Unlocking the power of ashwagandha: 5 benefits for women 

It can help reduce and relieve stress!
Written by
Julia Hammond
Reviewed by
Last updated on
June 4, 2024
min read
5 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha for Women | Kin Fertility
Jump to:
Arrow Down

Remember when superfoods took the world by storm? You couldn’t find a salad without kale. That trend may be behind us, but the power of nature still reigns supreme.

Let us introduce you to what we think is a super plant. Used for thousands of years in traditional Hindu medicine, ashwagandha is best known for its ability to relieve mental stress and anxiety.

But that’s not all this Ayurvedic medicine can do. Read on for the top 5 ways that ashwagandha benefits females.

What is ashwagandha?

The Ashwagandha plant is native to India. Other names for this alternative medicine include Indian ginseng, Indian winter cherry and the herb Vitania sluggard [1].

Even though it’s native to India, it can also be found in parts of Africa, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, the Himalayas and even Australia [1].

Ashwagandha has been used for close to 3,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Hindu method, to strengthen the nervous system. The raw material used for medicines is the ashwagandha root [1][3]. 

What are the benefits of ashwagandha? 

Honestly, a better question might be — what can’t this plant do?

From helping to reduce stress and anxiety to positively impacting brain function, sleep quality and sexual arousal; researchers are looking into a whole host of potential ashwagandha benefits for your overall health.

Here are 5 health benefits of ashwagandha; with the research to back them up.

Benefits to stress and anxiety levels

Stress and anxiety seem to be very modern problems. Anxiety is considered one of the most common mental health conditions in the general population. And chronic stress symptoms can contribute to a range of health issues — from UTIs to certain diseases [1]. 

When mindfulness and meditation just won’t cut it, Ayurvedic herbs are another option for reducing stress. There are multiple studies exploring the benefits of ashwagandha on anxiety and stress. So, how does it work?

Ashwaghanda is what scientists call an adaptogen. These are substances that can help increase your resistance to stress by changing the way your body handles a stress response [2].

One way it works is by lowering the activity of your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). Try saying that 3 times fast!

The HPA axis is in charge of the well-known stress hormone, cortisol, and its lesser-known friend, DHEA [2]. These stress hormones are what activate your ‘fight or flight’ response, giving you the adrenalin and mental alertness to handle stress.

In simple terms, ashwagandha helps give your HPA axis a chill pill. It helps lower the activity in this area meaning less stress hormones are produced. By regulating stress hormones, ashwagandha can help reduce stress.

Next question, how effective is ashwagandha on stress and anxiety? Well, various studies have found that ashwagandha may reduce anxiety ratings by up to 70%. Doses in these studies ranged from 125mg per day up to 2000mg per day [2].

In one study based in India, 60 healthy adults with mild anxiety took a low dose of 240mg per day. The results showed that anxiety was reduced by up to 41% [3]. So, even though many studies use a higher dose of ashwagandha supplements, it might not be necessary to feel the benefits.

Another study out of India used a sustained-release ashwagandha capsule to help reduce stress in a group of 125 participants. They each took a single dose of 300mg per day, for a period of 90 days [6].

Results were positive with 80% of participants more likely to keep their stress in check. They also scored higher on the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, suggesting they finished the study with better mental health and a more positive outlook as well [6].

Positive impacts on brain function

Forgetting where you left your keys, feeling like you can’t focus or making clumsy mistakes throughout the day are mostly annoying. But, they could also be a sign your cognitive functioning is not up to scratch.

Studies have found that simple brain functions like attention, memory, processing speed and hand-eye coordination can be improved by taking ashwagandha [2][6].

For example, in the study on stress using a sustained-release capsule, results showed that participants also improved their cognitive function. Testing found they had better capacity for visual learning, new learning and sustained attention [6].

Improved sleep quality

Did you know that more than 30% of the average life is spent sleeping? Which makes it all the more important that you are getting good quality sleep [7].

There are many natural substances that are already being used for better sleep, such as magnesium. Ashwagandha supplementation is another natural option.

