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What Is The Right Dose Of Ashwagandha?

Discover optimal ashwagandha dosing guidelines and recommendations for harnessing this ancient herbal remedy's potential benefits to support stress relief, cognitive function, immune strength, energy, stamina, mood, and overall well-being.

29 Feb 2024 • 9 MIN Beth Candela MA RDN, CLT, LE
What Is The Right Dose Of Ashwagandha?



Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb deeply rooted in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic healing system originating from ancient India. It has been used for thousands of years for its purported health benefits and is considered one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda. Here are some key points regarding its popularity in traditional medicine:


  • Adaptogenic Properties: Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it may help the body adapt to stressors and promote overall well-being. In Ayurvedic tradition, it is often prescribed to enhance vitality, improve endurance, and promote longevity.
  • Rasayana Herb: Within Ayurveda, ashwagandha is classified as a rasayana herb. Rasayana refers to the science of rejuvenation and longevity. Rasayana herbs are believed to promote physical and mental health, improve immunity, and support longevity when used regularly.
  • Nervine Tonic: Ashwagandha is also considered a nervine tonic, which means it is believed to support the nervous system. It is often used to help manage stress, anxiety, and insomnia, and to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
  • Immune Support: In Ayurveda, ashwagandha is also valued for its potential to strengthen the immune system and improve resistance to various infections and diseases.
  • Aphrodisiac Properties: Traditionally, ashwagandha has been used as an aphrodisiac to enhance sexual potency and improve reproductive health in both men and women.
  • Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects: Ayurvedic practitioners have also utilized ashwagandha for its purported anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may contribute to its overall health benefits.


Understanding Ashwagandha


Ashwagandha contains various bioactive compounds that are believed to contribute to these medicinal properties. Some of the key active compounds found in ashwagandha include:


  • Withanolides: Withanolides are a group of naturally occurring steroidal lactones found primarily in the roots of ashwagandha. These compounds are considered the primary bioactive constituents responsible for many of ashwagandha's pharmacological effects. Withanolides exhibit a wide range of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, immunomodulatory, and neuroprotective properties.
  • Alkaloids: Ashwagandha roots also contain alkaloids, including somniferine, somnine, and somniferinine. These alkaloids are known to have sedative and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.
  • Steroidal Lactones: In addition to withanolides, ashwagandha contains other steroidal compounds such as withaferin A and withanone. These compounds have been studied for their potential anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects.
  • Saponins: Ashwagandha contains saponins, which are glycosides with diverse biological activities. Saponins are believed to contribute to ashwagandha's adaptogenic and antioxidant properties.
  • Phenolic Compounds: Ashwagandha also contains phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and tannins, which possess antioxidant properties and may contribute to the herb's overall health benefits.
  • Amino Acids: Ashwagandha contains various amino acids, including tyrosine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan, which are important for neurotransmitter synthesis and may play a role in ashwagandha's effects on mood and cognition.


These active compounds work synergistically to exert ashwagandha's therapeutic effects on various physiological systems, including the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems.


Ashwagandha Dosage Guidelines


Determining the right dose of ashwagandha can vary depending on several factors including age, gender, health status, existing medications, weight and metabolism, individual sensitivity, and the reason for taking it. Individual tolerance and sensitivity to supplements as well as safety considerations and potential side effects are as follows:


Age Sensitivities

  • Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for adults when taken within recommended dosages. However, specific dosages may vary depending on individual factors such as weight, overall health, and the reason for use.

Limited research exists on the safety and efficacy of ashwagandha in children and adolescents. Therefore, it's generally not recommended for use in children without consulting a healthcare provider.


Gender Considerations

  • Men: Ashwagandha has been studied for its potential benefits in improving sperm quality, testosterone levels, and reproductive health in men. Some research suggests it may help improve fertility and libido. 
  • Women: Ashwagandha may offer benefits for women as well. It has been studied for its potential to help manage stress, improve mood, and support hormonal balance, particularly during menopause. Additionally, some research suggests it may have benefits for improving sexual function and fertility in women.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: While ashwagandha has been traditionally used to support fertility and pregnancy in Ayurvedic medicine, there is limited scientific evidence on its safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should consult with a healthcare provider before using ashwagandha. 



  • Ashwagandha may have hormone-modulating effects, so it may interact with medications such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.
  • Ashwagandha could potentially enhance the effects of medications that act on the central nervous system, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or certain antidepressants. This could increase the risk of drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Ashwagandha may lower blood sugar levels, so individuals with diabetes, or those taking medicine for diabetes, should monitor their blood sugar levels closely if using ashwagandha.
  • Ashwagandha may have blood pressure-lowering effects, so it may interact with medications used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). 
  • Ashwagandha's effects on thyroid function may interact with thyroid hormone replacement therapy, affecting thyroid hormone levels and potentially altering the dosage requirements.

In some cases, ashwagandha in higher doses may cause gastrointestinal upset or aggravate digestive disorders such as ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease. Individuals with these conditions should use ashwagandha cautiously and monitor for any adverse effects.


  • Weight and Body Composition: In general, larger individuals may require higher doses of supplements to achieve the same effects as smaller individuals. In addition, body composition, such as muscle mass and body fat percentage, can influence how ashwagandha is distributed and utilized in the body. For example, individuals with higher muscle mass may have different metabolic needs compared to those with higher body fat percentage. Likewise, individuals with higher metabolic rates may process ashwagandha differently, potentially affecting its absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion in the body.
  • Health Conditions: Individuals with underlying health conditions should consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. An individual's stress response and resilience, based on their health conditions, can also impact the perceived effectiveness of ashwagandha supplementation.


