Ashwagandha Smoothie

How to Boost Your Energy and Love Life with Ashwagandha

I am excited to share a recipe from my forthcoming book, Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal.

This recipe features ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an herb from India that is renowned for its building and nourishing qualities. In addition to being important in Ayurveda, this herb has quickly become popular for western herbalists as well.

Herbalists frequently use ashwagandha root for people who are chronically stressed, run down, prone to frequent colds and flus, and those who have degenerative diseases such as arthritis.

Ashwagandha for anxiety and insomnia

It is also especially revered for people with anxiety and insomnia. In a study on anxiety, one group of people received a small dose of ashwagandha, a multivitamin, deep breathing exercises, and dietary counseling. Another group received psychotherapy, the same breathing exercises, and a placebo to replace the ashwagandha. After eight weeks, those taking ashwagandha showed more improvement in their anxiety levels than the placebo group.1 (I love how this study incorporated holistic health, not only a dose of an herb, to address a complex health challenge!)

Ashwagandha for sexual health

This herb has long been used to support sexual desire and fertility. Science is further confirming that use. In one study, 75 men taking ashwagandha were shown to have improved semen quality, which researchers credited to decreased levels of oxidative stress and regulated hormone levels.2

Ashwagandha Smoothie

Another study looked at 180 men taking 5 grams of ashwagandha for three months. The researchers reported that: “Withania somnifera not only reboots enzymatic activity of metabolic pathways and energy metabolism but also invigorates the harmonic balance of seminal plasma metabolites and reproductive hormones in infertile men.”3

The herb has also been shown to improve the sexual function of healthy women. In one pilot study, 25 women were given a concentrated root extract of ashwagandha and 25 were given a starch-based placebo. After eight weeks, those taking the ashwagandha root showed numerous significant improvements in sexual function including lubrication and orgasm.4

Essentially this herb helps you to sleep better, increases your energy, soothes your nervous system to address anxiety and chronic stress, and supports your reproductive system which results in better sex. That’s a powerful herb!

Ashwagandha Smoothie

How to take ashwagandha

You’ll often see this herb being sold as capsules or tinctures in health food stores, but this is not how I recommend taking it.

Traditionally one takes it as a powder in fairly large dosages (6-30 grams a day). If you took that much in capsules, you’d be swallowing a lot of pills!

I created this recipe as a way to enjoy the powder in your food.

Special considerations

Ashwagandha is generally regarded as a safe herb that will benefit most people. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Use it during pregnancy only under the advice of a qualified herbalist or health professional. Do not take with barbiturates, as it may potentiate their sedative effects. Some people with nightshade sensitivities may not tolerate it, although this seems to be a small percentage. (Ashwagandha is a member of the nightshade family.) In Ayurvedic theory, this herb shouldn’t be used if there is a current upper respiratory infection or lots of mucus congestion.

Ashwagandha Smoothie

Ashwagandha Banana Smoothie

This yummy treat is a great way to share the nourishing and supportive qualities of ashwagandha. If you have a sensitivity to dairy, use any nondairy yogurt of your choice. For the nut or seed butter, peanut, almond, cashew, and sunflower seed butters are all good options.

What you’ll need…

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (50 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons ashwagandha powder (12 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • maple syrup or honey, to taste

Place all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth.

Ashwagandha Smoothie

Ashwagandha Smoothie

Pour the smoothie into glasses. Use a spatula to get all the liquid from the sides of the blender—there are lots of good herbs in there.

Drink immediately.

Yield: 5 cups, 3 to 5 servings

Recipe from Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal by Rosalee de la Forêt (Hay House, 2017)

 

Now we’d love to hear from you!

What are your favorite nourishing smoothie ingredients?

Have you ever used ashwagandha?

Let us know in the comments below.

Show 4 footnotes

  1. Cooley, Kieran, et al. “Naturopathic Care for Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial ISRCTN78958974.” PloS One 4, no. 8 (2009): e6628. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006628.
  2. Ahmad, Mohammad Kaleem, et al. “Withania Somnifera Improves Semen Quality by Regulating Reproductive Hormone Levels and Oxidative Stress in Seminal Plasma of Infertile Males.” Fertility and Sterility 94, no. 3 (August 2010): 989–96. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.046.
  3. Gupta, Ashish, et al. “Efficacy of Withania Somnifera on Seminal Plasma Metabolites of Infertile Males: A Proton NMR Study at 800 MHz.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 149, no. 1 (August 26, 2013): 208–14. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.024.
  4. Dongre, Swati, Deepak Langade, and Sauvik Bhattacharyya. “Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Sexual Function in Women: A Pilot Study.” BioMed Research International 2015 (2015). doi:10.1155/2015/284154.
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39 comments
    • Ingrid says:

      Thank you John! Do you have a recipe for insomnia and anxiety that doesn’t have the ingredients of bananas,yogurt and honey? My doctor has me dairy-free, grain-free, sugar-free and gluten-free. Bananas cause an inflammatory response in my body and honey has always torn up my stomach, ( including an organic brand). Life has caused the stress, anxiety and the insomnia but, physically I am doing okay. I look forward to your and hopefully any input from Rosalee!

