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How Long Does It Take for Ashwagandha to Work?

by Jason | June 3, 2024

Ashwagandha is far from a quick solution to your problems. It’s a long, drawn out journey. Many people start to feel the effects of ashwagandha after around 4 to 12 weeks

No matter what issues you may be dealing with, it’s vital to understand that ashwagandha is a process that takes a long time to take effect. 

You may have heard some buzz about the herb ashwagandha. There have been claims that this herb can lead to less stress, better sleep, and even give you some extra energy when it comes to workouts and such.

What Exactly Is Ashwagandha, Anyway?

Ashwagandha is a small plant that supports your body’s response to stress. It has been used as a form of traditional medicine for thousands of years and many people claim it to be an effective method for reducing stress and improving sleep.

The way it is used is that people use extracts or powder from the roots or leaves of the plant to treat conditions. In addition to helping with sleep, there have been claims that the plant also aids in improving anxiety or fertility problems

How to Take Ashwagandha: How It Impacts Your Health

Now that you understand what ashwagandha is, let’s dive into the different ways to use the plant. Ashwagandha can be taken in many forms, such as teas, gummies, powders, etc. The following is some key information to keep in mind before using it:

  1. What Are You Using It For? Ashwagandha has been associated with a variety of health benefits. However, the effectiveness can vary depending on what you’re using it for. Keep in mind that some effects are more immediate than others.
  2. How Much to Take? Taking the right dosage, especially depending on the way you’re taking it, has an impact on the effectiveness and the speed.
  3. How Do You Plan to Take It? Different forms of ashwagandha (capsules, powder, etc.) may be absorbed by your body at different rates. Additionally, knowing the best time to take ashwagandha, whether in the morning or at night, can influence its effectiveness.
  4. Your Unique Body Type:  Everyone’s body is different. How fast or slowly your body responds to ashwagandha will most likely vary compared to others.

To set realistic expectations and help you track your progress, we’ve put together this handy timeline. It outlines when you might start noticing changes for various uses of ashwagandha, based on current research and anecdotal evidence.

Because of varying body types, your experience may be different. The most important thing is to be patient, consistent, and most importantly, listen to what your body is telling you.

BenefitWhen You Might Notice ChangesWhat the Research Suggests
Stress and Anxiety ReductionDays to a week (subtle effects)Significant reduction after 4-8 weeks of consistent use
Studies show decreased perceived stress and cortisol levels
Improved SleepDays to a couple of weeksResearch suggests improved sleep quality and potential help with insomnia
May work by reducing cortisol levels
Increased Energy and EnduranceDays (subtle boost)More significant improvements in stamina and endurance may take a few weeks
Studies show enhanced exercise performance, increased muscle strength and mass
Cognitive FunctionA few weeks to monthsEarly research suggests potential improvements in memory, attention, and reaction time
Hormonal Balance (Women)3 weeks to a few monthsMay help regulate thyroid hormones and alleviate menopause symptoms
Testosterone Levels A few weeks to monthsSome studies indicate increased testosterone levels and improved fertility in men
Immunity BoostWeeks to monthsEmerging research suggests potential for strengthening the immune system
Blood Sugar ControlA few weeks to monthsResearch shows that there may be potential to reduce blood sugar levels

But wait! Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you hanging with vague generalities. Let’s take a closer look at the typical timelines for specific uses of ashwagandha:

Stress and Anxiety: Finding Your Chill

Typical Timeline: You might start feeling calmer and more centered within a few days to a week. However, for a more noticeable reduction in stress and anxiety, you might need to be patient for a few weeks (4-8 weeks) of consistent use.

What the Scientists Say: Multiple studies have shown that ashwagandha can reduce stress and anxiety levels significantly. In one study, people who took 250mg or 600mg of ashwagandha extract daily for 8 weeks experienced a noticeable decrease in perceived stress and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels compared to those who took a placebo. 

Getting More Restful Sleep

Typical Timeline: The timeline for getting more sleep with ashwagandha seems to vary. Some reports say that it only takes a few days but others have reportedly said it takes a few weeks before noticing a difference. 

What the Science Says: Research on ashwagandha and sleep is still emerging, but some studies suggest that it can improve sleep quality and help with insomnia. Ashwagandha may work by reducing cortisol levels, which can interfere with sleep when elevated.

Energy and Endurance: Getting A Boost

Typical Timeline: You might notice a subtle increase in energy within a few days, but more significant improvements in stamina and endurance might take a few weeks of regular use.

