When Should You Take Ashwagandha?

Jul 07, 2020

by Carolyn Meers

Right now, everyone is all about Ashwagandha. The ancient herb is having a trending moment, with Ashwagandha sprouting up on ingredient lists for everything from kombucha to lotions and shampoos. So, what exactly can this herb do and when should you be working it into your daily routine?

For starters, Ashwagandha can support healthy sleep habits. The herb contains triethylene glycol, which helps us fall asleep. A 2019 study also found that it improves sleep quality — so, if a better snooze sesh is what you seek, the FOCL Night Wellness Stack fortified with Ashwagandha, Valerian Root and premium hemp CBD could be a helpful addition to your nighttime routine

Here, we spotlight some key facts about Ashwagandha, how it can improve your well-being and when to work it into your regimen.  


What is Ashwagandha?

Before we dive into the right time of day to take Ashwagandha, it’s important to understand the history of the powerhouse herb. 

For more than 3,000 years Ashwagandha — also known by its botanical name, Withania somnifera — has been used in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. The plant is native to North Africa and India (where it is known as Indian ginseng). While its fruit is routinely harvested, its most potent benefits are in its roots. 

Ashwagandha is categorized as an adaptogenic herb because it has been proven to reduce the negative impacts stress has on the body. Which is among the reasons why it can be a powerful addition to your relaxation routine. 


Do I Take Ashwagandha in the Morning or at Night?

Because this multifaceted herb has numerous benefits for mind and body, it can be taken morning or night — but, Ashwagandha’s potent relaxation and sleep-enhancing benefits make it perfect for consuming before bed (enter FOCL Night). Here’s some essential info: 


How Quickly Will Ashwagandha Work? 

While effects can vary person to person and on the dosage, taking Ashwagandha in capsule form at least a half hour before bedtime should allow the herb time to work its way through your system and deliver its relaxation benefits. 


How Does Ashwagandha Compare to Melatonin? 

Melatonin is not an herb, but a hormone that our bodies naturally produce to regulate our sleep cycle. Unlike Ashwagandha, most melatonin on the market is synthetic — so many prefer it as a natural alternative to melatonin. Melatonin produces side effects that can include dependency and a feeling of grogginess the morning after — neither of these effects have been widely reported in those who take Ashwagandha. 


Are There Other Benefits to Taking Ashwagandha?

In addition to supporting better sleep, incorporating Ashwagandha into your daily wellness routine can deliver a number of different benefits. While you should always check with your doctor before adding a new vitamin or herb to your regimen, here are a few frequently reported perks: 


  • Stress Reduction: The herb has been found to provide a marked mood boost and can help reduce cortisol levels (also known as the “stress hormone”) for those who take it consistently.
  • Improved Memory and Brain Function: A study from 2014 found that users experienced significant improvements in their reaction time, recall and task performance. This has led many to classify Ashwagandha as a natural nootropic.
  • Reduced Cholesterol: Consistently taking Ashwagandha has been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease elevated triglyceride levels that can contribute to heart disease. 

  • For more tips on how to decompress before lights out, check out 4 Ways to Chill Out at the End of the Day on the FOCL blog. Sweet dreams! 


    Carolyn Meers is an editor and copywriter based in Los Angeles. She has more than a decade of experience in the luxury lifestyle realm — specializing in health and wellness and home design — and has contributed to publications including CSQ, C Magazine, Robb Report, 805 Living and The Knot. 


    Sources:

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

    Effect of Standardized Aqueous Extract of Withania Somnifera on Tests of Cognitive and Psychomotor Performance in Healthy Human Participants

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

     

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