How Long Does Ashwagandha Take to Work?

How long does Ashwagandha take to work?

Are you curious about ashwagandha and what this fantastic adaptogenic herb can do for you? Well, you're in the right place.

Ashwagandha has become increasingly popular due to its potential to promote relaxation, manage occasional stress levels, improve sexual wellness, and more. 

But how do you know if ashwagandha is working for you?

In this Smart Protein guide, we'll dive into the deets to help you tell if ashwagandha is working and how long it usually takes to, well…work its magic.

Let’s dive in.

What is ashwagandha?

This incredible plant, scientifically known as withania somnifera, as well as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, has its roots firmly planted in India, North Africa and the Middle East. 

You might be surprised that it's even a part of the nightshade family, alongside the likes of potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and chilli peppers.

Despite its exotic roots, ashwagandha offers a wealth of health-boosting benefits for people the world over. While you can use many parts of this most magical of plants, most people use the root for its medicinal powers.

For centuries, this incredible herb has been hailed for its power to treat ailments from arthritis and anxiety to insomnia and fertility problems—it’s also a pretty powerful aphrodisiac.

But as time passes and new scientific research continues to emerge, the full potential of ashwagandha starts to shine bright.

SmartTip: Read our ultimate guide to ashwagandha to discover more about this incredible ancient plant and its brain-boosting properties.
Ashwagandha plant
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What are the health benefits of ashwagandha? 

Ashwagandha is an amazing adaptogen—a natural property that helps the human body manage stress more efficiently. As a result, it might help reduce your cortisol, a chemical commonly known as the stress hormone.

Some studies show that ashwagandha may also have the power to take the edge off anxiety and depression while boosting your overall well-being.

One of the main active ingredients in ashwagandha is Withanolides. This powerhouse of a  compound usually lives in the herb's root—and it's responsible for many of ashwagandha's incredible health benefits. 

But, it's worth noting that the level of Withanolides can fluctuate depending on the ashwagandha extract used.

Short-term health benefits 

Looking at its immediate effects, ashwagandha wastes no time, getting right to work when it comes to harmonising your body and mind. 

One of the most remarkable benefits of ashwagandha is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels, and it does so by lowering the levels of cortisol—the hormone responsible for kicking our stress response into high gear.

Ashwagandha also has your brain's back by boosting brain function. How? By increasing the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in learning and memory. 

When you take ashwagandha in the short term—you can also expect benefits like reduced inflammation, improved sleep quality, and better energy levels.

The duration of these short-term effects can vary from person to person. But many users notice positive changes within just a few days of starting ashwagandha.

Long-term health benefits

How long does Ashwagandha take to work its magic? That depends on a few factors, like your unique physiology, dosage, and the form of Ashwagandha supplementation you choose.

Some lucky individuals have reported feeling the benefits of ashwagandha within mere hours or a few short days—for others, it may take longer. They may need to stick with ashwagandha for a few weeks or even a few months before they see noticeable results. 

Research also suggests long-term health benefits include: 

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Enhanced sexual performance
  • Helps manage blood glucose
  • Aids sleep
SmartTip: Remember, we are unique, and our bodies have their own rhythm. So, when you’re taking ashwagandha—be patient, listen to yourself, and the results will come. 

Does ashwagandha work immediately?

We want to make sure you have the right expectations when starting to take Ashwagandha. 

So, it's important to note that this powerful herb takes effect slowly. In fact, most studies show that it typically starts to show results within four to 12 weeks.

That said, everyone is different, and some may feel its effects earlier. Plus, some factors may influence the onset of ashwagandha's effects, so it's vital to remember this.

How long does ashwagandha take to work?

Understanding how ashwagandha works is vital to help you achieve your wellness goals. So it's essential to remember that the speed of results depends on why you're taking it.

But don't worry, like any herbal supplement, ashwagandha takes time to regulate the body and get to work. You can usually expect general results within a few weeks, so it's essential to be consistent with your intake.

Let's dive into what the research says about the typical onset of ashwagandha's effects.

What is the recommended dosage and how long does it take for ashwagandha to work for each purpose?

Ashwagandha for sleep

Ashwagandha is a fantastic adaptogenic herb that works wonders on our adrenal and thyroid systems. Chronic stress can mess with our cortisol levels and impact the quality of our sleep. But fear not… 

Smart Study

According to a placebo-controlled study in 2020 (1), ashwagandha supplementation has shown some promising results. The study involved 150 healthy adults with reported sleep issues. 

After taking 120 milligrams of Ashwagandha extract daily for six weeks, they experienced improvements in sleep efficiency, sleep time, and wake-after-sleep onset scores. Not only that, but their overall quality of life also got a boost.

Now, while the research suggests that it can take up to two months to see a noticeable change in sleep when taking Ashwagandha, some participants experienced results sooner.

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Ashwagandha for muscle strength

We all know that building those muscles takes time and dedication, but a mix of studies suggests that Ashwagandha might be the secret ingredient to speed up the process.

One study discovered that males who took a daily dose of 300 mg of Ashwagandha, not once but twice a day, for eight weeks experienced remarkable increases in muscle strength (2). 

Another study (3) involved 57 men aged between 18 and 50 who had limited experience with resistance training. These brave individuals not only embarked on a strength training journey but also took 300 mg of Ashwagandha root extract twice a day for eight weeks.

