Know Your Spices: Ashwagandha

In the West, ashwagandha is touted as a miracle herb and its sales have grown. But what’s the truth?

Shabnaj Chowdhury

June 27, 2019

Know Your Spices: Ashwagandha

Meghan Markle takes it before bed. Popular — and sometimes controversial — wellness brands, such as skin and haircare serum Moon Juice and hair loss fighter Nutrafol, tout it as an ingredient. Sports drinks, like Recover 180°, claim it can calm stress and aid in concentration. 

With its wide-ranging benefits, ashwagandha is trending in the West as a miracle herb. In the United States, ashwagandha sales grew 25% between 2016-17. Google searches have surged over the past few years — growing from barely popular in 2013 to its highest interest level this year, though it’s still one-sixth of the interest level of turmeric. Various media outlets call it the latest health trend. It’s even gone viral on Amazon.  

It’s been found to promote brain health, stabilize blood sugar, increase stamina, battle anxiety, and improve mood and sleep. It can help fight cancer by inducing apoptosis, the programmed death of cancer cells, and it might even help with reproductive health.