By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

Another historical Nootropic and a member of the Adaptogen family of natural performance enhancers that empower Biohackers to live vigorously.

Organic Ashwagandha as a Nootropic helps with anxiety, insomnia, aging signs, and as an adaptogen to manage stress.

Scientific Research
The Paradox of Anxiety
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A Testosterone Hack
A Social Smart Drug
Sleep Enhancer
Sex Hack
Physical Performance
Mechanism of Action
Growing Your Own
Editor's Review
Sourcing and Pricing
Recommended Daily
Side Effects
Ashwagandha Videos

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Ashwagandha and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of the Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.

 Scientific Research

While many of the most notable studies have been done in the subcontinent of its origin, it's been studied worldwide and has been the subject of 202 articles of human research that can be found on Pubmed, in comparison Rhodiola has 180 articles and Panax Ginseng has 550.

Adaptogens book

It's another historical performance enhancer, coming out of Ayurvedic traditional medicine, thus it's sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng.

Ashwaghanda means smell of horse; from the book Adaptogens:

this herb also gives its users the stamina and strength of a stallion. In ayurvedic medicine, this herb is considered a rasayana and is used for prolonging life, stimulating the mind, and enhancing vigor and sexual prowess as well as for its recuperative powers.
(p. 139)

From the book The Rhodiola Revolution:

In India, where its use dates back more than 2,500 years, it is considered a rasayana— the term for herbs that increase resistance and longevity and improve general health and well-being.

It's regarded as a Yang tonic: meaning that it promotes masculine, aggressive yang energy.
Originally it was found in India and Africa. Now it's grown in North America.

 The Paradox of Anxiety

We tend to think of anxiety as kind of a problem of wimpy people, we hear anxiety and we think of...

  • The lady who just locks up when she has to speak publicly in a meeting.
  • The college graduate who is paralyzed by nervousness before a big job interview.
  • The shy guy who is afraid to introduce himself to the pretty girl he fancies.
  • The grumpy old man who watches too much television and is always angry and worried about politics.

But these are not the only manifestations of anxiety, anxiety is also an inevitable side effect of ambition. I will suggest that if you don't suffer from a little anxiety you're not really ambitious.

Risk and reward are inextricably entangled, meaningful accomplishment entails danger and brilliance requires getting rid of the safety net.
If you are doing something that matters there is a very real chance of failure and this naturally produces anxiety. If a failure in the pursuit to which you dedicate yourself is not a weighty enough possibility that it has disturbed your sleep in recent memory, then what you are pursuing is insufficiently ambitious (unless you are just an elite sleep hacker). You may have some great redeeming qualities but if you are not at least moderately fearful about your future, you are not ambitious.

Entrepreneurs, politicians, and business people are infamous for how they self-medicate for their anxiety...
Booze and marijuana
Cocaine and hard drugs
Medication and pharmaceuticals
Sex addiction

You might say...
So anxiety is just part of the deal. If you want to do something that matters in the world anxiety and stress will be your companions.
If you were living at any other time in history that sentiment would be spot on - the cold undeniable reality of the human condition (especially for men) - but you're more fortunate than you know to be living in the current year and it's not really true anymore...

Ashwagandha Spagyric TinctureWith the Biohacking tools and strategies that we have at our disposal today, the high performance Biohacker can maintain a healthy relationship with their ambition-induced anxiety...

 There are a lot of anxiolytic drugs that people use to deal with anxiety but the problem with almost all of them is that they also blunt performance and retard cognition; 500 milligrams of Phenibut will marvelously clear your head of all your worries in about 30-45 minutes but it will have a detrimental effect on your ability to do intellectually challenging work.

This is why the Adaptogens are worth the attention of truly ambitious people, they modulate your stress hormones without sedating your motivation or capacity for genius. Adaptogens have such a profoundly helpful effect on the resilience and flexibility of our nervous system that when I meet Biohackers who are NOT using Adaptogens I think, this guy is NOT serious about his Biohacking!

 Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety DisorderIn the three double-blind, placebo-controlled human studies done, it seems that consistently it takes a loading period of several weeks to have a beneficial effect on those tormented by chronic stress or anxiety.

From a 2012 double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 64 Indians

Adaptogens are herbs that help in combating stress. Ayurvedic classical texts, animal studies and clinical studies describe Ashwagandha as a safe and effective adaptogen...
A total of 64 subjects with a history of chronic stress were enrolled into the study after performing relevant clinical examinations and laboratory tests...
The findings of this study suggest that a high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.

This study found that 300 milligrams of Ashwaghanda lowered serum cortisol by 27.9%. I find this study relevant to Biohackers because the Indians in the study were aged 18-64 and otherwise healthy other than having chronic stress.

A 2009 Canadian study compared naturopathic care using Ashwaghanda to psychotherapy intervention as solutions for moderate to severe anxiety:

Anxiety is a serious personal health condition and represents a substantial burden to overall quality of life...
Blinding of investigators and participants during randomization and allocation was maintained. Participants in the [naturopathic care] group received dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques, a standard multi-vitamin, and the herbal medicine, [300 milligrams of] ashwagandha...
Significant differences between groups were also observed in mental health, concentration, fatigue, social functioning, vitality, and overall quality of life with the [naturopathic care] group exhibiting greater clinical benefit.

The notable finding from the Canadian study was that...
Dietary counseling
Deep breathing relaxation techniques
And Ashwaghanda
Outperformed (nearly doubling the effectiveness of...)
Deep breathing relaxation techniques
A placebo
So this brings into question the value of classic psychotherapy, at least regarding chronic anxiety.

I perused several hundred user reports of people who used it to deal with their debilitating anxiety, while the studies indicated that it took between weeks to months to achieve its helpful effect the user reports indicated that sometimes its tranquilizing effect takes a lot less time:

  • Some Biohackers enthusiastically reported a helpful effect on confidence right away, like within a few minutes even in some instances.
  • Others reported that they did not notice anything for several days or a week and then the effect became apparent.

This is NOT an herbal alternative to Phenibut; you should not assume that it's going to have a nearly instantaneous effect on your anxiety or confidence in 30-60 minutes.

One Biohacker reported:

"Before ashwagandha it was very hard for me to speak in front of people during the meeting. This bad and extremely strong feeling of anxiety, hart beat, sweating and and panic before important meetings or presentations was so intense...
With ashwagandha all this disappeared like it never existed. No panic attacks, no anxiety, completely normal hart beat, confidence and self esteem. I feel completely calm, but in the same I'm motivated and full of energy during the day. It is just amazing that one herb in the same time makes this effect of calmness and energy."

From Adaptogens:

Ashwagandha is an important tonic for people who are generally stressed-out. Rather than being overstimulating, it has a mild calming effect. In animal and human studies, this root was found to stimulate the thyroid, making it useful for hypothyroidism.
(p. 117)
In a human trial done in India, ashwagandha wine was given to thirty patients with anxiety neurosis. Moderate improvements were noted in symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, dyspepsia, anorexia, and irritability. The most profound improvement was noted for “nervousness.”
(p. 140)

Interestingly, I noticed that a handful of studies that demonstrated a helpful effect in humans were using Ashwaghanda in combination with various forms of relaxing breathing techniques. So if you want to maximize the anti-anxiety benefits of Ashwaghanda, you'll want to check out How to Breath like a Jedi (Taoist Breathing).


A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 64 Indians in Hyderabad found that 300 milligrams daily improved the symptoms of depression by 77-79% in 60 days.
Antidepressant StudyThe study concluded:

The findings of this study suggest that a high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.

The beneficial effect on depression seemed to be limited to those who also suffered from moderate to severe stress. Not all depressed people are stressed.

