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Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): Dosage, Effect, Side Effects

Withania somnifera Ashwagandha
The effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagndha) depends not only on the dosage but also on the content of Withanolides

Withania somnifera is used to strengthen resilience, to combat stress and to support emotional balance. The effect and recommended dosage of Withania somnifera depend on the value-determining substances, mainly withanolides. Side effects of Withania somnifera are not observed when taking the recommended amounts.

But what are the differences between the Withania preparations on offer?

Withania somnifera: Central restorative remedy of Ayurvedic Medicine

Also known as aswagandha, sleeping berry, winter cherry or Indian ginseng, the plant plays an important role in Ayurvedic medicineas a powerful restorer.

The plant is attributed to sattial nature, it thus brings feelings into balance,brings calm and ensures the clarity of the mind. According to a Western concept, Withania somnifera is an adaptogen. These are herbal active ingredients that increase the resistance of the organism, improve stress tolerance and promote recovery.

Withania extract or dried plant parts?

Descriptions and dose recommendations for Withania somnifera preparations often differ greatly. Not for all products available it is immediately clear whether they are extracts from Withania somnifera (Ashwgandha) or just dried and powdered plant parts.

Originally, all plant parts of Withania somnifera were used. Mostly they were administered as teas. However, the content of active ingredients is clearly subject to strong fluctuations. Today, dried root of Withania somnifera is still offered.

Although this is generally suitable for the production of a corresponding tea, it is hardly possible to dose here, since the active ingredient content can vary greatly from plant to plant and, in addition to the age of the plant, also depends on the growing conditions and the storage after harvesting. The same applies to the powder of grated root that is offered occasionally.

In modern high-quality Withania preparations, extracts from the root are used. Substances from the group of withanolide are now considered to be mainly responsible for the effect of the plant. Therefore, Withania somnifera extracts are standardized to the content of withanolides. This ensures uniform quality and effectiveness of the products. For these reasons, extracts are preferable to the dried parts of plants.

Also the plain quantity of Withania extract is not very meaningful

Contents for the individual products are often verying. The amounts range from a few mg in some mixed preparations to several hundred mg in a single capsule. For the very low contents of Withania extract in some mixed preparations, the specific efficacy may be doubted.

However, products with high mg values per capsule or daily dose do not have to be optimally effective, as extracts with a low concentration of active ingredients may be used, especially for cheap products. Such a preparation then contains only small amounts of the value-determining active ingredients despite high mg specifications for the extract.

Content of withanolides is substantial

As already mentioned, according to current knowledge mainly ingredients from the group of Withanolide, in particular Withaferin A are responsible for the effect of Withania somnifera.

High-quality Withania extracts are standardized to a content of 1.5% to 2.5% Withanolide. By specifying the content of withanolides, the preparations can then be compared with each other. In the absence of the relevant information on a product, a low content of active ingredients and often also a questionable quality of the product may be assumed.

Dosage of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)

The effect of Withania somnifera is thus determined by the content of Withanolides. Therefore, it is also clear that the effective daily dose depends on the quality of the extract used.

For a high-quality Withania extract with 1.5% withanolides, the dose recommendation is approximately 300 mg per day. This corresponds to 2 capsules in the case of our Stressless product.

The specified amount refers to the use over a longer periodof time. Typically, Withania somnifera is taken continuously for several months as it needs some time to unfold its full effect.

Therefore, expect a start-up time of one to two weekswhen taking the preparation until you benefit fully from the effect.

The above values for the dosage of Withania somnifera are cirka values derived from experience. If necessary, the dosage can also be significantly increased, provided that the extract is well tolerated. For example, with above-average body weight, a correspondingly adjusted dosage may be necessary.

Side Effects of Withania somnifera

When taking recommended amounts, no side effects of Withania somnifera are observed.


Dosage and effect of Withania somnifera depend on the quality of the extract used. No side effects are expected for dosages within the specified limits.

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