Ashwagandha and kratom: The similarities, differences, and possible interactions

Ashwagandha and kratom: The similarities, differences, and possible interactions
Ashwagandha and kratom: The similarities, differences, and possible interactions


What is kratom? What is ashwagandha? Ashwagandha and kratom similarities Ashwagandha vs. kratom Is it a good idea to take ashwagandha and kratom together? Ashwagandha and kratom: A powerful combination

Public consciousness of herbal treatments is growing, and more options are available to consumers. Many of these plants work wonderfully in tandem, too. Why not combine their natural traits into a cleaner, safer, and more effective way to boost your wellness?


What is kratom?

Kratom spent plenty of time in the public eye in recent decades. Not all attention was positive, either: there were many misconceptions and false accusations surrounding the herb. So, let’s start with a clean slate and introduce it from scratch.


ashwagandha and kratom


Kratom is an evergreen tree from the Southeast Asian coffee family. It originates from Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. Its official biology name is Mitragyna speciosa.

The leaves of this tree are rich in alkaloids, chemicals that interact with our brains and bodies. They have a bitter, herbal fragrance and a central role in the traditional folk medicine of their native countries.

A part of kratom’s popularity is due to its two-fold effects. It acts as a stimulant or relaxant, making it valuable for focus, energy, post-injury care, and sleep support. According to some sources, it may have played a role in spiritual practices as a way to transcend the Earthly realm.

Ancient practitioners chewed leaves or brewed them into teas. The dried leaf is also available to Western shoppers, as well as kratom capsules and powders.

Due to its double-duty properties, kratom is potentially valuable to various demographics. Let’s explore the effects in more depth.


Kratom effects

Kratom effects are dose-dependent, meaning they change with how much you take. As a general rule, here’s what you might expect:

  • Low doses are energizing and stimulating. Users compare the experience to a strong cup of coffee minus the caffeine-induced jitteriness. The focus sharpens, and the energy levels skyrocket, leaving you awake and alert. These amounts may also be aphrodisiac.
  • High doses are soothing and euphoric. Users feel carefree, lazy, and ready to relax. Some might experience warmth across the body and mild visual effects. This amount also effectively reduces discomfort and may put you to sleep.

Besides the dose, you can alter the effects by choosing different types of kratom. For instance, Maeng Da is known to be fast-acting, while Sumatra is gentle and beginner-friendly. Picking the right strain lets you further tweak the experience.

What does science say about kratom? Research is still scarce, but here are some potential applications:

  • Combating stress and the blues. Animal studies show this plant has uplifting and stress-busting properties. Mice exhibited lower stress hormone levels after consuming mitragynine (the primary kratom alkaloid).
  • Relieving physical discomfort. Kratom reduces people’s perception of aches and tension for several hours. This effect is comparable to opium and valuable to people with various health issues.
  • Assisting withdrawal. A 2008 case study showed kratom reduced withdrawal intensity more than prescription drugs.

In-depth studies are yet to come. Meanwhile, kratom is relatively accessible and getting more popular by the day.


Kratom benefits

Kratom is gaining popularity due to its diverse and enjoyable effects, various consumption methods, and wellness-boosting potential.

You can use this plant recreationally or therapeutically.

In the former case, kratom effects generally last 2–6 hours and may fit various scenarios.

The stimulating doses are excellent before parties, hobbies, or exercise. They induce an uplifted state that leaves you active, focused, and ready to enjoy yourself. Alternatively, you may take a microdose before work or studying for a productivity boost.

Taking higher amounts is ideal for relaxation after work and at-home weekend afternoons. They’re mildly euphoric and make you cozy and lazy.

In the latter case, people use kratom to combat health issues and boost their well-being. We don’t know everything about its long-term influence, but the benefits of quality sleep and reduced stress are well-known.

As a bonus, this plant is relatively low-risk. The side effects of kratom are mild, don’t happen often, and clear once you stop using it. Caution is required, especially if you’re on meds, but most people are safe to take it.

Kratom is available in multiple convenient forms for easy access and carry. You can take capsules on the go, brew teas for your morning or evening ritual, or mix powders into your pre-workout.

