Does Ashwagandha Help Joint Pain?

Does ashwagandha work for joint pain

Disclaimer: Initially drafted by AI, this article was edited by a human author to ensure accuracy and quality.

TL;DR Article Summary

Ashwagandha is best known for its anti-stress bioactivities. Its effects on joint pain and inflammation aren’t as thoroughly studied. Ashwagandha does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, but you will need to test it for yourself to see if it’s the right supplement for you.

Having Joint Pain?

You’ve probably landed here because you want natural supplements to reduce joint pain, and you’ve heard about Ashwagandha. Well, you’re in the right place. This article explains how ashwagandha works in the body and its potential for reducing joint pain.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, known also as Withania somnifera, is a small shrub native to India, the Middle East, and some parts of Africa. The roots and berries of ashwagandha have been used for has been used for over 3,000 years in India’s traditional medicine.

  • This is why Ashwagandha is often dubbed as “Indian ginseng”. [2] These days, ashwagandha is popular worldwide as a dietary supplement, thanks to its adaptogenic benefits, including stress reduction, energy improvement, appetite regulation, weight loss, and yes – joint pain to some extent.

How Does Ashwagandha Work?

Ashwagandha is packed with various compounds, the main ones being withanolides. These compounds help your body adapt to stress by balancing various bodily functions. [3] In the context of joint health, ashwagandha is shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. This gives ashwagandha the ability to benefit some people who suffer from joint pain.

Ashwagandha and Joint Pain: What Does the Research Say?

Let’s look at bit into the science behind ashwagandha and its potential for relieving joint pain. Multiple studies show that ahwagandha really does reduce markers of inflammation in the body. It’s natural to assume therefore that ashwagandha subsequently helps to alleviate pain and discomfort. And there are studies that agree. Specifically, they show that ashwagandha may reduce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines—molecules that trigger the inflammation response.

Could ashwagandha be beneficial for arthritis specifically? Do we have studies for that? Yes we do. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that rheumatoid arthritis patients who consumed ashwagandha had notably less pain with lower disability scores. [1]

However, keep in mind that ashwagandha’s effects on joint pain and arthritis are still not nearly as researched as some of its other bioactivities like cortisol reduction.

How to Use Ashwagandha for Joint Pain

You can typically find Ashwagandha either in capsule or powder form. It’s best to take 450-500mg once or twice per day. Some studies used up to 1250mg per day.

But for long-term supplementation, we’re fans of starting with a lower dose and then gradually increase to see how you respond. Everybody responds differently to a supplement so make sure to be smart about it and discontinue use if you’re getting side effects.

Potential Side Effects and Risks of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is one of those herbs that can be extremely good for some people but it can also cause some side effects. These mainly include ediarrhea, stomach upset, or drowsiness. In some rare cases, though, ashwagandha can worsen autoimmune symptoms and thyroid issues, and it can interact with some meds. Just because its natural, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s always good for everyone!

Other Natural Remedies for Joint Pain

While ashwagandha might (that’s the key word here) offer some benefits for joint pain, it’s far from the best natural supplement out there. Other nutrients, herbs, and lifestyle changes can really aid this problem.

These include keeping your weight in check, doing regular physical activity, focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet, and ensuring 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Other supplements like turmeric, omega-3 fatty acids, and glucosamine are all well studied in the area of joint pain reduction.

Conclusion

So, does ashwagandha help with joint pain? What little evidence we have about this specific topic suggests it might. It’s not a magic bullet, though, and it should ideally be paired with other supplements to have the best effect on reducing inflammation and helping with joint stiffness.

References

  1. Ramakanth GS, Uday Kumar C, Kishan PV, Usharani P. A randomized, double blind placebo controlled study of efficacy and tolerability of Withaina somnifera extracts in knee joint pain. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2016 Jul-Sep;7(3):151-157. doi: 10.1016/j.jaim.2016.05.003. Epub 2016 Sep 16. PMID: 27647541; PMCID: PMC5052364.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5052364/
  2. Singh N, Bhalla M, de Jager P, Gilca M. An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011;8(5 Suppl):208-13. doi: 10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9. Epub 2011 Jul 3. PMID: 22754076; PMCID: PMC3252722.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
  3. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022. PMID: 23439798; PMCID: PMC3573577.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/

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