The recommended dosage for ashwagandha can vary depending on your needs, but most research suggests that taking 250–500 milligrams (mg) per day for at least 1 month may be beneficial.
Ashwagandha, also known by its botanical name Withania somnifera, is a small woody plant with yellow flowers native to India and North Africa.
It’s classified as an adaptogen, as it’s believed to help your body manage stress better.
The plant — particularly its root — has been used for over 3,000 years as a natural Ayurvedic remedy against various ailments (
Modern science also links it to health benefits, such as reduced stress and anxiety and improved blood sugar levels, mood, and memory.
This article reviews the optimal dosages needed to reap different health benefits.
Ashwagandha is best known for its stress-lowering effects.
The medicinal herb appears to help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands in response to stress.
Ashwagandha seems effective at lowering symptoms of stress and anxiety. Most benefits are linked to dosages of 225–600 mg per day taken for 1–2 months.
In one 2013 study in 25 people, ashwagandha reduced fasting blood sugar levels three times more than a placebo after 4 weeks (
In another older study in people with type 2 diabetes, an ashwagandha supplement taken for 30 days helped lower fasting blood sugar levels as effectively as oral diabetes medication (
Dosages used in these studies varied between 250 mg to 3 grams (g) and were generally split into 2–3 equal doses spread evenly over the day.
Ashwagandha may help lower blood sugar levels. Benefits appear to start at dosages as little as 250 mg per day.
In a 2010 in 75 males experiencing infertility, 5 g of ashwagandha daily increased sperm count and motility over a 3-month period (
In another older study in highly stressed men, 5 g of ashwagandha per day also led to improved sperm quality. Moreover, by the end of the 3-month study, 14% of their partners had become pregnant (
Taking 5 g of ashwagandha per day may boost fertility in males in as little as 3 months.
Supplementing with ashwagandha may also increase muscle mass and strength.
In one study, taking 500 mg of ashwagandha extract led to a significant increase in upper and lower body strength when paired with resistance training over a 12-week period (
In another 2015 study in males, taking 600 mg of ashwagandha per day for 8 weeks led to a 1.5–1.7 times larger increase in muscle strength and 1.6–2.3 times higher increase in muscle size, compared to a placebo (
Similar effects were observed with 750–1,250 mg of ashwagandha per day taken for 30 days (
Daily doses of 500 mg of ashwagandha may provide small increases in muscle mass and strength in as little as 8 weeks. While most studies have focussed on men, some research suggests women may reap the same benefits.
Ashwagandha may also help lower inflammation and boost your immunity.
Older research shows that 12 milliliters (mL) of ashwagandha root extract per day may increase levels of immune cells (
Another study found that taking 60 mg of ashwagandha extract per day for 1 month improved the body’s natural and adaptive immune function, which could help protect against infection (17).
Ashwagandha may lower inflammation and help protect against infection. Supplements containing at least 250 mg of ashwagandha or 12 mL of ashwagandha extract appear to offer the most benefits.
Ashwagandha is traditionally used in Ayurveda to help boost memory, and some scientific studies support this practice.
For instance, in a small, 8-week study, taking 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice a day improved general memory, attention, and task performance significantly more than a placebo (
That being said, human research in this area is limited and more is needed before strong conclusions can be drawn.
Consuming 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract per day may boost various aspects of memory. However, more studies are needed to confirm these effects.
Ashwagandha is considered safe for most people.
Ashwagandha may also interact with certain medications. Therefore, people taking other medications should consult with a doctor before supplementing with ashwagandha (22).
Keep in mind that most of the studies on ashwagandha were small and of low quality. For this reason, the information on the effectiveness and safety of dosages may be inaccurate. More research is needed.
Ashwagandha is considered safe for most people. However, pregnant or breastfeeding people, individuals with autoimmune disorders, and those taking certain medications may need to avoid it.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that may offer several health benefits, such as improved blood sugar, inflammation, mood, memory, stress, and anxiety, as well as a boost in muscle strength and fertility.
Dosages vary depending on your needs, but 250–500 mg per day for at least 1 month seem effective.