Due to its varied effects, kratom suits people during various times of need. You may get the same strain for energizing and relaxing properties, eliminating the need for a double purchase.


What is ashwagandha?

Before exploring how ashwagandha and kratom measure up, let’s introduce the other Asian power herb. What is it, how did it enter the spotlight, and why do wellness-seekers like it?

ashwagandha and kratom


Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub native to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. Its botanical title is Withania somnifera, and it also goes by “Indian ginseng” or “winter cherry.” The name is Sanskrit for “smell of the horse,” referring to its scent and strength-boosting effects.

The shrub produces consumable orange-red fruit and roots with a bitter, earthy taste and alkaloid-rich makeup. People have used both for healing purposes for hundreds of years.

Notably, ashwagandha is a central herb to Ayurveda, traditional natural healing from India. Practitioners used it for focus, energy, and tension relief. It’s also considered a Rasayana, a substance used to maintain mental and physical youth.

Today, we’d consider this plant an adaptogen. It increases the body’s resilience and seeks to restore a balanced state, which accounts for its health benefits.

Practitioners brewed tea from ashwagandha roots. Today, it’s available in pill, capsule, and powder form. Modern manufacturers may also infuse it in oils and creams, but these delivery methods aren’t well-researched.

Depending on the intended usage, people may consume the herb in the morning or evening. Let’s see why they may do so.


What is ashwagandha used for?

People use ashwagandha to fight stress, discomfort, fatigue, and sleep issues. Let’s see what science says about these uses.

According to some evidence, ashwagandha has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Since inflammation underpins numerous health issues, it might protect the body and mind from trouble.

Most studies were on animals or at the cell level, so we still don’t know precisely how the herb interacts with the body. Here’s which health applications have some scientific backing:

  • Reducing stress symptoms: A 2000 study suggests ashwagandha has similar properties to the lorazepam drug. Researchers further found that people experience less stress and lower cortisol levels when they consume it.
  • Improving sleep quality. Research suggests this plant may help people with and without insomnia get better rest. This effect is likely due to its stress-busting properties.
  • Reducing arthritis-related aches. The herb may prevent soreness signals from reaching the central nervous system. Combined with anti-inflammation, this effect may help folks with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Relieving mental health conditions. One study found this herb alleviates tension in people with schizophrenia. Another discovered it might reduce cognitive impairment due to bipolar disorder.
  • Improving heart health. Some people use this herb to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and chest soreness. A 2015 study in humans suggested ashwagandha may enhance respiratory endurance, which makes the heart function better.
  • Reducing the progression of Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. A 2011 review found that ashwagandha shelters the brain’s connective paths. As such, it may aid people in the early stages of these conditions.
  • Increasing male fertility. The root’s inflammation and fatigue-busting properties increase testosterone production in older men. A review also found it might boost sperm concentration, volume, and mobility in men with low sperm counts.
  • Improving cognitive functioning. A 2017 study found people who take ashwagandha experienced better memory, information processing, and attention rates.

In a nutshell, ashwagandha seems valuable for staying healthy all around. Let’s see why it’s a favorite and how you might fit your lifestyle.


Ashwagandha benefits

The above list of ashwagandha applications seems impressive, but it’s not uncommon. When science starts paying attention, many natural substances exhibit health benefits. What makes this particular herb unique?

It’s become a favorite because it’s relatively well-researched, safe, accessible, gentle, and effective.

Studies and reviews showed ashwagandha is safe and rarely causes any adverse reactions. The reported side effects are diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and drowsiness, which go away after you stop taking it.

Despite the general safety, pregnant people and those taking medications should avoid the herb or consult with a physician first.

Ashwagandha supplements, powders, capsules, and teas are available at health stores. You can take them in a single dose or multiple times a day, with or before meals. People usually rely on trial and error to see what amount and timing work for them.

The herb’s effects aren’t immediate, so it has a low abuse potential. Folks may take it for 1–2 months before noticing improvements.


