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11 Research-Backed Ashwagandha Benefits For Women
Aug 30, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

11 Research-Backed Ashwagandha Benefits For Women

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 18 min read
11 Research-Backed Ashwagandha Benefits For Women

Ashwagandha, an ancient herb revered in Ayurvedic medicine, holds a treasure trove of benefits specifically for women. Women often seek this powerful adaptogen for its ability to reduce stress, stabilize mood, and improve overall vitality

But that's just the beginning. Ashwagandha is also celebrated for its potential to support hormonal balance, enhance fertility, and provide a much-needed energy boost

In this article, we'll delve into how Ashwagandha can empower your health journey, backed by scientific insights and age-old wisdom. Join us as we explore the remarkable benefits of Ashwagandha and how it can support the health of our mothers and daughters.

1. Stress Reduction

Hey there! If you're feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, Ashwagandha might just be your new best friend, helping you fight physical and mental stress. 

This ancient herb, known as Withania somnifera, is like a soothing balm for your overworked nerves. It's not just an old wives' tale; studies show (1) that Ashwagandha really does lower the stress hormone cortisol (2), helping you shake off that chronic stress and anxiety.

  • Mood Booster: Feeling down? Ashwagandha's got your back. It's like a gentle hug for your brain, easing those depression symptoms and lifting your spirits (3).
  • Chill Pill: Think of it as a natural chill pill, without the prescription. Whether it's work madness or life's little ups and downs, incorporating this herb into your morning routine for anxiety or depression can help bring back that much-needed balance to your mental health.

And get this—Ashwagandha isn't just about lowering cortisol. It goes beyond stress relieving and acting as a natural stress reliever to boost brain function. One of the benefits of Ashwagandha for men and women is fighting off the fog that stress can bring. 

Imagine tackling your day with a clearer mind and a calmer heart. That's the kind of serene vibe Ashwagandha might help you embrace, making every challenge seem a little more manageable.

2. Promotes Hormonal Balance

Promotes Hormonal Balance

Ladies, let's talk hormones! They can be our best friends or our worst enemies, right? 

But here's some good news: Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is like your personal hormone whisperer. If you're riding the menopause rollercoaster or just feeling a bit off, this Ayurvedic gem could be the answer.

  • Menopause Maven: Hot flashes? Mood swings? Ashwagandha's been there, done that. It's like having a wise old aunt who knows how to soothe your menopausal woes (4).
  • Spice Up Your Love Life: And hey, if your sexual spark is feeling a bit dim, Ashwagandha might help fan those flames. It's shown some promising perks in spicing up sexual desire and function (5).

Beyond just easing menopausal symptoms and revving up your love life, Ashwagandha is known for potentially enhancing fertility and even regulating insulin levels. It's like your body's own tune-up herb, working in the background to smooth out those hormonal bumps and keep your system running smoothly. 

3. Improves Fertility

Navigating the path to fertility can be complex and emotional, but Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng or Withania somnifera, might offer a glimmer of hope. 

Renowned in Ayurvedic medicine for its overall health benefits, this ancient medicinal herb has caught the eye of modern science, particularly for its potential to enhance reproductive health in women. 

  • Hormonal Harmony: Ashwagandha's power lies in regulating circulating thyroid hormone concentrations (6), which are crucial for fertility. By potentially normalizing thyroid function and balancing reproductive hormones, it's like giving your body a tune-up for baby-making.
  • Stress Less: Since chronic stress can be a fertility foe in healthy women, reducing stress with Ashwagandha might also improve your chances. It lowers stress hormone cortisol levels, which can otherwise negatively impact fertility and sexual health. This suggests that adding this herb to your morning routine for mental health can boost your ability to conceive.

But here's the exciting part: some placebo-controlled clinical studies (7) suggest that Ashwagandha could lead to significant improvements in various aspects of sexual function, including arousal, lubrication, and overall satisfaction, which are all crucial for a healthy reproductive journey.

