Ashwagandha UK benefits and side effects

Ashwagandha UK: Everything you need to know about the benefits and side effects of Withania somnifera

22nd February 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

Thinking of adding ashwagandha UK to your beauty or health routine? Find out what it is, what it does, and if it’s safe to use 

There’s been a huge surge in interest in recent years around an ancient medicinal herb called ashwagandha.

Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, this so-called botanical marvel – which is also known as Withania somnifera, Vitania sluggard, Indian Ginseng, and Indian Winter Cherry – has captured the attention of health enthusiasts and researchers alike for its purported health benefits and adaptogenic properties.

As a result, a number of brands have jumped on this research to sell products that promise to harness these properties and benefits. But is it too good to be true?

In this article we look at the science behind ashwagandha, what to look out for, and what products are available in the UK.

Ashwagandha UK


Ashwagandha largely originates from the Indian subcontinent – hence its Indian Winter Cherry and Indian Ginseng monikers – and is a small shrub that’s reportedly been used for 3,000 years to solve all sorts of medical conditions.

It’s been used as an aphrodisiac, narcotic, tonic, diuretic, and stimulant, and for centuries, its roots and berries have been used to “enhance vitality”.

It gets its name from the Sanskrit for “horse” – with claims that people taking it have the strength of a horse – and “smell” due to its aroma.

What Does Ashwagandha Do?

There is a growing number of studies that show Ashwagandha has a wide range of potential health benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to boosting your mood and cognitive function.

It’s even been shown to improve sleep quality and this adaptogenic herb is believed to support overall wellbeing.

Additionally, ashwagandha is thought to possess antioxidant properties, which may help combat oxidative stress. This can have an impact on your skin, hair, and more.

What is Ashwagandha Good For?

Ashwagandha is valued for its adaptogenic properties, which are believed to help the body cope with stress and promote resilience.

It has been studied for its potential role in supporting mental health, boosting immune function, and improving physical performance.

Additionally, ashwagandha is good for managing conditions such as insomnia, inflammation, and hormonal imbalances.

FURTHER READING: How your skin and hair changes at every stage of your menstrual cycle – and what to do about it

Is Ashwagandha Safe?

Ashwagandha UK is generally considered safe for most people when used as recommended.

However, like any supplement or herbal remedy, it may cause side effects in some people, particularly if taken in high doses or with certain medications.

Common side effects have been shown to include stomach problems and drowsiness (which kind of makes sense if it helps with insomnia and sleep quality).

As with any new supplement or skincare product, seek advice before using ashwagandha, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

When to Take Ashwagandha?

When to take ashwagandha, especially if you’re taking it as a supplement, depends on the product and your individual needs, as well as what you’re taking with it.

Some products suggest taking it in the morning. Some people prefer taking it in the morning to kickstart their day and enhance energy levels, while others find it beneficial to take it in the evening to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

Always read the label and stick to the recommended dose.

How Much Ashwagandha Per Day?

Speaking of the recommended dose, the optimal dosage of ashwagandha depends on a number of factors, including health goals and needs, body weight, and how healthy you are generally.

Typically, supplement doses range from 300 mg to 600 mg per day, taken either in capsule or powder form. Again, always read the label and don’t exceed the recommended dosage of any supplement without prior medical advice.

FURTHER READING: The truth about beauty supplements: Do they work and which ones should you take?

How Long Does Ashwagandha UK Take to Work?

Again, this varies. The time it takes for the effects of ashwagandha to kick in is different for different people. It also depends on the dosage, frequency of use, type of supplement, and more.

Some people may see improvements in mood, energy levels, or sleep quality quite quickly, while others might not see changes for a while. The key is to be consistent and patient.

Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone?

Ashwagandha UK has garnered attention for its potential role in enhancing male reproductive health and testosterone levels. Some research suggests ashwagandha may lead to modest increases in testosterone levels and improvements in sperm quality.

However, further studies are needed to confirm these findings and find out why these benefits happen.

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