7 Top Ashwagandha Benefits for Women

05/15/2023 |
Herbal Secrets, Live Vibrantly
Two women holding freshly harvested ashwagandha on small organic farm in India, a root known for its benefits for women and men.

Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian Ginseng,” “Winter Cherry,” or “Withania somnifera” is one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs for women for good reason.

As an adaptogenic herb, it uniquely supports stress response, energy, and sleep while helping the body adapt to modern stressors*.

Ayurvedic practitioners have understood the benefits of Ashwagandha for centuries, which is why it is central to many traditional formulas.

However, modern science is catching on to the Ashwagandha benefits for women.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the traditional and science-backed benefits of this ancient herb and explain how it works.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is an ancient and revered herb that’s been used for over 5000 years.

It’s one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda and is considered a Rasayana or rejuvenating tonic.

Ashwagandha’s traditional uses are vast and include

  • Adrenal health
  • Beauty
  • Cognitive health
  • Digestion
  • Energy
  • Women’s health
  • Healthy reproductive function
  • Immunity
  • Inflammatory response
  • Joint health
  • Hormonal balance
  • Stress relief
  • Sleep
  • Thyroid health
  • And more

Ashwagandha is also considered an adaptogen, which is a class of herbs that helps the body adapt, respond, and thrive under various physical, environmental and emotional stressors.

Ashwagandha’s properties are reflected in its name, derived from the Sanskrit words “ashwa,” meaning horse, and “gandha,” meaning smell.

Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners believed Ashwagandha would give a person the strength, vitality, and stamina of a horse (but thankfully, not the smell!)

Ashwagandha benefits for women capsules, roots, powder and leaves on wooden table.

How Does Ashwagandha Work?

For thousands of years, traditional Ayurvedic practitioners have understood how to use Ashwagandha as a Rasayana to benefit women (and men, as well).

Yet, without modern analytical tools, its chemical action remained a mystery.

Fast-forward to the twenty-first century, and researchers have identified over 50 active plant compounds within Ashwagandha.

These include steroidal alkaloids and lactones, known collectively as withanolides. 3

Ashwagandha’s withanolides and other plant compounds are believed to be responsible for its many health benefits for females.

7 Ashwagandha Benefits For Women

Ashwagandha isn’t just for female health; it’s also been used and studied for various issues relating to men’s health.

That’s the beauty of Rasayana/adaptogenic herbs. They can provide multiple benefits to nearly all types of people with various health goals.

Here, we’ll look at seven Ashwagandha benefits for women.

1. Ashwagandha Offers Broad-Spectrum Emotional Support

Nearly every woman suffers from occasional stress and mood swings.

In fact, research has shown women are more likely than men to feel emotional due to stress.

This is one of the reasons Ayurvedic practitioners often recommend adaptogens like Ashwagandha or Tulsi to women—they help support emotional health, energy, and stress response.

Research has also shown Ashwagandha can provide broad-spectrum emotional support.

One study published in Phytomedicine: International Journal Of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology showed Ashwagandha supported healthy mood by reducing tribulin levels in the brain, thereby soothing stress.

As we’ll cover in the coming sections, Ashwagandha has shown benefits for aspects of health relating to mood, including sleep, HPA axis function, and hormonal balance.

2: Ashwagandha May Support Thyroid Health

Thyroid health has become a big discussion in the women’s health space.

In integrative functional medicine, for example, many pioneering physicians and practitioners have recognized how often thyroid health is directly connected to whole body health.

In Ayurveda, thyroid wellness is a result of balanced Pitta and Kapha doshas, related to metabolic wellness as well.

For years, Ayurvedic practitioners have used herbs, including Ashwagandha, along with nutrition and lifestyle changes to maintain balanced Pitta/Kapha energy and support normal thyroid and metabolic function.*

New research has begun to validate this traditional use of Ashwagandha.

For example, one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study showed that women who took 600 mg of Ashwagandha daily experienced hormonal balanced.

This is encouraging as thyroid hormone levels impact various other female hormones, as well as things like mood, heart health, and mental/emotional well-being.

3: Ashwagandha Supports Hormonal Balance

Menopause should be a beautiful time—and a significant and celebrated rite of passage in a woman’s life.

Unfortunately, the years leading up to menopause, known as perimenopause, are typically fraught with fear and challenges as women gear up to face the unpleasant realities of modern menopausal symptoms.

Fortunately, Ashwagandha has a long history of empowering women as they come into their golden years of wisdom.

Research has shown Ashwagandha benefits for women extend to mild and moderate symptoms during perimenopause in women. 