  1. Jasmine P says:

    Thank you for sharing. This is a lovely preparation but from an Ayurvedic perspective banana and yogurt are incompatible foods. In fact uncooked fruit of any kind should not be mixed with milk products. Also it would be ill advised to use banana with nuts as the speed of digestion differs. What are your thoughts?

    • Rosalee de la Forêt says:

      Thanks for sharing your Ayurvedic perspective. I don’t follow any strict dietary rules or subscribe to food combinations. Instead I encourage people to eat a wide range of foods that they enjoy and that makes them feel good. Listening to your own body is the a good way to figure out what works best.

  2. Paula says:

    Well, it’s not a banana split so I think we are okay! I don’t recall reading about blenders in Ayurveda. Maybe, a blender transforms things a bit. What do you think?

  3. CH says:

    I agree with Jasmine and would take the Banana and Yogurt out of this recipe. Instead I would add a couple of dates or some stevia leaves to it for the sweetness and they both go well per Ayurvedic principles.

    • John Gallagher says:

      Hey all! Thanks for the insights, but to those new here, this recipe or anything on this site has nothing to do with Ayurveda. We love all herbal traditions, but we are not instructing folks on any one particular one. We are simply exploring this amazing herb, which can be used in many contexts outside of Ayurveda. Enjoy!

  4. Jaylene says:

    I love that you provided a practical way to incorporate this herb into my food and it even looks yummy too. I am excited to try it and to see your new book. I have learned about ashwaganda but have never used it.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Emily Han
      Emily Han says:

      We will be sharing pre-order details next week! In the meantime, if you aren’t already on our list, sign up at the bottom of this page so you don’t miss the announcement.

    • Emily Han
      Emily Han says:

      Yes, this recipe uses ashwagandha root, so you could grind the pieces in a spice grinder or coffee grinder to make a powder.

  5. Dianne M says:

    The Recipe looks yummy and thank you for sharing. However, 5 servings is a lot to make for just me. So my question is how long will it last in the refrigerator? Thanks for all you do Rosalee!

  6. Susanne says:

    I’m sure the book will be wonderful! You are a great teacher and have a way of making the information easy to understand and the recipes make herbs fun to use. Thanks for all you share with us!

  7. Sophie says:

    Your book sounds lovely and how exciting for you. It will make great gifts for my adult children, hoping their lives move more toward the magic of herbs.

  8. Karen Vago says:

    Hi Rosalee, it’s great to hear that you have a book coming out. I love your views on herbs and how to prepare them. Can’t wait to order! You are my go to person when it comes to herbs. I have learned so much from you. A bientôt!

  9. Rachel Thompson says:

    I am so for excited for you Rosealee!!! I love your teaching style, and I cannot wait to have your book! Wahoooo!!!!

    • Emily Han
      Emily Han says:

      You can visit iWantHerbs.com, or simply click on the big orange button under the list of recipe ingredients.

  10. Ruth Ann Alsobrook says:

    I have a smoothie recipe similar to this but without the ashwagandha so I’m eager to try it. But why is the coconut oil included? Is it necessary?

  11. Vanessa Cato says:

    I’m with Dianne M. The recipe says consume immediately, but I live alone. It is really frustrating when recipes do not give options for one serving.

    • John Gallagher says:

      Hey there! So, it’s a smoothie… like any other shake or smoothie. You can put it in the fridge, and keep drinking it til it’s gone. I doubt it will last long. :-)

  12. Gretchen M says:

    Hi! Thanks for the great recipe and a chance to use my ashwagandha root (glad to hear l can grind it!).
    So, I was wondering if this recipe is appropriate or good for children. My kids love to drink my smoothies and I want to make sure this would be okay with the adhwagandha. Thanks!

  13. Mesha Robbins says:

    Wow, what a great way to add more ashwaganda to my diet!!
    Usually I add the root to my tea infusion but love the idea of adding the powder to a smoothie! (Duh;)
    I have always loved the variety that Rosalee uses in her recipes, with lots of flexibility to adapt the recipe to individual needs.
    This one also looks like an easy one to cut in half for those needing smaller portion sizes

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