Does Ashwagandha Kill Emotions? What the Research Says

Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogen herb that has gained widespread attention in recent years for its potential health benefits (and Andrew Huberman).

While it is touted for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, some people have raised concerns about its impact on emotions, claiming that it can “kill” or suppress emotions altogether, sparking many questions.

Now, those statements can’t be left unanswered.

So today, we’ll discuss does ashwagandha kill emotions and whether there is any truth to these claims.

Does Ashwagandha Make You Emotionally Numb?

There is no concrete evidence suggesting that ashwagandha makes you emotionally numb, despite anecdotal evidence and various claims (particularly on social media).

In fact, studies suggest otherwise. [1]

However, as with any supplement or medication, individual experiences may vary.

Ashwagandha was studied extensively, and its effects on emotions, particularly stress emotions, are rather noticeable. It has been shown time and time again that supplementing with it can reduce stress and anxiety, drastically lowering the impact of stressors on one’s life.

That doesn’t mean it will suppress or eliminate emotions altogether.

Just because someone experiences a sense of calm or relaxation doesn’t mean they don’t feel anything at all.

Why and how that happens, we’re about to find out.

Will Ashwagandha Have Any Impact on Your Emotions?

Yes, ashwagandha will have an impact on your emotions. It is known for its adaptogenic properties, which means it helps the body cope with stress and anxiety, effectively impacting your emotions.

Ashwagandha works by regulating the body’s production of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. [2]

By reducing cortisol levels, Ashwagandha can help improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

In addition to its adaptogenic properties, Ashwagandha also contains plenty of bioactive compounds that have been shown to have antidepressant effects. [3]

These compounds (alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, and withanolides) can help regulate the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood.

That said, ashwagandha is not a cure-all for emotional distress or issues.

Sure, it can help with some symptoms, but it wouldn’t be wise to treat it as a magical plant that will transform your life.

How Does Ashwagandha Make You Feel When Taking It?

This one’s tricky to answer because everyone’s experience may differ.

What feels good to you may feel horrible for someone else, and vice versa.

That said, many people who take ashwagandha report feeling a sense of calm and relaxation and a reduction in stress and anxiety

Not an overwhelming feeling of calmness, but feeling more “at peace” than they usually are.

Some people also report feeling more focused and alert, with improved cognitive function, and some boast their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep easier than they usually would.

Overall, it appears as if it is safe to say that ashwagandha feels good for most people.

Are There Any Negative Side Effects of Taking Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people when taken in recommended doses (up to 600 mg per day). [4]

However, more research is needed to assess long-term effects – both negative and positive.

For now, the only talked about side effects of ashwagandha are drowsiness and sedation.

Does Ashwagandha Have Any Benefits for Bodybuilding?

It seems that ashwagandha has plenty of benefits for bodybuilding.

Some of the most notable benefits are:

Here are some potential benefits of ashwagandha for bodybuilding:

  • May increase muscle mass and strength: As mentioned, ashwagandha contains many bioactive compounds, some of which have been shown to increase muscle mass and strength in conjunction with strength training.
    One study found that participants who took ashwagandha supplements had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size compared to those who took a placebo. [5]
  • May reduce inflammation: Intense workouts can cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. The study outlined above also shows that ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue post-workout.
  • May improve endurance: In addition to all that, studies suggest that ashwagandha may improve endurance, which translates to better gym performance.
  • May reduce stress and cortisol levels: High levels of stress and cortisol can (read: will) interfere with muscle growth and recovery. And as we know, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and cortisol levels, helping you offset some of the detrimental effects of stress on your physical performance.

Ashwagandha has also been linked with improved metabolic health, fat loss, oxygen uptake, improvements in the perceived rate of exertion, noticeable increases in testosterone levels, etc.

Is it Worth it to Take Ashwagandha Supplements for Bodybuilding?

All in all, it is worth it to take ashwagandha supplements for bodybuilding.

Should you expect massive, juice-like gains? No, not at all.

But at the same time, there aren’t any supplements that aren’t anabolic steroids that can replicate those same effects.

And, if we’re being completely honest, compared to some other, much better-known “bodybuilding” supplements that are outright ineffective, ashwagandha appears to be the real deal.

Naturally, the mileage will vary, and some of you may very well be non-receptive to the effects of this plant. But for the vast majority of people, it should help.


So, no, ashwagandha does not kill emotions based on what we know so far.

What it does is helps you cope with stress and anxiety and has positive effects on your overall health and athletic performance.

So, if that sounds like something that you could use some help with – ashwagandha might just help.

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Pierce Reiten
Pierce Reiten

Pierce Reiten is an NASM certified personal trainer with over a decade of experience in the gym. He's passionate about providing information to help you improve your fitness and life.

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