I had previously covered the use of ashwagandha in tincture form, and lately I’ve been imbibing it again in the form of tea, hence why I am revisiting it here. I’ve been drinking it again instead of coffee lately (it’s a love-hate relationship.)
Why use Ashwagandha Root?
In case you missed my post last year touching upon this one, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a traditional herb that is still used today for a variety of reasons, including:
- Anti-anxiety and relaxation (due to its effects on GABA; 1 effect is relatively mild in my opinion)
- Getting a good night’s sleep (Matt Forney used it for this reason)
- Reduction of prolactin 2
- Reduction of cortisol (good for people under chronic stress) 3
- Increase in libido (most likely in part to prolactin reduction)
- Increase in free testosterone in men 4 (most likely in part to reduction of prolactin AND anxiety)
- General improvement in mood and energy
Because it has numerous benefits and its efficacy is one of the top of its class in terms of herbs, ashwagandha is something that most people can add to their regimen and gain something from it. It’s considered an adaptogen, an anxiety reducer, an anti-depressant and a libido booster.
How to make Ashwagandha Root Tea
- Bring 1 cup of good water to a boil in a pot
- Add approximately 1 teaspoon of ashwagandha roots to water
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
- Strain roots and drink
The root is a little bitter, but not totally unpleasant to me. It tastes a little earthy. If you add a little honey or stevia sweetener it’s not that bad.
(Note that if you don’t have whole roots you may need to use a coffee filter or cheesecloth to strain.)
Ashwagandha Extract versus Ashwagandha Root Tea
Compared to capsules and extracts I find that homebrewed ashwagandha root tea is only rivaled by ashwagandha root tincture. Tincture is a little pricey though, and making your own takes about two weeks or so. I prefer ashwagandha root tea because it can be made at a whim, and is inexpensive.
If you aren’t in any hurry to get it into your system, the capsules or tablets are still good in my opinion, they just don’t give you the instant gratification that tea or a liquid tincture or extract does.
Where can I get whole Ashwagandha Roots?
Admittedly, if you try to search for it offline you will not have much luck unless you find a store that carries whole herbs. In my experience the ones carrying ashwagandha root are few and far between.
- I recommend Starwest Botanicals’ Ashwagandha Root Powder. You can get 1 lb for $20, and take it nearly every day.
- Powder City has a standardized extract of ashwagandha root that while it shouldn’t be taken as a tea, can be taken in capsules.
As I mentioned previously though, if you brew a tea with bulk powder you may need to strain with cheesecloth or a coffee filter. You might not want to put an extract for drinking as the flavor is strong.
Like the extract, the ashwagandha root powder can be added to capsules. Of course dosages will vary as extracts contain a high concentration of the active components.
My most recent experiences with Ashwagandha Root
Since I began drinking the ashwagandha root tea 5 about twice per day, my mood and energy levels don’t fluctuate very much. I’ve become a lot more peaceful and stable while drinking it, and this has translated to improved motivation and focus to a certain extent.
I find that ashwagandha root tea lends itself well to being combined with other substances and supplements in just about any regimen. In the past I had taken it alongside other supplements, and as I mentioned before I am currently taking it with the uridine stack.
Aside from the 15 or so minutes that you have to take out of your day to boil and steep it, I find that it’s worthwhile as a non-stimulatory pick-me-up of sorts.
In terms of ashwagandha root’s effects on libido, they are apparent. The “big balls” effect has been true for me. The libido-enhancing effects of ashwagandha aren’t as strong as tongkat ali or tribulus (found in the Original Testosterone Stack – see my review) in a healthy young male such as myself, but ashwagandha comes with benefits to other aspects besides libido. For libido I treat longjack and tribulus as the specialized big guns.
Another strange but amusing neutral effect I notice when taking ashwagandha is the increase in vivid dreams. Considering all of the things I take at the moment have seem to have some kind of effect on memory and GABA, ashwagandha root included, I never fail to have vivid dreams.
Speaking of GABA, ashwagandha is touted to be good for anxiety. My opinion is that it may be great for people suffering from chronic stress based on its ability to lower cortisol. For acute and intense stressors however, you may be better off with theanine or phenibut. I do not suffer from chronic stress so I can’t comment.
Ashwagandha root tea is something I would like to drink daily if possible, taking only occasional breaks to rotate the herb and maintain its efficacy.
Ashwagandha’s benefits are numerous, and due to its lack of redundant effects and plethora of beneficial effects, it takes its place among the (pending) “Pill Scout’s Top 10 Herbs.”
P.S. – If there is a subject, herb or supplement you are interested in learning more about, please write me. I’m always looking for newer things to try and research and I greatly appreciate reader input.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Examine.com – Ashwagandha – GABAergic Neurotransmission|
|2.||↑||PubMed – Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males.|
|3.||↑||Examine.com – Ashwagandha – Stress and Anxiety|
|4.||↑||Ergo-Log.com – Forty percent more testosterone with Ashwagandha|
|5.||↑||…technically a tisane since tea is a specific plant|