Ultimate Guide To Ashwagandha Tea - Benefits and Side Effects
Before we take a look at the benefits of Ashwagandha tea, let’s first understand what it is and why it’s so important.
Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine in India, places Ashwagandha among its most important ayurvedic herbs.
People have used Ashwagandha roots, leaves, and stems for thousands of years in traditional medicine.
It is commonly referred to as the Indian ginseng, poison cherry, or Indian winter cherry, and its natural odor and taste can be described as the ‘smell of horse’, or ‘horse-like.’
‘Ashwagandha’ is also translated as ‘strength of a thousand horses’, so if you are after herbal medicine that packs a big kick, then you are in the right place!
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera, doesn’t look much – a reasonably small herb with simple pale green leaves and red berries.
The small evergreen shrub traces its genetic roots to India and Africa, but it is also cultivated in Yemen and China.
But it’s packed with powerful and perhaps the most mysterious health benefits of any herbal tea.
So, What Is Ashwagandha Tea?
Ashwagandha comes in various forms, including;
Ashwagandha tea is typically made from the roots and leaves of the ashwagandha plant.
Although the tea possesses a natural flavor and aroma that makes it hard to stomach for many people.
It is quickly becoming a popular and important herb in the United States due to its purported medicinal properties.
Recent research into the benefits of Ashwagandha tea is still very limited, but the results gathered so far point towards its many potential health benefits.
How Can Ashwagandha Tea Help?
Overwhelming anecdotal evidence suggests that this ancient herb can provide stress relief, among other things.
A cup of Ashwagandha tea is known to promote overall immunity, endurance, and help with specific health conditions.
However, scientific studies are yet to confirm most of the health benefits of Ashwagandha tea.
The Active Ingredients In Ashwagandha Tea
Ashwagandha tea comprises numerous healthy ingredients that are responsible for its powerful medical benefits.
The main natural active ingredients in ashwagandha tea include;
- Steroidal lactones
Why Not Add;
Some people usually add spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, or clove and sweeteners such as honey to mellow out its flavor and ensure maximum benefits to the herbal tea.
- Read more about The Amazing Ginger Tea
The Taste of Ashwagandha Tea
Ashwagandha tea tastes nothing like your regular tea.
Its taste and flavor are often described as ‘horsey’, but what on earth does that mean…?
In fact, the word ashwagandha describes the smell of its roots, which means ‘odor of horse.’
When drinking Ashwagandha tea, you can expect a slightly bitter and earthy flavor that mellows into a dust-like taste.
Some people find this flavor a bit overwhelming. Hence, Ashwagandha tea is often consumed with;
12 Mysterious Health Benefits of Ashwagandha Tea
It’s important to note that most health benefits of Ashwagandha tea are yet to be backed by scientific evidence.
Ayurvedic medicine mostly utilizes its roots and berries to make ashwagandha supplements and tea that help with mild health conditions.
Below we discuss the most mysterious health benefits of ashwagandha tea:
1. Improves Your Mood
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic that possesses antidepressant effects.
This means that ashwagandha tea can naturally stabilize your mood.
Evidence suggests that this herbal tea can effectively counteract some biological changes that often result in chronic stress and anxiety.
2. Promotes Restful Sleep
This is another major benefit of ashwagandha tea.
Although ashwagandha’s potency to boost energy levels is well-known, its botanical name somnifera actually means ‘sleep inducing.’
3. Can Reduce Inflammation
Ashwagandha tea can help reduce inflammation by stimulating the production of immunoglobulin.
These antibodies have been found to inhibit inflammation and help in the treatment of multiple autoimmune and systemic inflammatory diseases.
It also suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines that promote inflammation in the body, helping create an anti-inflammatory environment.
This significantly reduces pain resulting from inflammation and chronic stress.
4. Helps Relieve Stress
Results gathered from multiple human studies show that Ashwagandha can be useful for people looking to alleviate stress and anxiety.
In a previous study, some of the participants were given a full-spectrum extract obtained from the roots of ashwagandha.
They showed a significant reduction in cortisol levels (our bodies’ main stress hormone) and higher resistance to stress than those who did not receive the Ashwagandha extract.
5. Can Boost Immunity
This is a well-known health benefit of Ashwagandha tea.
This herbal tea enhances our overall immune system by boosting the body’s ability to deal with extreme stress.
High stress levels negatively impacts and weakens our immune system.
According to the guide Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, Ashwagandha tea is a potent immune system modulator.
This means that it can help create a balance between an underactive immune system and an overactive one.
An underactive immune system makes people vulnerable to infections and vice versa.
6. Alleviates Mental and Physical Fatigue
Mental fatigue often results from prolonged emotional and psychological stress due to many factors like a demanding job or a challenging life experience.
Mental fatigue can lead to adrenal fatigue which occurs when your adrenal glands have been overworked and can no longer secrete adequate cortisol for optimal cognitive function.
One of the health benefits of Ashwagandha tea is its potential to treat mental and physical fatigue.
