Have you ever wondered if there’s a simple herb that can help you manage stress and improve your health? Greetings to my fellow beginning herbalists! Bertie here with another interesting herb in my growing herb garden!

Meet ashwagandha, a time-tested plant with modern benefits. Ashwagandha is used in managing various conditions such as anxiety, cognitive functions, physical performance, reproductive health, sleep, diabetes, and arthritis.

Today, ashwagandha is available as a dietary supplement in various forms such as capsules, powders, and teas.

But let’s explore how you can grow, harvest, and use ashwagandha right in your own garden, just like I am doing with my beginner’s herb garden.

In fact here are 2 pics of my one plant:

Key Takeaways:

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): A resilient herb known for its stress-relief properties, perfect for home gardens.
  • Health Benefits: Includes improved sleep, stress management, and cognitive function.
  • Careful Harvesting: Essential for maximizing its health benefits.

What is Ashwagandha? Is it a good herb to have in my garden?

Illustration of a vibrant and flourishing garden with diverse herbs, including ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years. NIH - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Yep, I had to look that one up. FYI, Ayurvedic medicine often simply called Ayurveda, is a traditional system of medicine that originated in India over 3,000 years ago. The term "Ayurveda" is derived from the Sanskrit words "Ayur" (life) and "Veda" (knowledge or science), meaning "the science of life." Johns Hopkins Medicine

This powerful herb is packed with bioactive compounds that contribute to its health-promoting properties. That makes it a fantastic addition to our herbal collection.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning it helps your body manage stress. It supports your adrenal system, can boost energy levels, and improve sleep quality. Ashwagandha comes in many forms as supplements that are readily available on Amazon.

Here are some benefits:

  • Stress Management: Helps reduce stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha, as a traditional adaptogen, is used for conditions related to physical and mental stress such as insomnia, aging, and anxiety.
  • Improved Sleep: Enhances sleep quality and mental alertness.
  • Cognitive Function: Supports better concentration and memory. Several studies suggest ashwagandha may improve certain cognitive functions, including memory and attention span. (NIH-National Library of Medicine: Effects of Acute Ashwagandha Ingestion on Cognitive Function)
  • Physical Performance: Boosts muscle strength and aids recovery.

Additionally, modern research highlights Ashwagandha’s potential in enhancing mental health, sleep quality, and physical performance. Limited research suggests ashwagandha may help improve cognitive functions for people with bipolar disorder and reduce symptoms of depression, but further studies are needed. (WebMD:Ashwagandha - Uses, Side Effects)

Warning: Potential Side Effects!

Woman issuing a warning about Ashwagandha's use

While ashwagandha has many benefits, it’s important to consume it responsibly. We have mentioned below some of the precautions you must take if you have any medical conditions, especially those we have pointed out.

Possible side effects include stomach upset and diarrhea.

Ashwagandha might interact with thyroid hormone medications, so caution or avoidance is advised if you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone medications.

Taking ashwagandha along with thyroid hormone pills might cause too much thyroid hormone in the body and increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormone.

Always start with a low dose and consult a healthcare provider, especially if you’re on other medications or have health conditions.

More Health Benefits!!

Enhancing Sleep Quality and Mental Alertness

Studies show that ashwagandha extract can improve sleep quality and reduce cortisol levels. Imagine drifting into a deep, restful sleep and waking up refreshed – that’s the power of ashwagandha!

Boosting Athletic Performance and Recovery

Ashwagandha can enhance your athletic performance by improving muscle strength and oxygen consumption during exercise. It’s a great ally for those engaged in regular training.

Safety and Dosage

Ashwagandha is generally safe for most people when taken for up to three months. However, remember that potential side effects like stomach upset and diarrhea can occur. Pregnant women and those with autoimmune diseases should avoid it.

  • Dosage: Typically, 250-500 mg per day. For strenuous training, 300-500 mg twice daily is recommended.