4. Enhances Vitality and Energy

Enhances Vitality and Energy

Looking for a natural boost? Ashwagandha might just be the secret to that extra spring in your step. This ancient medicinal herb is celebrated in Ayurvedic medicine for its remarkable ability to enhance vitality and energy, making it a perfect addition to a morning routine for energy.

  • Adaptogenic Strength: Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps your body adapt to physical and mental stress. By mitigating the draining effects of stress and anxiety symptoms, it frees up more energy for you to use throughout your day.
  • Revitalizing Effects: Beyond its stress-relieving properties, Ashwagandha is known for improving cognitive function and reducing fatigue (8). This isn't just about feeling less tired; it's about feeling more alive and engaged.

Research, including randomized controlled trials, suggests that Ashwagandha can significantly improve how energetic and clear-headed people feel. Taking Ashwagandha is not just about suppressing tiredness; it's about promoting an overall sense of well-being and mental health. 

5. Stabilizes Mood

Maintaining a steady mood in the dance of life can sometimes feel like a high-wire act. Here's where Ashwagandha steps in. This ancient herbal supplement has been studied for its impressive ability to stabilize mood and ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety—a perfect addition to a morning routine for depression.

  • Calming the Mind: Ashwagandha excels at reducing physical and mental stress as an adaptogen. It regulates the stress hormone cortisol, which can significantly impact your mood. Ashwagandha helps create a more stable emotional landscape by keeping cortisol in check.
  • Fighting Depression and Anxiety: Numerous placebo-controlled clinical studies (9) have explored Ashwagandha's effect on mental health conditions. Time and again, it's shown promise in reducing depression symptoms and alleviating anxiety symptoms, making it a beacon of hope for many.

But here's the kicker—Ashwagandha isn't just about dulling the blues or taking the edge off anxiety. It's about nurturing a more resilient, more balanced you. Whether you're grappling with chronic stress or just looking for a mental health boost, Ashwagandha root extract or standardized Ashwagandha extract might be worth considering. 

6. Boosts Immunity

Boosts Immunity

In a world where staying healthy is more important than ever, Ashwagandha offers a natural fortress for your immune system. This powerful herb is not just an ancient Ayurvedic medicine; it's a modern-day superhero for your immune health.

  • Immune System Warrior: Ashwagandha enhances the body's immune system (10). It bolsters your defense against pathogens (11), helping you stay resilient in the face of illnesses.
  • Reducing Stress, Boosting Immunity: By lowering stress hormone cortisol levels, Ashwagandha not only calms your mind but also aids your immune system. Less stress means a healthier you, with more resources to fight off invaders.

What's really exciting is that recent placebo-controlled studies (12) and clinical evaluations have started to back up what practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine have known for centuries. Ashwagandha doesn't just give your immune system a helping hand; it supercharges it. 

7. Increases Muscle Strength and Endurance

Are you looking to level up your physical performance? Ashwagandha might be your ticket to increased muscle strength and endurance. 

This isn't just about bulking up; it's about enhancing your body's ability to perform and endure, whether you're an athlete or simply looking to stay active and healthy.

  • Muscle Power: Studies, including randomized controlled trials, have shown that Ashwagandha can significantly improve muscle strength (13). It's not just about the muscles you can see; it's about the strength you feel.
  • Endurance Enhancement: Ashwagandha doesn't stop at strength; it also boosts endurance (14). This means you can lift more, push harder, and sustain your efforts for longer, whether running, swimming, or engaging in any physical activity.

What's particularly exciting is that Ashwagandha achieves this while still providing its renowned benefits in reducing physical and mental stress and improving cognitive function. This holistic approach to well-being means that as you're getting physically stronger, you're also becoming more resilient to stress and sharper mentally.

8. Improves Sleep Quality

Improves Sleep Quality

Tossing and turning at night? Ashwagandha might just be the lullaby you need. This herbal supplement, celebrated for its calming effects, has been turning heads in the sleep science community for its potential to improve sleep quality and combat insomnia.

