Why are Ashwagandha Preparations Safe?

In the control group, the patients had received an antidiabetic drug that had the same effect.

Ashwagandha and Cancer

So far, there have only been animal experiments or in-vitro studies on a possible cancer-inhibiting effect of Ashwagandha. It has been shown that ashwagandha can initiate apoptosis (suicide of the cancer cells) and inhibit cancer cell growth (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20).

In a mouse experiment, the active ingredients isolated from Ashwagandha showed a reduction in tumor growth of up to 80 percent in mice with ovarian tumors (16). Spread to other organs could also be reduced.

What to Look For When Buying Ashwagandha

If you want to try Ashwagandha and are looking for a high-quality product, make sure to buy organic products to avoid possible pesticide pollution - both for yourself and the environment.

Ashwagandha is available in the form of the ground root. These are available as loose powder or filled in capsules or compressed into tablets. There are also root extracts. They contain the Ashwagandha-typical active ingredients in high concentration and are therefore often more effective than the powder.

At least for the extracts, the withanolide content should be given in percent - ideally at least 5 percent. Sometimes the specific amount of withanolide is also given, which should be around 8 mg per daily dose for extracts. If the salary is not specified, ask the manufacturer / dealer before buying.

In the case of powders, the specific active ingredient contents are generally not specified, as these - in comparison to extracts - are not standardized and the active ingredient quantities can fluctuate from batch to batch.

Properly dose ashwagandha

Ashwagandha powder is taken 2 to 4 g twice a day and this dose can be increased as needed.

As mentioned above, one takes so much of extracts daily that one can achieve a daily dose of 8 mg withanolides. If this effect is too strong for you, reduce it naturally and only take half of it for the time being.

If you only have mild symptoms, the pure plant powder may be sufficient. If the symptoms are more severe, extracts may make more sense, but they can also lead to an overly strong effect more quickly, which means that you should dose carefully - in consultation with a doctor who is versed in naturopathic medicine - it is better to start with smaller doses and closely watching the body's reactions.

When using Ashwagandha, patience is required, as it can take several weeks to months for an effect to be achieved. Sometimes the effect occurs after just a few days.

How to take Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha extract capsules are taken with plenty of liquid. Ashwagandha powder is best stirred in water or fruit juices. But it can also be added to smoothies or mueslis.

If you take Ashwagandha with a meal, the effect could be less or take longer. Therefore, it is usually recommended to take it an hour before meals or two hours after.

The time of day plays less of a role. Especially with chronic complaints, it is important to ensure that it is taken regularly, around twice a day in the morning and in the evening. In this way, you can count on the adaptogenic (protection against stress) effect during the day and on the sleep-promoting effect at night.

It is also often best to pay attention to your own body's reactions. If you get tired after taking ashwagandha in the morning, only take it in the evening. If taking it in the evening shortly before going to bed is not enough for a restful sleep, then take the preparation a little earlier, possibly in the afternoon.

An extremely enjoyable way to take Ashwagandha is the Ashwagandha sleeping potion:

The Ashwagandha Sleeping Potion: Delicious and effective

For the Ashwagandha drink - also known as an Ayurvedic sleeping drink - you need the Ashwagandha powder, a few spices (turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, etc.), a pack of oat drink and a sweetener, e.g. B. Yacon Syrup. You can find the recipe here: The Ashwagandha Drink - Ayurvedic sleeping drink

Of course, the Ashwagandha drink is not only suitable for falling asleep better. Overall, it has a relaxing and calming effect and helps you to switch off quickly after a strenuous day.

Possible side effects of ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is considered safe in the recommended quantities and has very few side effects. Occasionally, indigestion in the form of e.g. B. Diarrhea occur. If this is the case, reduce the dose or take a break.

According to studies (on rats), dosages of up to 2000 mg ashwagandha extract per kilogram of body weight should remain without side effects (2) - according to a publication from 2016 in Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. However, the extract was only given for four weeks. So far, there are no clear studies on long-term effects.

According to a chapter in LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury (updated on May 2, 2019) there has been isolated (reversible) liver damage in the past in people who have taken ashwagandha (2 to 12 weeks after ingestion) (3). However, it is emphasized that in many of these cases it is not exactly known whether the problem originated from ashwagandha or another ingredient, as some of those affected had taken mixed preparations.

Ashwagandha during pregnancy and breastfeeding

As there are no studies (yet) on the use of ashwagandha during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is recommended that ashwagandha should not be used during these phases of life (4, 5).

Who should be careful with Ashwagandha

Some groups of people should discuss the intake with their doctor in advance. These include Patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid dysfunction, mental disorders and autoimmune diseases.

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Studies / sources marked in italics are not used in the text and are only listed for the sake of completeness.

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