Choosing High-Quality Ashwagandha

When selecting ashwagandha supplements (a link to ashwagandha supplements Amazon carries), look for those using only the plant’s roots. Ensure the withanolide content is optimal and check for certifications like GMP and FSMA for quality assurance.

How to Grow Ashwagandha in Our Gardens

Ashwagandha is a resilient plant that can thrive in various conditions. It’s perfect for beginner gardeners.

I found in my research that growing ashwagandha is easier than you might think, whether you plant it in a container or directly in your garden. As you saw above, my plant is in a container and growing beautifully!

Here’s how you can start growing ashwagandha:

  1. Planting: Sow the seeds in well-draining soil with plenty of sunlight. Or, buy the plant - this is what I did when Sally and I went to the Herb Show I wrote about in an earlier article.
  2. Watering: Water moderately, ensuring the soil is not waterlogged.
  3. Care: Regularly check for pests and use organic remedies if needed.

Harvesting Ashwagandha

Patience is key when it comes to harvesting ashwagandha. The best time to harvest Ashwagandha is in the fall when the leaves start to turn brown.

The ashwagandha root, which is often converted into ashwagandha root extract, provides a variety of health benefits, which we will explore shortly.

The roots are then dug up, cleaned, and dried for use in various preparations. Here's a great video from Plant Abundance that shows exactly how to harvest the roots:

Ashwagandha Root | How To Harvest, Clean & Dry For Storage

Whether you’re using it as a herbal supplement or for its healing properties, the roots offer the most benefit, hence the importance of proper harvesting techniques.

If you have your plants in the ground, just leave one or two to reseed and come back next year. I may just dry some seeds for next year since my plant is in a container.

Let's Have Some Ashwagandha Tea!

A cup of steaming Ashwagandha tea with a honey jar near by!

Ashwagandha Tea Recipe


  • 2 cups purified water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ashwagandha roots
  • Milk (optional)
  • Honey (optional)


  1. Pour 2 cups of purified water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add 1 -3 teaspoons of chopped ashwagandha roots to the boiling water (depending on your taste).
  3. Cover your pot with a lid, cut your heat down to low, and t steep for about 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the liquid into a cup. The tea will have a beautiful amber color and a multi-earthy creamy flavor.
  5. Add milk and/or honey if desired.
  6. Enjoy this soothing tea while winding down for the evening.
    Recipe from Plant Abundance

Image with "Summing It All Up" with background of ashwagandha roots and powder on dark table

Ashwagandha, a powerful herb with deep roots in Ayurvedic medicine, offers an array of health benefits.

From improving sleep and sharpening focus to boosting athletic performance and aiding recovery, this herb is a wellness powerhouse.

Just remember to use it wisely, keeping potential risks in mind. With proper use, ashwagandha can be a fantastic addition to your health routine, bringing balance and vitality to your life.

As a final thought, just yesterday a phlebotomy technician told me that she takes it to relieve menopause symptoms and loves the help it gives her! That's great news!

Frequently asked questions sign in hues of blue with large question marks on the side

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I grow Ashwagandha in my garden?

Yes, ashwagandha is a resilient plant that can thrive in your garden or in a container.

Are there any side effects of taking Ashwagandha?

Potential side effects include stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. Always be mindful of the dosage.

How can Ashwagandha improve my sleep quality?

Ashwagandha extract has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce cortisol levels, helping you sleep better.

Can Ashwagandha boost my athletic performance?

Yes, it can enhance muscle strength and oxygen consumption, improving overall physical performance.

How do I select high-quality Ashwagandha?

Choose supplements that use only the roots, have optimal withanolide content, and come with certifications like GMP and FSMA.

Can Ashwagandha help me lose weight?

It can help reduce stress which helps in weight loss. Root extract is said to be best for this. Talk this over with your medical professional first.

Thanks for stopping by our beehive and reading about Ashwagandha! We have many other articles about the herbs we are growing in our beginners garden. Here are a few:

We have other articles as well you can enjoy. Just go to www.bertiesbuzz.com and use the search button!


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