 A Testosterone Hack


On the Internet, you can find a confusing abundance of "testosterone hacks"
Workout Supplements
Injectable hormones
Apparently, shining special lights on your junk helps...
One very proven way of increasing testosterone is lowering stress, the hormones cortisol and testosterone have an inverse relationship.

From a study of 22 men out of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill:

In conclusion, the present findings give credence to the hypothesis suggesting a linkage between the low resting testosterone found in endurance-trained runners and stress hormones, with respect to cortisol.

What is interesting is that the subjects of this study were young, athletic college-aged men, even their testosterone was lowered by stress. Imagine what kind of effect it has on your testosterone. I suspect that Ashwaghanda doesn't have a direct effect on testosterone but that it's a downstream effect.

Four human studies totaling +370 men indicated that it has a helpful effect on testosterone:
Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males.

To investigate the impact of Withania somnifera roots on semen profile, oxidative biomarkers, and reproductive hormone levels of infertile men...
Moreover, treatment also significantly increased serum [testosterone].

Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility.

Measuring various biochemical and stress parameters before and after treatment, suggested a definite role of stress in male infertility and the ability of [Ashwaghanda] to treat stress-related infertility.

Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial.

The secondary efficacy measures were muscle size, body composition, serum testosterone levels and muscle recovery.

Efficacy Of Withania Somnifera On Seminal Plasma Metabolites Of Infertile Males: A Proton NMR Study At 800MHz

Traditional Indian systems of medicine use roots of Withania somnifera for impotence, infertility treatment, stress, and the aging process. Although Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress, the molecular mechanism is not clear.

It did not have an overnight effect on testosterone, the studies indicated that it took 8 weeks to 3 months.

 A Social Smart Drug

I think I first came across Ashwaghanda researching the Social Anxiety Protocol for Biohacking Confidence; it's highly recommended by a number of Biohackers as a social smart drug, I suspect this has a lot to do with its effect on testosterone.

As any guy who has ever done 30 days of No Fap has found out, increasing your testosterone will make you quite a bit more social, talkative, and motivated to go out and make friends.

Over 2 months 300 milligrams daily reduced social dysfunction by 68% in a placebo-controlled study of 40 Indians:

The drug was well-tolerated and did not occasion more adverse effects than did placebo. It is concluded that this ethanolic extract of Withania somnifera has useful anxiolytic potential and merits further investigation.


I would not consider it a quintessential anti-aging herb, although one older study mentioned in Adaptogens was optimistic about its use by middle-aged men:

Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera dund.) on the Process of Aging in Human Volunteers (Kuppurajan et al. 1980). In this older, double-blind clinical trial, 141 men who were fifty to fifty-nine years old took this herb. Researchers noted increased levels of red blood cells, hair melanin, and hemoglobin. Sexual interest also increased, and serum cholesterol and red blood cell sedimentation rate decreased.
(p. 141)


Ashwaghanda has a helpful effect on Pancreatic, Skin, Renal, Colon, Lung, Prostate, Stomach, Neurological, Sarcoma, Cervical, and Immunological Cancers. Although, there is not enough from human studies that I would rely on it to treat or avoid cancer.

A 2013 study of 100 patients with breast cancer found that three doses daily of Ashwaghanda significantly increased the quality of life and fatigue scores in comparison to placebo. It concluded:

Withania somnifera has potential against cancer-related fatigue, in addition to improving the quality of life.

From a 2009 paper out of Tsukuba, Japan:

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic shrub that forms a common ingredient of health supplements, tonics, and Indian home remedies designed to promote health and quality of life...
In our efforts to characterize Ashwagandha activities and their molecular mechanisms, we initially prepared leaf extract of Ashwagandha (i-Extract) that showed tumor-inhibitory activity...
To the best of our knowledge, we provide the first example of phytochemical(s) (i-Extract and withanone) that have both anticancer and antiaging activities and point to the molecular link between aging and cancer.

