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How long does ashwagandha take to work for anxiety

How Long Does Ashwagandha Take To Work for Anxiety?

In an era where mental health is at the forefront of our collective consciousness, natural remedies for ailments such as anxiety are on the rise. One such remedy is Ashwagandha, a powerful herb with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. But how long does Ashwagandha take to work for anxiety, and what benefits can you expect? In this comprehensive guide, we dive into all aspects of this potent plant, providing evidence-based information to enlighten your wellness journey.

The Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera, has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration [1]. This herb is categorized as an adaptogen, which means it can help your body manage stress.

Besides reducing stress and anxiety, Ashwagandha also has several other impressive health benefits:

  • It may lower blood sugar levels, thereby benefiting those with diabetes [2].
  • It could improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels [3].
  • It can enhance brain function, aiding memory and reaction times [4].
  • It may boost testosterone and increase fertility in men [5].
  • It has anti-cancer properties [6].

How Long Does Ashwagandha Take to Work for Anxiety?

When it comes to alleviating anxiety, how quickly does Ashwagandha work? Most research indicates that you might start to feel the effects of Ashwagandha after 2-4 weeks of regular use [7]. However, the full range of benefits, particularly regarding anxiety, often become more apparent after 8-12 weeks [8]. It’s essential to remember that everyone’s body is different, and individual results can vary.

How Ashwagandha Works

Ashwagandha has several components, including withanolides, alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, and amino acids [9]. Among these, withanolides are believed to be the most active, contributing to Ashwagandha’s stress-reducing effects.

Ashwagandha works by regulating chemical signaling in the nervous system [10]. Studies have shown that it can block the stress pathway in the brain by controlling chemical signals in the nervous system [11]. It lowers cortisol levels, the “stress hormone,” and mimics the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, thus helping reduce anxiety [12].

how long does it take for ashwagandha to work for anxiety

Effects on Testosterone and Fertility

Ashwagandha isn’t only beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety; it’s also shown to increase testosterone levels and significantly boost sperm quality and fertility in men [5]. In a study conducted in 2013, men who received Ashwagandha for stress experienced higher antioxidant levels and better sperm quality. After three months of treatment, 14% of the men’s partners had become pregnant [13].

Effects on Stress

Stress is a common issue affecting millions of people globally. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can lead to many health problems, including anxiety, depression, heart disease, and cognitive issues. Ashwagandha has been shown to help decrease cortisol levels significantly. In one study, chronically stressed adults who supplemented with Ashwagandha had, on average, a 30% reduction in cortisol compared to the control group [14].

How to Tell if Ashwagandha is Working

Everyone’s experience with Ashwagandha will be slightly different, and it’s important to pay attention to your body’s response. Here are some signs that Ashwagandha may be working for you:

  • Decreased anxiety and stress levels: You may find yourself feeling calmer and more relaxed.
  • Improved sleep: You might experience better sleep quality, having an easier time falling and staying asleep.
  • Enhanced cognitive function: You may notice improved concentration and sharper memory.
  • Increased energy: You might feel more energetic and less fatigued throughout the day.

Dosage and Side Effects

Most studies have found a daily dose of 500–600mg to be effective in reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety [7]. However, it’s always best to follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider or on the product packaging.

Though Ashwagandha is generally safe for most people, some may experience side effects like upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. In rare cases, it might cause allergic reactions. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with autoimmune diseases are advised to avoid it [15].


As a natural, holistic approach to mental health, Ashwagandha offers a promising solution for managing anxiety. While it’s not an immediate fix and may take a few weeks to demonstrate effects, its benefits on stress, cognitive function, testosterone, and overall well-being make it a worthwhile addition to your wellness routine.

Always remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. Continue to prioritize holistic wellness and take care of your mental health – you deserve it!


  1. Singh, N., Bhalla, M., de Jager, P., & Gilca, M. (2011). An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative medicines, 8(5S).
  2. Bhat, J., Damle, A., Vaishnav, P. P., Albers, R., Joshi, M., & Banerjee, G. (2010). In vivo enhancement of natural killer cell activity through tea fortified with Ayurvedic herbs. Phytotherapy Research, 24(1), 129-135.
  3. Raut, A. A., Rege, N. N., Tadvi, F. M., Solanki, P. V., Kene, K. R., Shirolkar, S. G., … & Vaidya, R. A. (2012). Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 3(3), 111.
  4. Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Efficacy and safety of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) root extract in improving memory and cognitive functions. Journal of dietary supplements, 14(6), 599-612.
  5. Ambiye, V. R., Langade, D., Dongre, S., Aptikar, P., Kulkarni, M., & Dongre, A. (2013). Clinical evaluation of the spermatogenic activity of the root extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in oligospermic males: a pilot study. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, 2013.
  6. Winters, M. (2006). Ancient medicine, modern use: Withania somnifera and its potential role in integrative oncology. Alternative medicine review, 11(4), 269-278.
  7. Pratte, M. A., Nanavati, K. B., Young, V., & Morley, C. P. (2014). An alternative treatment for anxiety: a systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(12), 901-908.
  8. Auddy, B., Hazra, J., Mitra, A., Abedon, B., & Ghosal, S. (2008). A standardized Withania somnifera extract significantly reduces stress-related parameters in chronically stressed humans: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, 11(1), 50-56.
  9. Kulkarni, S. K., & Dhir, A. (2008). Withania somnifera: an Indian ginseng. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry, 32(5), 1093-1105.
  10. Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 34(3), 255.
  11. Kumar, A., & Kalonia, H. (2008). Protective effect of Withania somnifera Dunal on the behavioral and biochemical alterations in sleep-disturbed mice (Grid over water suspended method). Indian journal of experimental biology, 46(6), 453.
  12. Bhattacharya, S. K., Bhattacharya, A., Sairam, K., & Ghosal, S. (2000). Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. Phytomedicine, 7(6), 463-469.
  13. Ahmad, M. K., Mahdi, A. A., Shukla, K. K., Islam, N., Rajender, S., Madhukar, D., … & Sharma, R. K. (2010). Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertility and sterility, 94(3), 989-996.
  14. Auddy, B., Hazra, J., Mitra, A., Abedon, B., & Ghosal, S. (2008). A standardized Withania somnifera extract significantly reduces stress-related parameters in chronically stressed humans: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, 11(1), 50-56.
  15. Singh, A., Naidu, P. S., Gupta, S., Kulkarni, S. K. (2007). Effect of natural and synthetic antioxidants in a mouse model of chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of medicinal food, 9(4), 568-572.

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