How Long Does it Take for Ashwagandha to Work?

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By Jack Cincotta, MS

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

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Ashwagandha is a very popular herbal supplement. Today, it’s mainly used to reduce stress, improve sleep, and enhance physical and mental performance. 

Of course, you may be wondering how long it takes to achieve those effects. That’s why in this article, we’ll explain how long ashwagandha takes to work, and other important factors that can influence this timeline, as well as the overall success of ashwagandha supplementation.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.

Parts of this plant, especially the roots, have been used in Ayurveda and traditional medicine for thousands of years for various conditions such as anxiety, stress, fatigue, low libido, and poor endurance.

ashwagandha plant

The main bioactive compounds in ashwagandha responsible for the health benefits are collectively referred to as withanolides. 

Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has many potential health benefits, most of which are similar to the ones established in traditional medicine.

Recent research has found that ashwagandha and its withanolides promote adaptogenic effects in the body, which helps the body deal with stress and maintain overall balance.

Some of the main research-backed benefits of ashwagandha are decreased stress and anxiety, improved sexual function, better sleep, boosted cognitive function, and enhanced athletic performance. 

Due to the intriguing health benefits, many people wonder how long these take to occur and the time it takes to reach maximum potential.

How Long Does it Take for Ashwagandha to Work?

Based on clinical trials, ashwagandha takes about 4 to 12 weeks to exert its main benefits. One certainly may start to feel initial benefits sooner than this, in even just a few days.  But the most noticeable benefits likely start appearing after at least 4 weeks of consistent use. 

This is because it takes time for the compounds in ashwagandha to establish effects on all of the different bodily systems. If you’ve been dealing with long-lasting health issues, it will take a significant amount of time to “flip the switch” and get your body into a healthier, more balanced state.

Factors That Influence How Long it Takes to Work

Ashwagandha doesn’t work the same for everyone. And several factors can influence how long it takes ashwagandha to work. 


The first factor is the total dosage taken. For example, if someone takes 1,000mg of ashwagandha, they are more likely to notice benefits quicker than someone who takes a lower dose of 150mg. 

Supplement Quality

The supplement quality and bioavailability are also important. Standardized extracts such as KSM-66®, Sensoril®, and others that standardize for a specific percentage of withanolides (typically 5 to 10%) are likely more bioavailable than products that simply use the whole plant or root in its natural form. 

ashwaganda capsules

Therefore, the greater the bioavailability, the more likely you’ll experience more immediate benefits. 

The same holds true for other aspects of supplement quality, such as the extraction method used, soil quality and farming practices where the herb was grown, and so forth.


Ashwagandha needs to be taken consistently for best results. So, if you take it for a few days, then stop for a few, and continue this “zig-zag” cycle, it’ll likely take longer to see benefits than if you take it consistently every day.

With that said, it can also be used on an as-needed basis for some individuals, especially if they have pretty defined periods of high stress compared to other times with much lower stress.

Health Status

Generally, the greater your health problems and the longer you’ve had these issues, the longer it will take for ashwagandha to get you to your desired health state. 

Moreover, certain health conditions may make it more difficult for ashwagandha to work effectively. So, it’s always best to work with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before taking any supplement.

How Do You Know if Ashwagandha is Working?

Due to the subjective nature of certain health markers, it can be hard to tell if ashwagandha is working or not.

To help with this, it’s important to track your symptoms regularly, such as in a journal. You can check in every few days or so to see how you’re doing in regards to key biomarkers such as:

  • Energy
  • Sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Libido
  • Exercise Performance
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

You don’t have to check every area. Just the ones that are most important to you (and related to why you started supplementing in the first place).

Proper Dosage of Ashwagandha

Most studies have used anywhere from 100 to 1,000mg of ashwagandha daily with benefits, although some studies have used up to 12g daily.

A good general place to start is anywhere from 200 to 600mg daily. From there, one can decrease or increase the dosage as needed. 

Is Ashwagandha Safe?

Ashwagandha is generally safe to take in the recommended dosages, but there are possible side effects, such as:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea

Final Thoughts: How Long Does it Take for Ashwagandha to Work?

Ashwagandha is one of the most intriguing herbal supplements out there due to its wide variety of physical, mental, and overall health benefits.

Research shows that ashwagandha exerts its most noticeable benefits after 4 to 12 weeks for most individuals, although many people may start to experience at least some benefits in a few days to a couple weeks. 

To get the most benefits, it’s important to choose a high-quality ashwagandha supplement that’s standardized for roughly 5 to 10% withanolides, and to make sure the dosage is high enough (at least 100mg).

Overall, one can reasonably expect ashwagandha to work relatively quickly, but the best benefits occur after taking it daily over an extended period of time. And as always, individual results will vary. 

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Jack Cincotta, MS

Jack Cincotta is a certified holistic health coach through AFPA and a board-certified holistic health practitioner through AADP. He has written hundreds of articles on nutrition and supplementation. Jack has a M.S. degree in Psychology and is passionate about researching the science behind nutrition. He often uses research-backed supplementation protocols for many of his clients to optimize results.