Various studies have found that ashwagandha promotes restful sleep and can improve sleep quality by anywhere from 30-72%. The higher range is typically for people with recognised sleep problems, like insomnia, while the lower range applies to healthy adults [2].

One study looked at how effective ashwagandha was at treating insomnia. A group of 60 participants in India spent 10 weeks taking ashwagandha twice per day, 300mg each dose [7].

At the end of the study, they were able to fall asleep faster and were less likely to wake up overnight. There was also a significant decrease in their anxiety ratings [7].

Sexual function

A great sex life is an important part of a healthy, stress-free life. But, for up to 40% of women — sexual dysfunction gets in the way [4].  A huge range of things can impact your sexual function; from physical conditions like diabetes or heart disease to mental stress, anxiety and depression [4]. 

Ashwagandha has been shown to help with female sexual function. One study found it could improve sexual arousal, lubrication and orgasms [1].

Another study found similar benefits, which they believed to be related to the stress-reducing powers of ashwagandha [4]. We need a bit more research to really understand its impacts on sexual function, but the early signs are looking good.


Ashwagandha root has also been found to help reduce inflammation, which opens a door to it being used to treat inflammatory diseases like diabetes [1].

So far, the studies are all preclinical. This means they are being done in animals first before moving on to human participants [1]. It’s too early to claim many proven benefits, but researchers see exciting opportunities ahead.

What's the best way to consume ashwagandha?

You can find ashwagandha root extract in so many varieties — from powders to tablets and even liquids. But, is one formula better than the others? Well, for starters, they all use the same parts of the ashwagandha plant. Most often that’s the root extract, but occasionally it might be the leaves too [2].

We think the best way of taking ashwagandha is the way that is most convenient for you. If that's ashwagandha powder, go for it. If it means capsules or liquids — those work too.

Many studies choose capsules because they are easy to take. And when it’s easy to do, you’re more likely to keep doing it.

What could be more convenient than a daily supplement? Kin’s Ultra Calm Supplement is a twice-per-day tablet that is formulated to help reduce and relieve stress naturally.

The supplement uses a range of premium, clinically-backed ingredients, including ashwagandha, that are specially designed to alleviate common symptoms associated with mild anxiety and stress, as well as improve sleep quality and overall mood.

How long does it take to see the benefits of ashwagandha? 

You can expect to feel the benefits of ashwagandha fairly quickly. In most studies lasting around 8 weeks, participants were reporting ashwagandha root benefits as early as 2 weeks in [2].

We can’t guarantee it will work that soon though. If you’re not sure how long to wait, have a chat with your doctor or a traditional medicine expert who can help you set expectations.

What are the side effects of ashwagandha for females?

Having been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, it is generally accepted that ashwagandha is a safe natural medicine with multiple health benefits. In healthy adults with no underlying disease, it can be used for the long term [1].

Most studies have found no serious side effects, but there are a few mild ones to look out for. Potential side effects include [2]:

  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased appetite
  • Hallucinations
  • Hyperactivity
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Vertigo
  • Weight gain

If you experience any side effects that concern you, make sure to speak with your doctor. They can do a full check-up on your physical and mental health to make sure ashwagandha is suitable for you.

Is ashwagandha safe for pregnant women?

Ashwagandha is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It should also be avoided if you are planning a pregnancy, as ashwagandha root extract in high doses has been linked to miscarriage [1].

Can you take ashwagandha with other medicines?

Mixing supplements and medications can be dangerous, so you should always check with your doctor before starting something new. Ashwagandha may not be suitable with other medications, such as [1][2]:

  • Do not use it alongside any sedative medications
  • Stop taking ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before surgery or anaesthesia
  • Ashwagandha may not be suitable for people with low blood pressure or on blood pressure medication
  • Ashwagandha may not be suitable for people on other anti-anxiety or sleep medications

Ashwagandha is known to have very few side effects and to be safe for most healthy adults. But, we always recommend a chat with your doctor or preferred health professional before you start any new supplement or medicine.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

All of the tools you need to take your reproductive health into your own hands.