Ashwagandha, also referred to as Withania Somnifera per its botanical name, is a plant that is woody and small and with small flowers that are native to North Africa and India. Based on its classification, it is regarded as a form of adaptogen and is believed to aid in the better management of the stress of the body. The plant, specifically its roots, has been utilized for thousands of years as a form of Ayurvedic remedy that is natural for various diseases or illnesses.
At present, science is linking it with various benefits for health which include a reduction in anxiety and stress and also improve memory, mood, and levels of blood sugar. In this article, we look at the ideal dosage of Ashwagandha to ensure that optimal benefits for health.
Reduces anxiety and stress
Ashwagandha is known best for its effects that can lower stress. This herb with its medicinal effects can help have cortisol levels reduced. Cortisol is a form of a hormone that adrenal glands produce when responding to stress. Daily doses of around 5 grams or 125 mg for one month to three months showed that the levels of cortisol may be reduced by around 11%to 32%. Also, 500 to 600 mg of the aforementioned herb taken daily for six to twelve weeks can lead to anxiety reduction and have the likelihood of insomnia lowered or reduced for individuals with anxiety disorders and stress.
Reduces the levels of blood sugar
Ashwagandha can also reduce the levels of blood sugar both in individuals that are healthy and to individuals who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. In a study conducted within a month in 25 individuals, it was noted that the said herb led to the reduction of levels of fasting blood sugar thrice that of a placebo. A different study noted that those suffering from type 2 diabetes who took Ashwagandha supplements for a month had reduced levels of blood sugar similar to that of oral medications for diabetes. The dosages utilized in the said studies ranged from 250 milligrams to three grams and were given in two to three dosages of equal amounts taken evenly throughout the day.
Ashwagandha can also aid help in enhancing one’s fertility and improve reproductive health, particularly for males. In a study spanning three months in 75 males who were infertile, Ashwagandha in the amount of five grams, increased the mobility and count of sperm if taken daily. In one other study conducted in men who were highly stressed, Ashwagandha in the amount of five (5) grams daily also had sperm quality improved. During the said study, it was noted that 14% of the individuals experienced pregnancy. Studies with dosages that are comparable also showed similar results.
Muscle mass and strength
Using Ashwagandha as a form of a supplement can also help muscle mass and strength and increased. In a study that was conducted for 2 months, men who were given 500 milligrams of this herbal supplement daily had their muscle power by up to one percent compared to the other group which had no significant enhancements.
In a different study done in other males, Ashwagandha in the amount of 400 milligrams each day for two (2) months had around 1.5 to 1.7 times increase in the strength of muscles and at the same time, 1.6 to 2.3 times improved in the size of muscles versus those who just took a placebo. Similar effects were also noted for individuals who took Ashwagandha doses in the amount of 750 to 1,250 milligrams every day for one month.
Fights off infection and have inflammation reduced
Ashwagandha can also reduce inflammation and have immunity boosted. There is also research to indicate that Ashwagandha in the amount of 12 ml daily can enhance immune cell levels and aid in fighting off infection. Also, taking 250 to 500 mg of this herbal supplement for around 2 months can lower proteins that are C-reactive by around thirty percent. C-reactive proteins are an inflammation marker.
Ashwagandha is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory and there are studies backed by science that support the aforementioned use of the herbal supplement. For example, in a two-month study, Ashwagandha in the amount of 300 mg used two times daily resulted in general memory that is improved or enhanced. Aside from improved memory, task performance and attention can have better effects versus a placebo. Also, healthy males who took in 500 milligrams of Ashwagandha daily for half a month experienced significant improvements in terms of accomplishing tasks and tests, along with their reaction time versus those who just took in a placebo.
It must be noted, that Ashwagandha human studies are currently very limited and further studies are needed, before drawing any significant conclusions.
Ashwagandha Side effects and safety
Ashwagandha is generally safe for most individuals. However, women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, along with individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus may need to have this herbal supplement avoided. Ashwagandha may also result in the interaction with medications for blood pressure, blood sugar, and thyroid.
Individuals who may be taking the aforementioned types of medicines need to talk to their healthcare professional before taking in any herbal medicines or herbal supplements.
A lot of these studies related to Ashwagandha are low in quality and small. As such, the data and information on how effective and safe the dosage is can still be inexact and inaccurate. In this regard, additional research or studies are required.
The bottom line is people should work closely with their doctors before starting with any herbal supplementation such as Ashwagandha.