What is ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a herbal shrub whose roots and berries are used for their medicinal properties. This nontoxic herb has many health benefits and is used to treat a range of conditions, such as rheumatism and insomnia. Ashwagandha is an important part of centuries-old ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine in India. The scientific name for ashwagandha is Withania somnifera. Ashwagandha is part of a class of plants called adaptogens. This means that it helps the body deal with stress, anxiety, fatigue, and overall well being. It is ingested as teas, powders, and supplements.

What is ashwagandha known for?
Ashwagandha is known for its ability to relieve stress and anxiety. It is used as a general tonic for energy boost and to reduce stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha seems to help control mediators of stress including a hormone called cortisol which regulates the body’s stress response and helps control the body’s use of the metabolism . According to the database from the National Institutes of Health, participants who took ashwagandha extract for 8 weeks were able to reduce perceived stress and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It also helps sooth the body and have a good nights sleep.

What does ashwagandha help with?

Ashwagandha helps with skin conditions such as acne. It promotes sustained and nourished skin as well. It naturally plumps the skin by controlling collagen depletion and smoothening fine lines. Ashwagandha is good at replenishing the hair and scalp as well. It is used to rejuvenate the scalp in the form of infused tea. This also helps encourage healthy hair growth.

Another thing ashwagandha may benefit is athletic performance. There was an analysis of research performed by PudMed Central that included 12 studies in men and women who took ashwagandha. The results showed that the herb had enhanced physical performance, including strength and oxygen use during exercise. Many studies apart from the one mentioned have shown ashwagandha’s benefits to both anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Ashwagandha does not have the risks or dangers of steroid-based doping methods that are traditionally used to enhance athletic performance because it is an herb.

Therefore ashwagandha is a natural nontoxic herb that benefits the body physically and mentally. As with any medicine, use as directed by a health care professional.


• Ashwagandha. Medline Plus. Accessed 6/8/2021.
• Triglycerides. MedlinePlus. Accessed 6/9/2021. 
• Ashwagandha. (2019)
• Ayurvedic medicine: In depth. (2019).
• Bhattacharya, S. K., et al. (2000). Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: An experimental study [Abstract].
• Bruno, L. O., et al. (2018). Pregnancy and herbal medicines: An unnecessary risk for women's health—A narrative review [Abstract].
• Choudhary, B., et al. (2015). Efficacy of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera [L.] Dunal) in improving cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy athletic adults.
• Kumar, G., et al. (2015). Efficacy & safety evaluation of Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powder & Sidh Makardhwaj) in rheumatoid arthritis patients: A pilot prospective study.
• Lopresti, A. L., et al. (2019). An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
• Pratte, M. A., et al. (2014). An alternative treatment for anxiety: A systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).
• Salve, J., et al. (2019). Adaptogenic and anxiolytic effects of ashwagandha root extract in healthy adults: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study.
• Sandhu, J. S., et al. (2010). Effects of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults.
• Singh, N., et al. (2011). An overview on ashwagandha: A Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda.
• 2005-2023 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company: 9 proven health benefits of ashwagandha https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ashwagandha
• Adaptogens: 2023 Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/22361-adaptogens
• Forest Essentials: 10 benefits of ashwagandha for skin and hair 5/30/2022. https://www.forestessentialsindia.com/blog/10-benefits-of-ashwagandha-for-skin-and-hair.html
• NutraIngredients: 12/17/2018 https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2018/12/17/Ashwagandha-for-sports-New-study-results-suggest-herb-may-boost-strength
• The Free Dictionary Medical Dictionary. 6/9/2021.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.