It lowers stress hormones and gently increases your energy levels, resulting in significant improvements in your concentration, focus, and brain function.
7. Counteracts Oxidative Stress
Free radicals can result from normal metabolic processes or external sources like ozone, air pollutants, and cigarette smoking.
These free radicals react easily with other molecules in the body, a chemical reaction known as oxidation.
When these radicals are in excess, they can damage body cells, causing illnesses and accelerated aging.
Luckily, Ashwagandha tea is an excellent source of antioxidant compounds such as withanolides which have exhibited powerful antioxidant activities.
Therefore, the use of ashwagandha can help protect our bodies against damages caused by free radicals.
8. Helps Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Adrenal glands make and release more cortisol into your bloodstream when you’re in stress overload.
Elevated cortisol provides the body with glucose which typically increases blood sugar levels.
Ashwagandha tea has been found to have a positive effect on cortisol, supporting healthy blood sugar levels.
Findings gathered from multiple human studies show that ashwagandha can help reduce blood sugar levels.
High insulin sensitivity allows body cells to use blood glucose more effectively, essentially reducing blood sugar.
However, prolonged high blood sugar can deplete insulin-producing cells and damage nerves and organs.
9. Can Help Combat Cancer
Ashwagandha tea possesses properties that can be useful in cancer treatment.
According to recent research, Ashwagandha tea leaves possess an anticancer compound identified as withaferin A.
The compound was found to protect the lab rodents against chemically induced cancer.
Please note that this animal study did not examine the potency of ashwagandha as a stand-alone treatment.
Hence, more research is still needed to determine if Ashwagandha can help treat cancer in humans.
10. Boosts Heart and Eye Health
The antioxidant properties in Ashwagandha tea can potentially decrease the levels of oxidized LDL, consequently lowering your risk of developing heart diseases.
Another incredible benefit of Ashwagandha tea is that it can also prevent the development of cataracts, especially in people with diabetes.
A cataract is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world.
According to medical experts, the opacity of the eye lens directly results from oxidative stress.
As noted earlier, some compounds in ashwagandha have shown powerful antioxidant activities and may prevent the negative effects of oxidative stress.
11. Can Boost Fertility
Ayurvedic medicine considers Ashwagandha an aphrodisiac and modern research has supported these claims.
Recent research concludes that Ashwagandha tea may also benefit men and women looking to boost their fertility and reproductive health.
Clinical studies show that it has a positive impact on the health of your hormones while also supporting the reproductive system.
Interestingly, Ashwagandha tea has a long history of use in Ayurveda to boost male fertility.
Numerous studies conclude that this powerful herb can enhance testosterone levels, improve sperm count and sperm quality by boosting hormone health and reducing oxidative stress.
12. Can Help With Arthritis
According to a small study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, drinking Ashwagandha tea can help treat arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation which can cause you pain.
Luckily, the anti-inflammatory properties in Ashwagandha can act as a pain reliever by preventing pain signals from traveling to the brain.
Possible Side Effects of Ashwagandha Tea
Ashwagandha tea is generally safe for consumption, and studies show an extremely low risk of side effects in healthy adults.
However, it’s important to note that it may have possible but mild side effects.
Therefore, you’ll need to use it properly for the best results.
In addition, people with autoimmune diseases are strongly advised to consult their healthcare providers before using ashwagandha to help with any health symptoms.
In the same breath, it’s essential to note that most, if not all, clinical trials on Ashwagandha have been done using pills and extracts as opposed to Ashwagandha tea.
The Side Effects;
Some potential side effects of Ashwagandha include:
- Nasal congestion
- Drowsiness and upset stomach
- Constipation and nausea
- Increased/decreased appetite
- Coughs and cold
- Increased libido
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- May increase the risk of complications in pregnant women.
How To Prepare Ashwagandha Root
While you can take ashwagandha root by itself as a tea, tincture, or ashwagandha powder it’s also possible to blend it with other adaptogenic herbs as follows:
- Add dried ashwagandha roots and 4 cups of water to a pot and cover the pot
- Leave the water to simmer and let the medicinal herbs decoct for 20 minutes
- Turn off the heat and leave the decoction to infuse for 1 hour
- Carefully strain into a mug to remove the roots
- You can drink a half or full cup 3 times per day
- Add your preferred sweetener to enjoy the health benefits of ashwagandha tea
The bottom line - How To Make Ashwagandha Tea
Making Ashwagandha tea is pretty easy if you’re using root powder which you can readily buy online or from a health food store near you.
Here are 7 simple steps to your own Ashwagandha tea recipe:
- Boil two cups of water and add two teaspoons of your ashwagandha root powder
- Turn the heat down and cover the boiling water
- Leave it to simmer for about 10-15 minutes
- Turn off the heat and allow the water to cool
- Carefully strain the water into a glass jar
- Add ginger or turmeric and other sweeteners like honey
- Your ashwagandha tea is now ready to drink