Ashwagandha, also known as withania sominifera, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry or winter cherry, is a nightshade plant with immunosupportive, anti-inflammatory and nootropic properties. It is a staple of Ayurveda, the ancient practice of traditional Indian medicine. Ashwagandha nootropic supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years,
Ashwagandha root has long been used as a restorative agent for women after giving birth because it is believed to enhance the nutritional value of breast milk; however, pregnant women should never take ashwagandha because it can induce a miscarriage.  
Ashwagandha Benefits and Effects
For centuries, the ashwagandha plant has been used for a wide range of medicinal purposes, but recent research has unveiled new potential ashwagandha uses including:
Ashwagandha is capable of enhancing your workout too, whether aerobic or anaerobic. A study found that taking ashwagandha can benefit VO2 max. A reflection of aerobic fitness, the V02 max is the maximum rate of oxygen that an individual can consume during exercise. The greater your VO2 max, the greater your endurance capacity.*
Aerobic exercise like high-intensity weightlifting can also get a boost from ashwagandha. One study found that ashwagandha supplementation led to an improvement in bench press results. Another study found a significant benefit in the strength of quadriceps and back extensor muscles.
Supporting the Immune System
In addition to boosting immune activity in mice, ashwagandha extract increases total red and white blood cell counts in humans.   
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
In human studies, ashwagandha improved stress resistance while decreasing cortisol, the stress hormone that causes muscle loss, wrinkles and cognitive decline.  Ashwagandha has also proven to be an effective mood stabilizer for rats.  It even shows promise for treating obsessive compulsive disorder. 
Fending Off Fat
Ashwagandha root extract may help with weight management by destroying fat cells. 
Ashwagandha naturally inhibits the growth of fungus and certain bacteria such as staph and MRSA.  Ashwagandha has traditionally been used to treat tuberculosis.  In rodent studies, it has cured gonorrhea and salmonella infections.   Ashwagandha even has antiviral properties since it can suppress acute viral hepatitis and herpes simplex type 1.  
Lowering Cancer Risk and Improving Cancer Symptoms
Many cancer patients take ashwagandha for fatigue.  As a radiosensitizer and a chemotherapeutic agent, ashwagandha can inhibit the growth and spread of a number of cancers that affect the breasts, colon, brain, stomach, prostate, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, cervix and skin.           Taking ashwagandha may also protect cells from toxins that contribute to cancer like pesticides, diesel exhaust and heavy metals. 
Protecting the Brain
Ashwagandha promotes the growth of nerves and dendrites, which improves cognitive functioning and neuromuscular coordination.  Therefore, it may be helpful for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even schizophrenia.  Ashwagandha is also used to control seizures.  Additionally, ashwagandha may help prevent memory loss in patients of all ages. 
Promoting Heart Health
On top of lowering blood pressure, ashwagandha reduces cholesterol and prevents arteries from hardening.  It also improves cardiorespiratory endurance in professional athletes.  In rats, ashwagandha has prevented permanent damage related to heart attack and stroke.  
Ashwagandha stabilizes glucose levels, glycated hemoglobin and liver enzymes in rats with diabetes.  Likewise, it can lower blood sugar in diabetic humans.  Taking ashwagandha and shilajit extract together can significantly reduce symptoms of diabetes. 
Alleviating Pain and Fever
In addition to reducing fevers, ashwagandha also has pain relieving properties. 
Reducing Menopausal Symptoms
Women have long used ashwagandha for menopause syndrome because it aids in the regulation of hormone secretion. Consequently, it can help with hot flashes and mood fluctuations.  Another benefit of ashwagandha for women is that it can stimulate menstruation in cases of amenorrhoea. 
Ashwagandha powder has benefits for men as well. For example, it improves sperm quality and boosts testosterone levels in men with fertility issues.   There also appears to be a link between ashwagandha and thyroid functioning, which is vital to reproductive hormone regulation.  Ashwagandha is even used to treat hypogonadism. 
Building Stronger Bones
As a bone building agent, ashwagandha spurs bone development and improves calcium retention.   Rodent studies suggest that it may prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.  
Improving Gut Health
Ashwagandha extract enemas are sometimes prescribed to treat intestinal ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease. It additionally prevents constipation and hemorrhoids. 
Treating Respiratory Illnesses
Ashwagandha has been successfully used as a cough suppressant in guinea pigs.  Two teaspoons of ashwagandha root powder taken three times per day is a popular bronchitis treatment. 
Healing the Skin
Pastes made from boiled ashwagandha leaves have traditionally been used to treat skin wounds as well as scabies, ringworms, leucoderma, leprosy and acne. 
Controlling Certain Genetic Diseases
Case studies indicate that ashwagandha has benefits for patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia and Down’s syndrome. 
Stimulating Muscle Growth
In a study of young male athletes, ashwagandha supplements significantly increased muscle mass and strength when paired with a resistance training program. Alternatively, ashwagandha can be used to treat sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle and strength that comes with old age. 
