research in nutrition to create meaningful content to share with her clients. Jordana has been a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2018 and also holds certifications in both Personal Training and Health Coaching.