From a 2012 paper which appeared in the anti-aging journal PLoS One:

The medicinal plant Withania somnifera has been used for over centuries in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine to treat a wide spectrum of disorders. Withaferin A (WA), a bioactive compound that is isolated from this plant, has anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, anti-angiogenic, and anti-cancer properties... Together our in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that [Withaferin A] suppresses [malignant pleural mesothelioma] growth by targeting multiple pathways that include blockage of proteasome activity and stimulation of apoptosis, and thus holds promise as an anti-[cancer] agent.


Around the Internet, you'll find a lot of reports, like the one below, of people that found Ashwaghanda helpful in managing the chronic pain of Fibromyalgia...

I regularly use this plant along with kudzu root (Pueraria lobata), cyperus root (Cyperus rotundifolia), and black cohosh root (Cimicifuga racemosa) for the chronic muscle pain of fibromyalgia. It also can be useful for neck and back pain, restless legs syndrome (when taken with magnesium), and arthritis.
(p. 140)

However, there are no scientific studies published that evaluated the connection.


GabaIf our neurotransmitters were Greek gods, GABA would be Dionysus; the deity of wine, fertility, ritual madness, and religious ecstasy.

Ashwaghanda is a uniquely GABAergic adaptogen. noted that...

Standard doses of Ashwagandha are known to possess anxiolytic effects secondary to GABAergic signalling, and low doses of Ashwagandha appear to potentiate the effects of any GABAergic anxiolytic; this includes drinking alcohol

Interestingly its anti-anxiety effect is synergistic with alcohol and other GABAergic anxiolytics. Usually, I advise against combining Nootropics and alcohol but the studies seem to indicate that Ashwaghanda will potentiate the GABAergic effects, so you would kind of get more pro-social mileage out of the alcohol.

If you wanted to party all night (and not regret it!) I'd suggest a cocktail of Ashwaghanda, Phenibut, Nicotine, and Rhodiola.

 Sleep Enhancer

A study of 69 geriatrics hinted that it may help with decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep, however, the evidence is not as strong for this. I suspect that this is just a natural downstream effect of decreasing stress and anxiety, I doubt that it's a quintessential sleep hack.

 Sex Hack

Ashwagandha is used by both men and women to boost sexual desire. Long considered India’s most potent sex-enhancing plant, the country’s women have used ashwagandha for years to stimulate their sex drives. It is used by men for low sperm count and sexual debility.
(p. 111)

One herbal Biohacker reported a MASSIVE libido increase from 5 grams of Ashwagandha.

Anyway, I'm really horny. I had one of the best orgasms I've had in a while a minute ago and I still feel like I could go another 5 times. I also feel very "dominant" right now too, it's pretty stimulating in that way. Wish the boyfriend was here right now, honestly. Anyway, just kinda wanted to put this here because maybe someone will get some use out of my realization.

A 2011 placebo-controlled study of 86 Indian males found that it was helpful for those struggling with erectile dysfunction BUT the study found the same effect from the placebo.

 Physical Performance

For Biohackers who aspire to peak physical performance, it's an herb worth your attention.

From a double-blind, placebo-controlled 2015 Indian study of 57 young males over 8 weeks:
Physical Performance

This study was conducted to examine the possible effects of ashwagandha root extract consumption on muscle mass and strength in healthy young men engaged in resistance training...
Subjects in the treatment group consumed 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily, while the control group consumed starch placebos...
The primary efficacy measure was muscle strength. The secondary efficacy measures were muscle size, body composition, serum testosterone levels and muscle recovery...
This study reports that ashwagandha supplementation is associated with significant increases in muscle mass and strength and suggests that ashwagandha supplementation may be useful in conjunction with a resistance training program...

The notable finding of this study was that 300 milligrams helped otherwise sedentary guys get into resistance training and make weight training gains.