Preventing Eye Problems
In addition to stopping the formation of cataracts, ashwagandha is often used as a treatment for pink eye.  
How Ashwagandha Works
Chronic stress can destabilize your body’s physiological functions. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means that it restores balance to the neuroendocrine and immune systems.  In addition to treating snake bites and scorpion stings, ashwagandha has been used as an aphrodisiac, a stimulant, a diuretic and an astringent.  Different parts of the plant have different benefits. For example, ashwagandha leaves help reduce fevers while ashwagandha seeds have antiparasitic properties.
Ashwagandha contains various alkaloids, steroidal lactones, carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids that give the plant its medicinal qualities.  Ashwagandha is also rich in iron, which is why many women take it for anemia. 
Most people take 3-6gm of dried ashwagandha root powder, also called “ashwagandha churna,” or 300-500mg of ashwagandha extract daily.  The plant has a distinctly unpleasant spell, so many people prefer ashwagandha capsules; however, fresh ashwagandha powder seems to be the most effective form of the supplement.  You can also find ashwagandha tinctures such as Ashwagandha KSM-66 as well as topical ashwagandha oils. Ashwagandha is non-toxic, so an overdose is unlikely, but adhere to package instructions to avoid diarrhea and abdominal issues. 
Ashwagandha Side Effects
One major potential side effect of ashwagandha is hyperthyroidism, so people with thyroid problems shouldn’t take ashwagandha.  A milder side effect for women is hirsutism, or abnormal facial hair growth.  As mentioned earlier, ashwagandha cannot be taken during pregnancy due to the risk of miscarriage. Since it is a depressant, don’t combine ashwagandha and alcohol or any other sedatives.  Limited research has been done regarding ashwagandha’s interactions with other drugs.
Ashwagandha is a great addition to any nootropic stack, but it is most often taken with other natural supplements like fish oil, multivitamins, choline, caffeine, L-theanine, lion’s mane mushrooms and bacopa monnieri. According to ashwagandha reviews online, the plant works well with other synthetic nootropics intended for anxiety relief such as aniracetam and sulbutiamine.
Ashwagandha’s health benefits are accentuated when it is combined with certain other compounds. For example, taking ashwagandha and aloe vera together may help control blood glucose levels in diabetics.  Ashwagandha has also been successfully paired with diazepam to treat depression in rats.  Combining ashwagandha with Vitamin D facilitates calcium retention and bone calcification.  Taking glucan derived from maitake mushrooms alongside ashwagandha increases the plant’s stress-reducing qualities. 
Ashwagandha is also available in capsules.
Is this extract from the root of the plant?
How long does it take to feel the effects?
According to the majority of reports online and from Powder City staff, most feel Ashwagandha’s effects within ten minutes.
“In the 3-weeks since I began taking Ashwaganda the amount of sustained energy has been truly astounding! And because of this boundless energy my desire to do exercising over long periods of time, has reduced my weight from 251.5 to 243. Two notables. Firstly the sweating. Sitting, doing nothing and it is raining where I am sitting! HA! Secondly when I am susposed to be sleeping? I am awake. For some this would be undesirable. But for me? Refreshing! I used to just want to take naps. That is a gone feature in my life. Burning more calories. Thankyou Powder City for helping to make this possible! YES!– Robert C.
“There are often small variations in color and consistency with herbal sourced products like ashwagandha so I was not surprised that this pouchful was a little lighter color than one I order in spring. Flavor, effect and handling consistency remained identical tho. Shipping as always was excellent with plenty of convenient step-by-step email updates. Powdercity you’ve never let me down, keep up the great work“ Guy G.
“I’ve been taking this product for a couple weeks now, 500 milligrams at night just before I go to bed and I must say it knocks me out. The first time I took it was in the morning right before I went to the gym and I almost turned my car around just to go home and take a nap, granted it was a very good workout out (Im sure it was thanks to my l theanine and my PWO supplement). Other than helping me sleep at night, Its difficult for me to identify any other effect in particular this supplement has. I do however feel great on a daily basis (mental clarity, focus, calmer, better mind muscle connection in the gym) but I know that’s mostly attributed to the L theanine, ALCAR, and alpha gpc im taking. I’ve heard this supplement can take a while to build up in your system but Ill wait and see if I ever notice a discernable difference.“ Nick F.
“I am very pleased with the effects this supplement has. I cycled off for a few weeks after a month of use, and upon getting back on I realized the difference it made was considerable. Most noticeable is the anxiolytic effect. The anti-inflammatory, motivation and focus boost are also there, as well as a relaxing effect with a larger dose. I have stacked this with Bacopa Monnierri and Noopept (with DMAE and Acetyl-L-Carnitine) for several months, and I have been noticeably sharper and more effective during that time. I have also noticed no tolerance issues. Highly recommended.“ Justin