The results? They witnessed significant gains in muscle strength compared to those who only did strength training alone. 

Ashwagandha for fertility and sexual function

In a pilot study back in 2013, 46 male participants with low sperm counts were given a high-quality Ashwagandha root extract at a daily dose of 675 mg for 90 days (4). 

At the end of the study, researchers observed a jaw-dropping 167% increase in sperm count, a 53% increase in semen volume, and a 57% increase in sperm mobility compared to the baseline. Meanwhile, the participants in the placebo group saw only minimal improvements. Ashwagandha indeed proved its power in boosting male fertility.

Ashwagandha also has amazing perks for female sexual function. A study in 2022 (5) discovered that female participants with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) experienced significant improvements after taking 300 mg of Ashwagandha supplements twice a day for eight weeks.

Now, remember, it's important to remember that these benefits may take some time to set in fully. 

As a general rule of thumb, it can take anywhere from eight to 12 weeks to see significant changes in sexual function when you take ashwagandha.

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Ashwagandha for stress

In a 2012 study, a group of 64 participants (6) battling chronic stress took 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily for 60 days. Now, hold onto your stress balls because the results were outstanding.

At the end of the 60-day mark, researchers couldn't help but notice huge reductions in cortisol serum levels when compared to those in the placebo group.

FYI: While these studies measured ashwagandha's effects at specific time points, ashwagandha may start working its magic earlier for some. 

We’re all different. So, don't be disheartened if you don't experience immediate results.

How to know if ashwagandha is working

Firstly, there are plenty of positive signs that your body is reaping the rewards of ashwagandha.

These health-boosting perks include: 

  • Better sleep quality
  • More energy
  • More mental clarity
  • Lower stress levels

These are all beautiful improvements that can help you feel more vibrant, alert, and rejuvenated. Imagine waking up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

Also, many people who take ashwagandha report feeling more emotionally balanced and an overall sense of well-being. And, who doesn't love feeling more zen or centred in their daily lives?

But, if you’ve not noticed these effects after a few weeks or months, it may be time to adjust your dosage or try a different supplementation.

SmartTip: Consult with your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects such as nausea, headaches, stomach upset, or rash when taking ashwagandha.

How much time should I expect for ashwagandha to work?

You might wonder, "How long does it take for Ashwagandha to work magic?" The truth is, it's complex. The timeline for Ashwagandha benefits can vary significantly due to individual factors like dosage, purpose, and unique body chemistry.

In clinical studies of Ashwagandha, researchers usually measure results after at least 30 days of supplementation. This makes sense since most herbal remedies take some time to work their magic.

But, some simple effects, like lower cortisol levels and blood sugar, usually take hold after 2 weeks. But, consistency is key here. 

For full anti-anxiety benefits, doctors recommend taking ashwagandha for at least two months.

SmartTip: Taking a dose in the morning can give you a more stress-free day—and the minor stress-reducing benefits add up, helping you tackle those daily irritations with ease. 

A little goes a long way, so give it a few weeks of consistent use to see the difference. On the other hand, if you take it in the evening—this ancient power herb acts as a natural sleep aid due to its drowsiness side effect.

Ashwagandha: the final verdict

In summary, the timeline for ashwagandha benefits varies from seven to 90 days. 

Some immediate effects of ashwagandha include reductions in cortisol levels, blood pressure, and sugar concentrations, as well as improved sleep patterns.

But, mood changes like anxiety and depression vary according to the individual. Physiological changes like testosterone level fluctuations, fertility, and body composition adjustments require more time before they become visible.

The impact of ashwagandha on your body depends on various factors, including the quantity you take, why you take it, and individual chemistry. 

For example:

  • 500 mg taken daily over six  to 12 weeks may decrease anxiety levels
  • A daily dose of 250 mg daily for four weeks has been linked to lowered blood sugar levels
  • Taking 3,000mg divided into multiple doses each day for four weeks can produce more significant reductions in glucose count
  • If fertility enhancement is what you need, 5,000mg should be ingested daily for 90 days. Also, muscle growth gains by 1.5x within eight weeks have been reported when 500mg was taken daily

Boost your wellness with Unwind

If you’re looking for a daily dose of Ashwagandha—one that will go the extra mile—try our unwind gummies.

Packed with a generous 1200mg of this most magnificent power herb, our Unwind gummies will lower stress, improve mental clarity, lower blood pressure, and boost your energy levels, day in-day out. It’s the smart way to take your wellness to the next level.

Sources

Smart Protein is committed to sourcing only the best and scientifically-backed research in our articles.

1. NIH:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Ashwagandha-HealthProfessional/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20the%20studies%20found%20that%20ashwagandha%20extract%20had%20a%20small,prominent%20in%20participants%20with%20insomnia.

2. Healthline:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ashwagandha-dosage

3. Pub Med:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26609282/

4. Research Gate:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259474437_Clinical_Evaluation_of_the_Spermatogenic_Activity_of_the_Root_Extract_of_Ashwagandha_Withania_somnifera_in_Oligospermic_Males_A_Pilot_Study

5. NIH:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36447681/

6. Moon Juice:

https://moonjuice.com/en-gb/blogs/ingredients/how-long-does-ashwagandha-take-to-work#:~:text=In%20one%202012%20study%2C%2064,slightly%20later%20%E2%80%94%20at%2090%20days.

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