Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogenic herb offering numerous benefits for women’s well-being. It can help promote a sense of calm while enhancing energy, helping you maintain balance with a clear mind and positive outlook.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng and winter cherry, is an Ayurvedic herb with diverse therapeutic properties and health benefits.

It originated in India and thrives in dry, hot climates, including northern Africa and the Mediterranean.

Typically, the root of the ashwagandha plant undergoes drying and grinding to form a powder, making it suitable for beverages. It’s also available in capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts.

While people have used it for thousands of years, modern research is only beginning to uncover its potential. Smaller human studies and test-tube studies show promise.

However, larger clinical trials are needed to confirm these benefits.

Ashwagandha’s ability to balance hormones can be particularly beneficial for women’s health, impacting aspects like the menstrual cycle, reproduction, and menopause.

2019 research suggests ashwagandha impacts the endocrine system, which governs mood, stress responses, and reproduction. This influence can help with hormonal imbalances, including anxiety, depression, and sleep issues.

Ashwagandha has a beneficial effect on key factors that influence your menstrual cycle, such as stress, inflammation, and hormonal fluctuations.

It helps regulate your cycle by balancing reproductive hormones like serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and gonadotropin hormones. This balance may also be associated with a better balance of the stress hormone cortisol.

Conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often contribute to irregular menstrual cycles. Ashwagandha’s phytoestrogens may help restore balance and aid in cycle regulation.

By reducing cortisol levels, ashwagandha can help prevent elevated stress, which can exacerbate premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.

It may also be useful for soothing cramps, reducing fatigue, and enhancing sleep quality.

Ashwagandha’s mood-boosting potential can help cultivate calmness by alleviating anxiety, depression, and irritability. Its anti-inflammatory effects may reduce fluid retention, breast tenderness, and low back pain.

Ashwagandha has aphrodisiac qualities that may enhance libido and overall sexual wellness. This effect may be partially due to its potential to uplift mood and reduce stress.

A 2023 review in healthy women found that consuming ashwagandha root extract positively impacts sexual function.

In comparison to a placebo, taking ashwagandha significantly increased lubrication, orgasm, and sexual arousal scores. Researchers also noted a rise in the frequency of favorable sexual encounters.

Results of a 2022 study indicate that ashwagandha may enhance sexual health in hormonally balanced women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

Compared to the placebo group, women who took ashwagandha significantly improved their scores on the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS) scores.

The researchers also found that sexually active women were more likely to have quality sleep, suggesting that improving sleep quality might help enhance sexual function.

In the above studies, women took 300 milligrams (mg) of ashwagandha root extract twice daily for 8 weeks.

Ashwagandha positively impacts fertility by regulating hormone levels, optimizing ovarian function, and enhancing overall well-being. Its adaptogenic properties may help your body deal with stress and maintain balance.

According to a 2021 review, the isoflavones and flavonoids in ashwagandha can mimic estrogen activity, thereby supporting fertility.

Furthermore, ashwagandha’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help treat uterine infections and irregular vaginal discharge, helping promote a healthy reproductive environment.

A potential benefit of ashwagandha is its ability to regulate hormone levels and alleviate symptoms of menopause.

A 2021 study in women experiencing perimenopause found that, compared to a placebo, taking ashwagandha root extract significantly enhanced the quality of life associated with menopause and reduced physical, psychological, and urogenital symptoms.

Ashwagandha consumption increased serum estradiol and significantly decreased serum FSH and LH. However, there was no significant effect on serum testosterone levels.

The women in this study took 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily for 8 weeks.

Ashwagandha has the potential to balance your body and mind, making it a valuable addition to your wellness toolkit, alongside therapies, lifestyle adjustments, and other herbal remedies.

The effects of herbal supplements are gentle and develop gradually. Since individual responses to ashwagandha can vary, carefully observe your reaction and adjust accordingly. Experiment with different dosages to determine the best amount to help you attain your ideal results.

Remember that ashwagandha isn’t a swift solution, particularly for significant and enduring issues. Consult a healthcare professional before using ashwagandha, especially if you have health concerns or take other medications.