  • Soothing Slumber: Ashwagandha promotes healthy cortisol levels, the stress hormone that can keep you up at night. Ashwagandha sets the stage for a more peaceful, uninterrupted sleep by keeping this hormone in check.
  • Sleep Science Support: One Placebo-controlled study (15) and ongoing research (16) suggest that Ashwagandha doesn't just help you fall asleep; it enhances the quality of your rest. This means waking up feeling truly refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

It's not just about more hours of sleep; it's about the quality of those hours. Whether you're a busy professional, a stressed student, or anyone in between, Ashwagandha supplements could be your ally in the quest for better rest. 

9. Fights Inflammation

Battling inflammation can feel like an uphill struggle, but Ashwagandha might just be the ally you need. 

Renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties (17), this powerful herb offers a natural approach to reducing pain and inflammation, making it a potential boon for conditions like arthritis (18).

  • Inflammation Fighter: Ashwagandha contains compounds known to fight inflammation at its source. By targeting the pathways that trigger swelling and discomfort, it helps soothe the body's inflammatory response.
  • Pain Relief: Not only does Ashwagandha reduce inflammation, but it also helps alleviate the pain (19) associated with it. Whether it's joint pain from arthritis or general aches and pains, this herb offers a gentle yet effective way to feel better.

The beauty of Ashwagandha lies in its holistic approach to health. Imagine moving through your day with less pain and more ease, thanks to Ashwagandha's natural, soothing power. 

10. Eliminates Damage from Free Radicals

Ashwagandha stands out in the battle against aging and disease with its powerful antioxidant properties (20). This ancient herb is packed with compounds that help protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, those pesky molecules that contribute to aging and many diseases.

  • Cellular Protector: Ashwagandha's antioxidants defend your cells, ensuring your body's systems stay healthy and resilient. By neutralizing free radicals, it helps maintain cellular integrity and reduces the risk of damage.
  • Vitality and Longevity: With regular use, Ashwagandha can contribute to overall vitality and longevity. It's not just about a momentary boost; it's about supporting a longer, healthier life.

The beauty of Ashwagandha's antioxidant effects is in their breadth. They help you maintain a healthy, youthful body—think aging like fine wine; years move, but your beauty remains unmoved. 

11. Improves Skin Health

Improves Skin Health

Who doesn't like beautiful, youthful skin? Ashwagandha has potential benefits for skin health due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hormone-balancing properties. Here's how it might help:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Ashwagandha can help reduce inflammation in the body, which may reduce skin conditions like acne or eczema that are linked to inflammation.
  • Antioxidant Protection: Its antioxidants can help protect the skin from free radical damage, reducing signs of aging and improving overall skin health.
  • Stress Reduction: Ashwagandha may help decrease stress-related skin issues like breakouts or dullness by reducing stress and cortisol levels.
  • Hormonal Balance: Since it can influence hormone levels, Ashwagandha might help balance hormones that, when imbalanced, can lead to acne or oily skin.

So, this ancient herb isn't just old; it's gold, especially for your skin. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are like a one-two punch against skin woes. 

Inflammation? Ashwagandha's on it, helping calm down irritations and redness. And those antioxidants protect your skin from aging and environmental damage like little guardians.

FAQS About Ashwagandha Benefits For Women

When Should Women Take Ashwagandha?

Women considering the benefits of Ashwagandha should tailor their intake to their health needs and daily routines. For stress relief, the morning or early afternoon is ideal to provide calm throughout the day, while evening doses can improve sleep quality. 

Those seeking hormonal balance should maintain consistent daily intake. If enhancing physical performance, taking it before workouts might be beneficial. The key is to listen to your body and adjust as needed for the best results.

Are There Any Potential Side Effects Or Interactions Associated With Ashwagandha For Women?

While Ashwagandha is generally considered safe, women should be aware of potential side effects and interactions. It may affect hormone levels, so those with thyroid disorders or hormone-sensitive conditions should be cautious. 