Another 2012 study out of Guru Nanak Dev University found it has a helpful effect on cardiorespiratory endurance:

The aim of the study was to find out the effect of Ashwagandha on the cardiorespiratory endurance capacity, that is, aerobic capacity of elite Indian cyclists...
The baseline treadmill test for the cyclists were performed to measure their aerobic capacity in terms of maximal aerobic capacity (VO(2) max)...
There was significant improvement in the experimental group in all parameters, whereas the placebo group did not show any change with respect to their baseline parameters...
Ashwagandha improved the cardiorespiratory endurance of the elite athletes.

 Mechanism of Action

Mechanism of Action


It may aid the growth of new brain cells. From a Japanese study:

The reconstruction of neuronal networks in the damaged brain is necessary for the therapeutic treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. We have screened the neurite outgrowth activity of herbal drugs, and identified several active constituents. In each compound, neurite outgrowth activity was investigated under amyloid-beta-induced neuritic atrophy...
Withanolide derivatives... isolated from the Indian herbal drug Ashwagandha, also showed neurite extension in normal and damaged cortical neurons.


There are a number of studies and papers on its potentially helpful effect on the immune system; however, with one exception they are all animal or in vitro studies that speculated on its effects. Every sapient Biohacker should be supplementing their immune system, instead of Ashwaghanda I recommend Eleuthero or Immune 26, which have excellent evidence of their ability to empower your immune system.

 Growing Your Own

It can be easily cultivated and grown in less than a year. It can be grown in dry along with wet tropical environments

It should be planted indoors like tomatoes and then set out in a garden area
(p. 138)

Check out this guide to growing it and you can buy seeds here.

Biohacker ReviewAn Herbal Alternative to Melatonin

I've been using this Ashwagandha from Organic India for about 2 months now. This is a review of my subjective experiences with Ashwagandha...

Ashwaghanda by Organic IndiaAshwagandha is the anxiolytic Adaptogen, all of the Adaptogens make your body better at handling stress but Ashwagandha is probably the best. If you have a problem with stress or anxiety Ashwagandha is for you!

In fact, a lot of people don't realize that they have a problem with chronic stress and when they do Ashwagandha or anxiolytic Nootropics they finally get to experience a clear mind and it's really empowering for them. A lot of Entrepreneurs like Ashwagandha because Entrepreneurs are naturally a lot of times quite high-strung people, susceptible to workaholism and they tend to just be stressed all the time.

How I Use Ashwagandha
I found that this Ashwagandha was best as an alternative to Melatonin. I'm a person that has sporadic problems sleeping. For the longest time, I've used Melatonin but the more I learn about Melatonin the more I find it's problematic.

  • It has a steep tolerance curve.
  • You become dependent upon it to fall asleep if you use it more than like once or twice a week.
  • And often if you take a little too much of it you'll kind of wake up with a Melatonin hangover, feeling groggy and tired in the mornings, as opposed to inspired by an awesome night of sleep.

The good thing about Ashwagandha is that it's an anxiolytic but it's not much of a downer, at least for me. I would often do some Ashwagandha before going out to socialize and I would just feel more relaxed and sociable but I wouldn't feel tired.
It's not going to replace Phenibut as my favorite social lubricant or alternative to alcohol. If I was going to do 30, 60, or 90 days of No booze, I think I'd still choose Phenibut but you'll have to experiment for yourself.
It doesn't have any negative interaction with alcohol. Actually, for me, it went well with alcohol because, sometimes you know you'll go out and have one drink and you'll start feeling a little more relaxed and sociable BUT you want to be REALLY relaxed and sociable so you have a second or third drink - and you overdo it! But if I take just a little Ashwagandha, I'm perfectly happy with one drink.

It's really important to get good sleep after a gym session, so I would typically do the Ashwagandha in the evenings after a workout. Also sometimes I find a workout to be stimulating. I'll have some trouble getting to sleep. I awoke in the mornings after a workout feeling like a champ!

It seems to have a slight effect on male performance but Horny Goat Weed will remain my go-to herb for sexytime!

I would use Ashwagandha several times a week, I would not use it every single day. I would use it episodically.


