Smoking is widely considered one of the most common health hazards that are associated with several diseases including heart disease, stroke and lung cancer [^1]. However, the awareness campaigns and all methods that are to help a person quit smoking provide only limited assistance in breaking this habit. The use of ashwagandha to quit smoking will be the topic discussed in this article, and how it can help you fight your cravings, reduce stress levels and promote overall health.


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an ancient medicinal herb which has been used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine for more than 3000 years[^2^]. The plant is also referred to as Indian ginseng or winter cherry and it originates from India, some parts of Africa. Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it can help the body cope with stress, and it has been shown to possess numerous health benefits, including: The first reason is that it gives an opportunity to be a part of the process.

  • Reducing anxiety and depression[^3^]
  • Improving brain functions and memory[^5^]
  • Physical performance and strength[^5^]
  • Balancing blood sugar levels[^6^]


The active ingredient in cigarettes, nicotine triggers the release of dopamine – a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. A person attempting to quit smoking undergoes withdrawal symptoms which include irritability, anxiety and cravings due to the brain’s adaptation on nicotine absence[^7^]. Stress is another major element that plays a significant role in smoking addiction and relapse[^8].

Since Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, it can be used by the body to manage stress and anxiety which may make a good partner when quitting smoking. Here’s how ashwagandha may be beneficial for those looking to quit: The same can be said for the fact that a great number of people have been brought to believe in astrology.



Ashwagandha has been proved to be an effective cortisol lowering agent that is the primary stress hormone in humans[^9]. High cortisol levels can result in stress, anxiety and to a weakened immune system. The stress and anxiety associated with quitting smoking can be reduced by the ability of ashwagandha to lower cortisol levels.


Ashwagandha is a herb that could help in reducing the cravings for nicotine, according to research[^10^]. This may be associated with its capacity to control dopamine levels that have been shown in addiction as well as reward-seeking behavior. Ashwagandha may reduce the cravings associated with nicotine withdrawal by assisting in maintaining a balanced level of dopamine.


Ashwagandha has been proven to have antidepressant properties which could help in enhancing mood and emotional well-being as one tries quitting smoking[^3^]. Due to the fact that mood disturbances are rampant among those quitting, ashwagandha’s capacity of improving one’s mood can be quite useful.


Abstaining from smoking has been found to interfere temporarily with cognitive function and memory[^12^]. Ashwagandha has been found to enhance cognitive performance and memory in healthy people as well as individuals with cognitive impairment[^4^]. This may help to offset the transient cognitive effects of nicotine withdrawal.


Insomnia is a withdrawal symptom of quitting smoking[^12]. Ashwagandha has been shown to enhance sleep quality and induce restful sleep[^13] Sleep is an important factor in maintaining good overall health, and getting enough sleep will make breaking the smoking addiction easier.


Ashwagandha can be taken in the form of capsules, powder or extracts. Here are some ways to incorporate ashwagandha into your smoking cessation plan: She was a very generous person:

  1. Ashwagandha capsules or tablets: It can be used as a daily supplement in doses of 300–500 mg/day[^14^]. Remember to always adhere strictly with the dosage indicated on product label and seek professional medical advice before starting any new supplementation program.
  2. Ashwagandha powder:  The powdered root can be dissolved in warm water, milk or any drink of your preference. It can also be put into smoothies or yogurt.
  3. Ashwagandha extract: Liquid extracts can be mixed in water, juice or tea. Take the medication as prescribed on product label.

It is important to select a good quality standardized ashwagandha product so that one gets the best benefits. Before starting to take ashwagandha supplements, consult a healthcare specialist and especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, taking other medications.


While ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most individuals, some potential side effects may occur, including:

  • Upper Gastrointestinal problems; diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Allergic reactions

However, if any side effects occur stop using and visit a health professional. Also, people with thyroid disorders or autoimmune diseases as well as those who are on medication should seek medical advice before using Ashwagandha.

In conclusion, ashwagandha can serve a good alternative natural remedy in treating people who want to end their smoking habit. Its adaptogenic effects can help reduce the stress, anxiety and craving of nicotine withdrawal as well improve mood cognition functionand sleep. Though ashwagandha is generally regarded safe, it’s recommended to consult a physician prior supplementation.


[1]: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.

[2]: Singh, N., Bhalla, M., de Jager, P., & Gilca, M. (2011). An overview on ashwagandha: A Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 8(5S).

[3]: Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). 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 Journal of Psychological Medicine, 34(3), 255-262.

[4]: Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 14(6), 599-612.

[5]: Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 43.

[6]: Anwer, T., Sharma, M., Pillai, K. K., & Iqbal, M. (2008). Effect of Withania somnifera on insulin sensitivity in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus rats. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 102(6), 498-503.

[7]: Benowitz, N. L. (2010). Nicotine addiction. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(24), 2295-2303.

[8]: Kassel, J. D., Stroud, L. R., & Paronis, C. A. (2003). Smoking, stress, and negative affect: Correlation, causation, and context across stages of smoking. Psychological Bulletin, 129(2), 270-304.

[9]: Auddy, B., Hazra, J., Mitra, A., Abedon, B., & Ghosal, S. (2008). A standardized Withania somnifera extract significantly reduces stress-related parameters in chronically stressed humans: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, 11(1), 50-56.

[10]: Kulkarni, S. K., & Dhir, A. (2008). Withania somnifera: An Indian ginseng. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 32(5), 1093-1105.

[11]: Durazzo, T. C., Mattsson, N., & Weiner, M. W. (2014). Smoking and increased Alzheimer’s disease risk: A review of potential mechanisms. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 10(3 Suppl), S122-45.

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