How Long Does Ashwagandha Stay In Your System?

In this article, we will explore the effects of ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is a popular herb used in Ayurvedic medicine and is known to help with stress reduction. What are the effects of ashwagandha on our bodies? And how long does ashwagandha stay in our body? Keep reading to find out.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

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Duration of Ashwagandha in the Body

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a type of herb naturally growing in India and Southeast Asia. Although it is a plant used in Ayurvedic medicine, it also has a scientific name: Withania somnifera.

Usually, it is the root of the plant that is known for its therapeutic properties, however, the leaves and flowers can also be utilised [1]

In Ayurvedic medicine has been used for thousands of years for its therapeutic properties especially to reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue and improve energy, ease pain and decrease inflammation [1, 2].

Further use also includes improved sexual desire, pleasure or performance and treatment of insomnia [1, 2].

What are the effects of Ashwagandha on your body?

Ashwagandha is known for its wide range of effects on our bodies. As mentioned above, in Ayurvedic medicine it is mostly used to reduce stress and relieve anxiety-like feelings. 

In fact, a small study in 2012 found that regular doses of ashwagandha may help decrease cortisol levels. Cortisol is also known as the “stress” hormone and lowering its levels helps with reducing stress [2].

Further, it appears that ashwagandha may help with the reduction of pain and inflammation and potentially be effective in threatening arthritis [2]. However, more research needs to be done in order to conclude so. 

The effects of ashwagandha on your body may also include an improvement in sleep quality. This has been studied and a small study found that ashwagandha helps improve mental alertness upon waking as well as sleep quality [2, 3].

Furthermore, some studies suggest that it may also improve athletic performance, such that ashwagandha may help with improving cardio health and recovering more quickly from workouts [2]

A study on rats found that ashwagandha increased swimming time, suggesting an increase in physical working capacity [4].

However, it's important to note that high doses of Ashwagandha can cause side effects such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and in rare cases, liver toxicity [2]. It may also interact with certain medications and may not be safe for individuals with certain health conditions, such as autoimmune or thyroid disorders, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, or liver problems [5].

How long does Ashwagandha stay in your system?

Although there is no specific research on how long ashwagandha stays in our system, we can draw some conclusions from the observed effects of ashwagandha. 

For example, one study showed significant changes in immune cell activation after 96 hours of ashwagandha treatment [6].

Another study showed improvement in the quality of sleep after a few weeks of consistent use of ashwagandha [7].

However, ashwagandha is recommended to be taken 1-3 times per day, which suggests that its effects may last only for several hours at a time [7, 1].

However, the exact duration may be highly dependent on one’s metabolism, the dosage taken, the frequency of its use and the form in which it is consumed. Therefore it may be hard to say exactly how long ashwagandha stays in your system.

Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.