What the Science Says: Some studies have found that ashwagandha can improve energy, enhance energy performance and increase muscle strength and mass. It’s thought to do this by improving the body’s stress response and reducing exercise-induced muscle damage.

Cognitive Function

Typical Timeline: A few weeks to a few months. Initially, you might experience subtle shifts – maybe your words flow a bit easier in conversations or you find yourself breezing through tasks that used to feel like a slog. These slight changes can potentially be something more significant in terms of improved memory function, focus, and mental clarity. Some examples include the potential to recall things more easily or stay focused during longer periods of time. 

What the Science Says: Early research suggests that ashwagandha may have a positive impact on cognitive function, potentially improving memory, attention, and reaction time. These effects may take some time to become noticeable, but with consistent use, you might find yourself thinking more clearly and feeling more mentally sharp. Think of it as dusting off those cobwebs in your brain attic, revealing a clearer, more organized space.

Hormonal Balance

Typical Timeline: 3 weeks to a few months. For those navigating the hormonal rollercoaster of menopause, relief might not be immediate. Some women report feeling calmer after a few weeks. Over time, there have been reports of women experiencing less hot flashes and less intense mood swings. 

What the Scientists are Saying: Ashwagandha has been shown to help the body by regulating thyroid hormones and alleviating some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings. It’s like ashwagandha is whispering sweet nothings to your hormones, helping them find their rhythm. While the timeline can vary, some women report feeling more balanced within a few weeks, while others might experience gradual improvement over several months.

Testosterone Levels 

Typical Timeline: Ashwagandha’s impact on testosterone levels can take a few weeks to months. Initially, you might experience a subtle uptick in energy levels or a renewed interest in physical activity. Some men report feeling a boost in libido within the first few weeks. Over time, you might notice improvements in muscle mass and strength, or perhaps a little extra pep in your step. It’s like ashwagandha is giving your inner engine a gentle tune-up.

What the Science Says: It’s possible for ashwagandha to provide a natural increase in your testosterone levels. This can lead to higher energy, a stronger libido, and more strength and muscle mass. The time it takes for this to take effect varies, which can range from a few weeks to multiple months. 

Immunity Boost

Typical Timeline: Weeks to months. Strengthening your immune system is a gradual process. Studies have reported that there was a noticeable increase in immunity after 30 days. However, as with all applications of ashwagandha, this timeline varies based on the person’s body. 

What the Science Says: Emerging research suggests that ashwagandha may help strengthen your immune system, making you less susceptible to things such as the common cold. Because building a stronger immune system takes time, it can be difficult to determine its impact, but recent studies do illustrate that there are potentially some benefits to taking ashwagandha for your immune system. 

Blood Sugar Control

Typical Timeline: A few weeks to a few months. Managing blood sugar levels is a marathon, not a sprint. With consistent use of ashwagandha, you might notice subtle shifts in your energy levels and cravings. Over time, these subtle shifts could translate into more stable blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity. It’s like ashwagandha is gently nudging your body back into balance, supporting its natural ability to regulate blood sugar.

What Scientists are Saying: According to Forbes, studies show that there are some promising results when it comes to the overall impact of ashwagandha on blood sugar levels and improving one’s sensitivity to insulin. The timeline for these health improvements does vary, but they do appear to be positive after a few months. 

Tips for Trying Ashwagandha

If you would like to take Ashwagandha to improve your health, consider the following: 

Trust Your Gut: If you feel better after taking ashwagandha for a few weeks, it may be working. However, if you don’t notice any positive improvements, consider stopping or speaking with a healthcare professional. 

Bonus Tip: If you’re new to ashwagandha, consider starting with a combination supplement that includes other adaptogens like rhodiola or holy basil. These herbs can work synergistically with ashwagandha to enhance its benefits and provide a more well-rounded approach to stress reduction and overall wellness.

How to Tell If Ashwagandha is Working Effectively 

While you will have to wait a few weeks to see if Ashwagandha is working as intended, there are a few things you can look out for to tell whether it’s having a positive impact on your body:

Subtle Changes In:

Long-Term Transformations:

Tracking Your Progress

The best way to gauge if ashwagandha is working its magic is to pay close attention to your body and mind. Keep a journal to track your mood, sleep patterns, energy levels, and any other relevant changes. This can help you identify patterns and determine if ashwagandha is having a positive impact.

Remember, these are just some of the potential signs that ashwagandha is working for you. Everyone’s experience is unique, so it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to any subtle or significant changes you notice. And as always, if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.