  • Dosing a single 800-milligram capsule didn't have much of a noticeable effect for me.
  • Dosing two capsules (1600 milligrams) would make me just slightly more relaxed and drowsy around bedtime and I'd fall asleep easier!
  • Dosing three capsules (2400 milligrams) had an effect similar to having a drink or two or doing some Phenibut. It made me relaxed and social.

I never did more than 2400 milligrams, I handle my stress relatively well so I didn't need to do more than that. Although, anecdotally some people need to do a lot more. Ashwagandha is a quite benign Nootropic, you can do a lot of it without worrying about side effects.

When it comes to herbs, sourcing really matters, you don't want to just choose the cheapest stuff available because often there's a huge qualitative difference. I choose Organic India because I assume it's organic and it was the most credible brand I could find at the pharmacy here in Bulgaria.
Protip: If you have to get your supplements from a pharmacy or vitamin store, select the brand that packages their capsules in a dark glass bottle.
Glass bottles are better than plastic bottles, both for the supplement, for you, and for the environment. When you see a supplement in a cheapo white plastic bottle you know that the manufacturer is cutting costs in every possible way to deliver that supplement to you. Dark glass bottles are better because they block any UV light that may chemically degrade the product.
Whenever you see a glass bottle you can be pretty sure that it's a product that had just a bit more care go into it.

When I wrote my detailed meta-analysis about Ashwagandha, I did some research and identified a few vendors (Lost Empire Herbs, Pure Nootropics, and of Ashwagandha that publish a 3rd party lab's certificate of analysis for the spectroscopy of the product. Demonstrating that it's above 97% pure Ashwagandha with acceptable levels of trace metals or other chemicals.
I was overall pretty happy with Organic India, I'd likely purchase it again, but if you can I recommend that you get your Ashwagandha from a COA-verified source like...

 Sourcing and Pricing

You can no doubt find Ashwaghanda on a store shelf near you, however, there's a real concern with quality when it comes to herbal Adaptogens.
Especially when it comes to Nootropics that come out of the ground as Dr. Mercola says:

Invariably, choosing the lowest cost option is not going to be the best option.

  • There are quality concerns with the metal content of the ground where it's grown.
  •  There are quality concerns with how it's transported to you (hint: giant boats are bad)
  •  There are quality concerns with how and for how long it's stored before it reaches you

I've identified three sources that have the meaningful credibility indicators I look for...

  • Ashwaghanda Spagyric Tincture is Ashwaghanda in concentrated liquid drops. This is the one Ashwaghanda product I found on the Internet that offers a clean mineralogy report. They even analyzed the soil it was grown in to make sure it was free of toxins that might diminish the supplement effect
  • Sensoril is a patented Ashwaghanda brand that is distinct in that it contains at least 10% glycowithanolides.
  • KSM-66® the designation for the highest percentage of withanolides (>5%) - this I don't recommend as my friend and obsessive researcher, Lucas Aoun, warns it breaks brains.

Downloadable Ashwagandha?

You may be interested in taking it as an infoceutical - a non-pharmacological, side-effect-free version of the drug that takes advantage of the phenomenon of water memory - which is imprinted on water via quantum collocation and electromagnetism using this device...

Infocueticals typically have 1/3 or half the effect of the actual medicine being imprinted. If you're skeptical of Infopathy that's understandable, it's a game-changing application of a little-known scientific phenomenon. But I'd urge you to evaluate the scientific evidence (presented in my biohacker review) that downloadable medicine is no longer science fiction...

 Recommended Daily

Researching Ashwaghanda you may find some dosage recommendations in the range of multiple grams as opposed to hundreds of milligrams; this is referring to consuming the whole root, as opposed to extracts. The majority of human studies demonstrating a helpful effect were done using Ashwaghanda extracts. Here are the dosages suggested in the scientific literature:

If you do consume the whole root you'll want to take between 2 - 6 grams daily
Another great option is taking just a few drops in liquid form from an Ashwaghanda Tincture.

