After my thorough research of Ashwagandha (and testing it as an individual compound), I’ve combined the crucial benefits of this adaptogen herb.
There are many proven benefits of this herb and some potential benefits that still have to be better researched.
Let’s jump right into them.
1. Ashwagandha Can Decrease Anxiety And Stress
Ashwagandha is best-known for its amazing ability to reduce stress in people. Researchers showed that it can block the stress pathways in the brains of rats, which obviously works as well on humans.
There are more and more studies proving the anti-anxiety benefits of supplementing Ashwagandha, that’s one of the main reasons Ashwagandha is becoming so popular.
In one double-blind study of 64 people, researches showed that 300 mg of an ashwagandha extract (“full spectrum”) for 60 days in persons with chronic mental stress was able to improve all tested parameters and reduced serum cortisol by 27.9% .
Another study showed that supplementing 300 mg ashwagandha (1.5% withanolides) twice daily over the course of 8 weeks in persons with anxiety disorders was associated with a 56.5% reduction in anxiety symptoms .
So, if you are searching for an anti-anxiety supplement, Ashwagandha could definitely be on your list.
2. Ashwagandha Can Decrease Your Cortisol Levels
Since we already know that Ashwagandha can decrease your stress, it is logical to expect its power on decreasing your cortisol levels as well.
Well, cortisol is known as a “stress hormone”, because it is released in response to too much stress. While this is a normal body response, it can happen that cortisol can get chronically elevated which usually ends in increased body fat.
Luckily, Ashwagandha can help with that as well.
One study showed that supplementation of 5 g of the root powder daily reduced cortisol (11–32% AUC; 36-48% when measured at 4 p.m.) with similar favoring of stressed men .
Looks promising, right?
3. Ashwagandha Can Increase Your Power Output
Believe it or not, but Ashwagandha can improve your physical performance as well.
A study on young and healthy people (40) showed that supplementation of 500 mg of the water extract of Ashwagandha has been noted to improve power output and velocity of sprints .
Another study on 57 subjects showed that supplementing 300 mg of Ashwagandha twice daily for 8 weeks improved 1RM of bench press and leg extensions by almost 20kg / 5kg. Body recovery was also faster .
But that’s not all.
4. Ashwagandha Can Also Improve Your Cognition (overall brain function and memory)
If there was a “magical compound” that would not only provide several health benefits but could also improve your cognitive performance, I believe millions of people would wait in front of a store to buy it.
Well, Ashwagandha might just be the one.
First studies on animals show that supplementing Ashwagandha can improve your brain function and reduce memory issues .
Since it protects nerve cells from free radicals, those benefits are not so surprising.
Sadly, there is a lack of controlled studies on healthy people, but one study that was done in 2014 actually proves that supplementing 500 mg of Ashwagandha extract/day can significantly improve cognitive performance .
While more studies have to be done, keep in mind that this adaptogenic herb was used as a memory booster in India for centuries.
Combine this fact with studies on animals and first studies on healthy individuals and you can already know we have a very potent supplement in our hands.
5. Ashwagandha Can Boost Testosterone Levels
I’ve discovered 4 interesting studies that prove that supplementing Ashwagandha can boost your testosterone levels.
There was a study done on 75 males who were given 5 grams of Ashwagandha daily. Results? Sperm concentration, volume, and testosterone increased .
Another study was done on 180 subjects which showed similar results .
But that’s not all…
6. Ashwagandha Can Also Increase Muscle Mass
Some preliminary studies show that supplementing Ashwagandha can increase muscle mass in men, and it can also increase strength .
While more studies have to be conducted, such results show Ashwagandha can as well be used as a supplement for improving your physical performance.
Combine this with other benefits and you have a clear idea of the real power of Ashwagandha.
7. Ashwagandha Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
I’ve found at least 4 studies that show the real potential of Ashwagandha lowering your blood sugar levels.
A study done of 25 subjects showed that supplementing 400 mg of Ashwagandha daily for up to 6 months can decrease your blood sugar for up to 13% .
Not a drastic change, but a very positive sign of multiple-benefits of supplementing Ashwagandha.
I also came across a small study of six people with type 2 diabetes that were given Ashwagandha for 30 days. What happened? Well, their blood sugar levels were lowered as effectively as with an oral diabetes medication .
8. Ashwagandha Can Help Patients With Cancer
Believe me or not, but this amazing herb is traditionally recommended for cancer patients.
There are 2 potentially amazing benefits of supplementing it that are related to cancer:
- It has shown anti-cancer activity in cultured cancer cells and certain animal models
- It can reduce chemotherapy-induced immunosuppression and ease the pain of chemotherapy
Besides, studies on animals showed that it can help induce apoptosis (this is a process that kills cancer cells).
Animal and test-tube studies have found that Ashwagandha helps induce apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cancer cells .
Besides, multiple-studies showed on animals showed that Ashwagandha could treat several types of cancers  .
We are still waiting for extended studies on humans, but it already looks promising.
9. Ashwagandha Can Help Reduce Inflammation
Initial human studies of Ashwagandha show an amazing potential of this adaptogen herb to increase the activity of healthy cells in our body, which results in our ability to stay healthy for a longer period .
Other studies (done on animals) show that Ashwagandha can also decrease inflammation .
There is one specific study about the group of people who took 250 mg of ashwagandha extract daily and had a 36% decrease in CRP (a marker of inflammation), on average.
All right, we checked in details tons of benefits of Ashwagandha. Of course, they are not all, but those mentioned benefits are the most studied, have been proven to a certain extent and show the real power of it.
But the question I have in my mind is – if there are many benefits of supplementing Ashwagandha, can we expect any side effects?
Let’s check out.