Specifically, Ashwagandha provided support for: 

  • Hormonal balance (estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone)
  • Emotional health
  • Normal temperature regulation
  • Quality of life
  • And other menopausal symptoms

The withanolides in Ashwagandha have also been shown to provide potential benefit for bone health during menopause.

Ashwagandha may also benefit pre-, peri-, menopausal, and post-menopausal women by supporting healthy sleep…

4: Ashwagandha May Help You Sleep

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 Americans does not get enough sleep (defined as between 7-9 hours per night).

Sleep issues also disproportionately affect women. This is due to various factors such as hormonal fluctuations, caregiving, having babies, stress, and other problems.

Yet, health-conscious women are often stuck between a rock and a hard place. They know how important sleep is for their whole health, yet they don’t want to resort to habit-forming sleep medications or supplements.

If you’ve experienced this dilemma, consider this.

Several high-quality studies have shown Ashwagandha supports sleep duration, quality, efficiency, latency (the time it takes to fall asleep), duration, and mental alertness after waking.

Plus, herbs like Ashwagandha are generally non-habit forming.

But wait, will taking Ashwagandha make you sleepy?

Yes and no.

Typically, larger doses of Ashwagandha will induce relaxation and peace of mind, while smaller doses can be used during the day to support the stress response, hormonal balance, etc.

Ask your Ayurvedic practitioner or other healthcare practitioner trained in herbs for individual recommendations.

Sleep ashwagandha benefits for women, curle hair in white bed and vase of leaves by the bedside.

5. Ashwagandha Supports Reproductive Wellness in Females

We often see reproductive wellness products advertised to men; yet they are equally useful for women experiencing hormonal fluctuations or stress.

In Ayurveda, adaptogenic and digestive-supportive herbs, like Ashwagandha*, are commonly used to support reproductive wellness in both men and women.

Research supports this traditional use, with one study showing normal reproductive health in women who took 300 mg of Ashwagandha daily for eight weeks, versus the placebo group.

The researchers did not explain how they thought Ashwagandha worked. However, based on traditional Ayurvedic herbal principles, it is possible Ashwagandha’s stress and hormonal supportive benefits may be partly responsible*.

6: Ashwagandha Helps Quell Stress

When it comes to ashwagandha benefits for women, no list is complete without this one. As you’ve learned, this root is an adaptogen—a type of herb that helps the body better respond and adapt to various stressors.

But how exactly does it work?

Research has shown that Ashwagandha may positively affect cortisol levels, your body’s master stress hormone, and HPA axis function.

HPA axis stands for the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis—the center point for various hormonal control and regulation aspects.

If the HPA axis becomes imbalanced, a common side-effect of persistent stress, it has a downstream effect on all other hormones, including reproductive wellness, sleep cycles, and more.

This explains why stress is a leading cause or contributor to nearly all types of imbalances; and why adaptogens have stood the test of time as essential rejuvenating tonics.

7. Ashwagandha May Help with Monthly Cycles

Menstruating women often experience unwanted symptoms leading up to and during their periods.

This may include stress, cramps, brain fog, irregular periods, sleep disturbances, and more.

Menstruation challenges are also a leading reason women turn to Ayurveda, and other traditional wellness systems, for support.

If you sat down with an Ayurvedic practitioner today or many years ago, they may likely recommend Ashwagandha as part of an herbal and lifestyle hormonal-support strategy.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, PMS can stem from different causes, such as the build-up of toxins, digestive issues, liver or kidney strain, hormonal imbalance, stress, and dosha imbalances.

As a Rasayana, Ashwagandha provides broad-spectrum support for various systems.

From a Western-scientific perspective, Ashwagandha’s positive effects on HPA axis function, sleep, emotional well-being, and healthy inflammatory response may also play a role.

Ashwagandha capsules and powder for women's health.

To Find High-Quality Ashwagandha For Women

Ashwagandha is available from various sources as a supplement, tea, or sports nutrition products.

However, purity, identity, and potency are vital in maximizing benefits.

Organic India has been a leader in organic, regenerative, and sustainable Ashwagandha production for decades.

All our Ashwagandha supplements and teas are made with 100% organic Ashwagandha sourced from our network of small family farms in the hilly region of Bundelkhand in central and North India. 

This region is widely known for growing the best Ashwagandha available in the world.

This, coupled with third-party testing and certifications, guaranteed purity, identity, and potency in every batch.

If you want to try Ashwagandha, check out the following formulas:

Curious about Ashwagandha benefits for men? Learn all about them in Top 5 Ashwagandha Benefits For Men.