Adaptogens recommends:

(1:5): 30–40 drops, 3 times per day.
(p. 141)

The recommended dosage in liquid tincture form is about a dropperful three times daily.

It has a half-life of just several hours; so you'll want to dose several times a day, and take it with meals for optimal absorption.

Adaptogens such as ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, rhaponticum, and rhodiola generally are safe to consume daily, but they have a medicinal taste that few people would enjoy or consider as a “beverage.”
(p. 254)


According to Jill Stansbury, a prominent naturopathic physician adaptogenic stacks are an effective Biohack for alleviating the various unpleasant manifestations of menopause:

I often use adaptogens (ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, eleuthero, Rhodiola) for perimenopausal women with stress symptoms, insomnia, and anxiety and emotional disturbance. I expect to see results within a week or so.
(p. 244)

Blue vervain also is used with ashwagandha and skullcap for people with nervous tics, restless leg syndrome, mild Tourette’s syndrome (a tic disorder), and tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the muscles and tongue). It especially is indicated for women who have premenstrual or menopausal anxiety or other issues related to hormonal fluctuations.
(p. 207)

She was extremely driven to increase the company’s business and had been working at least twelve-hour days for about three years. Spelman gave her a tincture combination of ashwagandha, licorice, and reishi. After two weeks, she stated she was amazed at the increase in her energy level; she even had enough energy to cook for herself when she got home late in the evenings from a fourteen-hour workday.
(p. 243)

Terminalia Arjuna for physical performance enhancement. From a 2010 paper:

Our study showed that Withania somnifera increased velocity, power and VO2 max whereas Terminalia arjuna increased VO2 max and lowered resting systolic blood pressure. When given in combination, the improvement was seen in all parameters except balance and diastolic blood pressure.

 Side Effects

Like many Nootropic herbs. it's pretty benign; you have to use it at pretty unreasonable dosages to run into trouble.
In vitro studies have suggested that it has no toxicity for humans at standard doses.

  • WebMD rates it as LIKELY UNSAFE for those who are pregnant.
  • Blood pressure. Along with its effect on stress and cortisol, it lowers blood pressure. So it should be used with caution in combination with blood pressure meds.
  • Diabetics will want to monitor their blood sugar levels while using Ashwaghanda as it may lower blood sugar.
  • Auto-immune diseases may be exacerbated by Ashwaghanda as it stimulates the immune system.

Conflicts: MAO inhibitors and JNK inhibitors

Ashwagandha can enhance or increase the effect of barbiturates.
(p. 141)


Let's say you owned a high performance sports car, like a Porsche or a Ferrari, you could let that car sit in the garage all the time and take it out for an occasional Sunday cruise when the weather was nice and the maintenance demands of the car would be minimal; maybe just a single visit to the mechanic a year. Or you could let the beast out to play, go to the track weekly, and enjoy pushing the car to its limits and your maintenance responsibilities are going to skyrocket.

You are the same, if you are going to live life in the slow lane, you'll be able to get by with minimal maintenance but if you are going to live an interesting life and devote yourself vigorously to things that matter, Adaptogens are critical.
As Biohackers, we have at our disposal long and short-term performance enhancement tools and strategies. Ashwaghanda fits squarely in the long-term category, it's different than Modafinil or Phenibut which will change your mindset today.

To quote

Limited evidence in otherwise healthy rodents suggest that there is no otherwise inherent nootropic effect of ashwagandha on learning and memory formation

I would not use it as a smart drug, I would use it to maintain a high performance ecosystem of positive emotions.




Ashwaghanda ?? An anti-anxiety adaptogen to give your ambition an edge
An Herbal Alternative to Melatonin ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Biohacker Review of ORGANIC INDIA's Ashwagandha


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    Another historical Nootropic and a member of the Adaptogen family of natural performance enhancers which empower Biohackers to live vigorously.
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