Ashwagandha and kratom similarities


ashwagandha and kratom


Before looking at ashwagandha vs. kratom, let’s see where these two herbs resemble each other. Here are the points of similarity:

  • Centuries of recorded use. Both plants were essential to traditional medicine in their native regions. Their history suggests they’re safe and have therapeutic value: they’d go out of use if they didn’t work!
  • Alkaloid-rich composition. These herbs deliver their benefits via alkaloids, well-researched active substances with medicinal applications. Their chemical makeups make it easier for scientists to suggest them as natural remedies.
  • Stress-busting properties. Easing stress is essential in the modern world, and both plants appear effective in this field. People often consume them to counter the damage of busy, tension-packed lifestyles.
  • Bitter herbal-earthy flavors. Although a secondary factor, the aroma affects your experience with a herb. These two have similar tastes that work well together.
  • Delivery methods. You can get kratom and ashwagandha in powder and capsule form. These convenient products make them easy to consume.

These similarities apply to most herbal remedies and don’t tell us much in isolation. So, let’s compare the two.


Ashwagandha vs. kratom

Kratom and ashwagandha have different traits and applications. They display the following notable differences:

  • The effect onset. Where kratom kicks in after 45 minutes and wanes in several hours, ashwagandha has a delayed impact. People only notice a difference after a few weeks. You may pick up on its acute influence only when you get used to it.
  • Dosage ranges. The suggested dose for ashwagandha is 0.5–5 grams, while kratom users may consume 0.5–10 grams.
  • Dosage-dependency. Kratom effects change based on how much you take, and the strain can be stimulating or sedating. Ashwagandha has the same type of influence no matter the amount; it just feels more potent when you take more.
  • Strain variance. Ashwagandha is a uniform species with predictable effects. On the other hand, kratom has unique effect profiles depending on where it grows and how mature it is. You can tweak your experience more with the latter.
  • Worldwide legality. Ashwagandha is universally legal, while kratom faces restrictions in certain parts of the world. Check its status in your region before giving it a go.

Is it a good idea to take ashwagandha and kratom together?


ashwagandha and kratom


The comparison above wasn’t to help you decide which plant to use. They don’t serve the same purpose or cancel each other out, so why pick one? Instead, we suggest taking ashwagandha and kratom.

Kratom and ashwagandha have synergistic effects and work well together. People often mix them to intensify their influence.

There are several considerations before combining ashwagandha root and kratom powder, though.

Choosing the right strain wonders for your experience, so test different options to find your fit. Consider using both substances separately first to get used to their influence.

Dosing is an individual matter. Your dose depends on tolerance, metabolism, desired effects, and strains. We can advise you to take the smallest possible quantity and work your way up. Even seasoned users should treat themselves as newbies when mixing herbs.

Here’s why:

People often experience powerful effects when combining the two herbs. Ashwagandha makes kratom feel more potent, and you need a smaller dose to get where you want to be. The boost is the most noticeable in terms of mind and body relaxation.

Besides the ideal scenario, negative interactions may also happen. These are often mild and can take two forms:

  • Agonistic interaction (kratom increases ashwagandha’s effects). Both deliver soothing properties, and they’re stronger combined. Side effects like drowsiness and sleepiness may also intensify, so be careful if doing activities requiring alertness.
  • Metabolic competition (kratom slows down ashwagandha’s metabolism). Kratom gets consumed and eliminated from your system faster. Since it spends less time in the body, it may be less effective.

These interactions are more likely with high doses and long-term consumption. Consult a physician if you plan to use both regularly.

So, how do you combine herbs?

It’s best to consume ashwagandha consistently and sometimes spice it up with kratom. By taking this approach, you reap the long-term benefits of ashwagandha and make your kratom sessions more enjoyable.


Ashwagandha and kratom: A powerful combination

These plants are an integral part of human history and culture, with an immense potential to heal. Taking ashwagandha and kratom together is an excellent way to intensify their benefits, but they do wonders even in isolation.

They’re also safe and accessible, so why not give them a go?

Ashwagandha is available at most health stores, and you can easily purchase it locally. Since Mitragyna speciosa is less regulated, buy quality-tested kratom from reputable online shops to reap its benefits and stay safe.