Recommended Dosage of Ashwagandha to Meet Your Health Needs


  • General health and well-being: While there isn't a universally agreed-upon dosage, several studies have investigated the effects of ashwagandha supplementation on general health. In general, a daily dosage of ashwagandha root powder ranging from 250 mg to 600 mg per day for 60 days can offer various health benefits, including stress reduction and improvement in overall well-being (1, 2, 3).


  • Managing stress and anxiety: Managing anxiety with ashwagandha supplementation often involves a dosage similar to that recommended for general health. Several research studies investigated the efficacy of ashwagandha root extract in reducing stress and anxiety. Participants were given either 250 mg or 600 mg of standardized ashwagandha extract twice daily for 60 days. Both dosage groups showed significant reductions in anxiety and stress levels when compared to placebo, with no significant differences between the two dosage groups (2, 3).


  • Sleep quality improvement: While ashwagandha is often used for stress reduction and anxiety management, it can indirectly support sleep by promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. Although limited, studies examining the effects of ashwagandha on sleep, including the various stages and patterns of sleep, have shown that when participants were given either 250 mg or 600 mg of ashwagandha extract per day for 60 days, improvements in sleep quality were reported. More research is needed to explore and highlight the effects of ashwagandha on sleep quality and duration. (3, 4)


Clinically Studied Doses of Branded Ashwagandha Supplements


KSM-66® and Sensoril® are two different branded forms of ashwagandha extract. While both supplements are derived from the root of the Withania somnifera plant (ashwagandha), they vary in their composition, extraction methods, and intended applications.


KSM-66® - KSM-66® is specifically standardized to contain a minimum of 5% withanolides, the primary active compounds found in ashwagandha root. It is produced using a unique extraction process that employs green chemistry principles, including solvent-free extraction and a patented drying process. This method is intended to retain the bioactive components of ashwagandha while ensuring high purity and potency. KSM-66® is commonly used for its adaptogenic properties, designed to help the body adapt to stress, anxiety, cognitive function, energy enhancement, and athletic performance. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the effects on stress and anxiety in adults when supplementing with 300 mg KSM-66® ashwagandha twice daily for 60 days found significant reductions in stress and anxiety levels (2). Another study examined the effects of KSM-66® ashwagandha on stress and anxiety in adults under chronic stress. In this study, participants received 250 mg of KSM-66® ashwagandha extract once daily for 60 days. Significant reductions in stress and anxiety levels were observed along with improvements in other health parameters (3). These studies demonstrate the efficacy of KSM-66® ashwagandha at doses of 250 mg to 300 mg per day for improving stress and anxiety levels.


Sensoril®- Sensoril® is standardized to contain specific bioactive compounds, known as withanolide glycosides and oligosaccharides, using a proprietary extraction process that involves a combination of water extraction and alcohol precipitation. This method is designed to preserve the full spectrum of bioactive compounds found in the ashwagandha root. Sensoril® is often marketed for its stress-reducing and mood-enhancing properties. It may be used to support mental and emotional well-being, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigating the effects of Sensoril®,  the participants who received 125 mg of Sensoril® ashwagandha extract twice daily for 60 days exhibited significant reductions in stress and anxiety levels, as well as improvements in overall well-being (5). In another study, participants with a history of chronic stress, who received 250 mg of Sensoril® ashwagandha extract once daily for 60 days, saw significant reductions in stress, anxiety, and improvement in mood (5). These studies demonstrate the efficacy of Sensoril® ashwagandha at doses of 125 mg to 250 mg per day for improving stress and anxiety levels. Supplement formulators, like Healthycell, include Sensoril® ashwagandha to minimize side effects associated with higher doses, to specifically target its ability to reduce stress, enhance mood and address mental and emotional well-being while meeting dosage requirements designed for maintenance. In fact, the Healthycell Calm Mood supplement accomplishes this goal with a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, and other nutrients to maximize effectiveness.


In Summary


Ashwagandha supplements are generally well-tolerated by most people when used appropriately. Regular monitoring of health status and adherence to recommended dosages can help ensure the safe and effective use of ashwagandha over time. Additionally, finding the right dosage of ashwagandha is important to optimize effectiveness and minimize side effects caused by taking too much or combining with other supplements or certain medications. Tailoring the dosage to balance individual needs based on age, weight, underlying health conditions, and genetic makeup, ensures that you're not wasting money on unnecessarily high doses or using insufficient amounts that may not yield the desired results. It is also important to pay attention to how your body responds to ashwagandha supplementation over time. If you experience any adverse effects or changes in health status, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare provider. Ultimately, the decision to take ashwagandha supplements, as with any herbal supplement, should be made based on the recommended personalized dosage guidelines provided on the product label or as advised by a healthcare provider based on your specific health goals and circumstances.



  1. Pratte, M. A., Nanavati, K. B., Young, V., & Morley, C. P. (2019). An alternative treatment for anxiety: A systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 10(4), 254–262.
  2. 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), 255–262.
  3. Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Joshi, K. (2017). Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment with Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 22(1), 96–106.
  4. Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Hood, S. D., & Drummond, P. D. (2019). Efficacy of a Standardized Extract of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on Sleep and Cognitive Function in Healthy Individuals: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Cureus, 11(9), e5797. doi:10.7759/cureus.5797
  5. 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.