Ashwagandha - The most important facts - Effect and use of Withania Somnifera, the Ayurveda medicinal root

Ashwagandha - Die wichtigsten Fakten - Wirkung und Einsatz der Withania Somnifera, der Ayurveda Heilwurzel

The medicinal plant is unknown for a long time Ayurveda slowly gaining ground in Europe. If you haven't heard of Ashwagandha yet, you can find out more in this article. It is not only in Ayurveda that one benefits from the many properties of this unique plant.

Where does Ashwagandha come from

Ashwagandha (lat. Withania somnifera) is a plant from the nightshade family that mainly grows in India. It has been used there for more than 2000 years in natural medicine Ayurveda. Old Indian writings report on their use and avoidable healing power. Often it is also called Indian ginseng, Winterkirsche or commonly referred to as all sleeping berries. Dhe term "somnifera" comes from Latin and means something like "bringing sleep" (somnus = sleep, ferre = to bring), going back to its traditional use as a calming plant.

Ashwagandha shrubs grow to about a meter tall and bear red fruit. However, only the leaves and mainly the roots of the plant are used. There are many in it natural plant substances or also called adaptogens.

Ashwaganda and its promising effects through its adaptogenic plant compounds

Like many plants, ashwagandha is rich in phytochemicals. It is precisely these that give Ashwagandha its positive properties. There is also talk of adaptogens, these are biologically active substances that are found in certain plants and fungi and make them adaptable.

Adaptogenic plants are mostly used in traditional medicine. Although they are currently experiencing a real health craze, as already mentioned, these plants are not new.

In Ayurveda, Withania somnifera is mainly used for:

  • insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • anxiety
  • Stress
  • support of vitality

Withania somnifera Wurzel im Beutel

Current studies on the mode of action of Withania somnifera

Like many plants, Ashwagandha has been known for its beneficial effects since ancient times. However, as with much of the lore of the past, scientists have only recently begun to study its beneficial properties.

There are still no further clinical studies to be able to make general health-related statements. In this overview you will find the summary of some of these studies.

Study 1: An alternative treatment for anxiety, a systematic review of human trial results

This is a review and comparison of 5 studies regarding the impact of ashwagandha on people with anxiety. Here, out of 62 studies, 5 were selected which were closest to the topic Ashwagandha in regards to anxiety. The studies were from 2008-2014 and included different time periods, intake recommendations, dosages and Ashwagandha Extracts.

The review shows a limited number of human clinical trials testing Withania somnifera as a treatment for anxiety and stress. A majority of the studies concluded with a significant improvement in symptoms for the ashwagandha group compared to a variety of control groups. Despite the positive conclusion, additional research is being done with larger groups of participants.

Study 2: An active component of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) leaves is responsible for sleep induction

This study includes 2 active components of Ashwagandha, the most well-known withanolides and the triethylene glycol. The latter was able to significantly improve sleep behavior in the study on mice. The study concludes that the results clearly show that Triethylene Glycol is an active sleep-promoting component of ashwagandha and could potentially be useful in the therapy of sleep disorders.

Study 3: Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract for Insomnia and Anxiety. (double blind, randomized placebo)

This is a very meaningful study with 60 participants. The study population included people between the ages of 18 and 60 years. The participants were selected from several clinics. The participants received 2x daily for 10 weeks (300 mg) Ashwagandha extract with a withanolide content of >5%.

The study concluded that ashwagandha root extract has sleep-promoting potential and is also well tolerated. It improves sleep quality and sleep onset latency in patients with insomnia.

Study 4: Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults (Double-Blind, Randomized Placebo)

In this eight-week and very meaningful randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the stress-relieving effect of ashwagandha root extract was examined in stressed healthy adults. Depending on the group, the participants received 250mg or 600mg of the extract daily in capsule form.

Cortisol (stress hormone) levels and sleep quality were determined at regular intervals. The results of this study suggest that eight weeks of ashwagandha root extract supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in stress levels among participants, thereby improving overall quality of life. 

One step further: "Beyond Ashwagandha" and its use in everyday life

Based on the studies and thousands of years of tradition from Ayurveda medicine, the Withania somnifera can be a good support for various ailments. It should be noted that further studies are needed to make specific health claims.

In the studies, it was usually taken between 6 and 10 weeks at a dosage of 250mg-600mg (2x300mg) in the form of an Ashwagandha extract in capsule form.

Reduced stress levels and good sleep quality are generally associated with increased performance and well-being.

sleep quality: You can only perform well in everyday life if you have a balanced and peaceful sleep. Sleep  is also an extremely active state for our body, a number of vital metabolic processes take place here every night.

Stress: Many of us are exposed to a number of stress factors in everyday life, it arises oxidativer Stress. This has a negative effect on our mental and physical condition. Stress causes cortisol to rise and is also an energy drain. 

Important notes on the winter cherry

Even if the Ashwagandha is a promising plant, you should use it with care. Stick to the specifications and only use high-quality products. We use a 250mg high-quality extract with 5% withanolides in Beyond Recovery

The plant also contains intoxicating substances. Anyone who has not yet had any experience with Ashwagandha should not experiment on their own, but should be informed about the correct dosage and intake.

As mentioned, a high-quality dietary supplement product should have a high content of withanolides. Also should no additives or other chemical additives.

Conclusion on Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a promising plant, especially the roots of which are rich in important plant compounds and adaptogens.

As a dietary supplement, you can find Ashwagandha along with other important nutrients in our Beyond Recovery receive.


[1] Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on VO2max: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

[2] Triethylene glycol, an active component of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) leaves, is responsible for sleep induction

[3] Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia and Anxiety: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study

[4] Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study