Pregnant or breastfeeding women are typically advised to avoid it due to a lack of safety data. Ashwagandha can interact with certain medications, including those for blood pressure, diabetes, and sedatives, potentially altering their effects. 

Some might experience gastrointestinal issues or increased drowsiness, especially when combined with other sedatives. Those with autoimmune conditions should also proceed cautiously, as it can stimulate the immune system. 

Can Ashwagandha Change Your Period?

Ashwagandha may influence menstrual cycles because it affects the endocrine system, which regulates hormones. Some women report changes in their cycle timing or flow after taking the herb. 

This could be due to Ashwagandha's potential impact on stress hormones like cortisol and possibly reproductive hormones, which can affect the menstrual cycle's regularity and characteristics. 

Key Takeaways

In the realm of natural wellness, Ashwagandha stands tall as a beacon of hope and healing. From bolstering your immune system to enhancing your sleep, from stabilizing your mood to boosting your physical prowess, this ancient herb offers a symphony of benefits tuned to the modern woman's needs. Whether you're battling the stresses of daily life or seeking a natural ally for your health journey, Ashwagandha could be your herbal hero.

Remember, though, with great power comes great responsibility. Navigating the world of supplements means doing so with care and knowledge, especially when it comes to understanding your unique body and its needs. Consult with healthcare professionals, listen to your body, and approach each step with mindfulness.

Now, we turn the page to you. Have you experienced the wonders of Ashwagandha? Are you curious to try it out? Or do you have insights and stories of your own? Dive into the comments below and join the conversation. Share your thoughts, experiences, and questions. 

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment

References

  1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)—Current Research on the Health-Promoting Activities: A Narrative Review, (1), https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4923/15/4/1057
  2. An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract, (2), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6750292/
  3. Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study, (3), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6979308/
  4. Effect of an ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) root extract on climacteric symptoms in women during perimenopause: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, (4), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34553463/
  5. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract for Improvement of Sexual Health in Healthy Women: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study, (5), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36447681/
  6. Can Ashwagandha Benefit the Endocrine System?-A Review, (6), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38003702/
  7. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Sexual Function in Women: A Pilot Study, (7), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609357/
  8. Exploring the efficacy and safety of a novel standardized ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera) root extract (Witholytin®) in adults experiencing high stress and fatigue in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, (8), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37740662/
  9. Effects of a standardized extract of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on depression and anxiety symptoms in persons with schizophrenia participating in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, (9), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31046033/
  10. Immunomodulatory Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) Extract-A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial with an Open Label Extension on Healthy Participants, (10), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34441940/
  11. The immunomodulatory role of withania somnifera (L.) dunal in inflammatory diseases, (11), https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2023.1084757/full
  12. Adaptogenic and Immunomodulatory Activity of Ashwagandha Root Extract: An Experimental Study in an Equine Model, (12), https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.541112/full
  13. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial, (13), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4658772/
  14. The effect of Ashwagandha treatment in muscle strength [a bench press 1 RM, b leg extension 1RM] and muscle size in c thigh, d arm and e Chest, (14), https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-effect-of-Ashwagandha-treatment-in-muscle-strength-a-bench-press-1-RM-b-leg_fig3_284729503
  15. Clinical evaluation of the pharmacological impact of ashwagandha root extract on sleep in healthy volunteers and insomnia patients: A double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study, (15), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32818573/
  16. Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis, (16), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8462692/
  17.  Ashwagandha root extract exerts antiinflammatory effects in HaCaT cells by inhibiting the MAPK/NFκB pathways and by regulating cytokines, (17), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29620265/
  18. An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda, (18), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
  19. A randomized, double blind placebo controlled study of efficacy and tolerability of Withaina somnifera extracts in knee joint pain, (19), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5052364/
  20. Antioxidant activity and apoptotic induction as mechanisms of action of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) against a hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, (20), https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0300060517752022
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