Ashwagandha for Teens and Kids

In the United States, almost one-third of students manage poor mental health.   Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb known for its ability to support the stress response. Traditional and modern uses …

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Written by: Siobhan Mendicino
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Medical Review by: Daniel Powers, MS
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In the United States, almost one-third of students manage poor mental health.  

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb known for its ability to support the stress response. Traditional and modern uses also show that it may encourage mental clarity and boost strength and endurance. 

In this article, we’ll discuss mental health, ashwagandha for teens and kids, as well as dosage and safety.  

benefits of ashwagandha for teens and kids

Ashwagandha for Teens and Kids: 

Ashwagandha is a shrub that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic practices. It has been administered to children and adults alike to help with building stress resilience.

Apart from its adaptogenic and cognition-boosting properties, ashwagandha is known as a Rasayana herb. These types of botanicals nurture the body’s vitality and encourage rejuvenation and longevity. 

Ashwagandha contains different helpful phytochemicals like alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and sitoindosides. These chemicals are known for their abilities to help the body adapt to stress, reduce inflammation, and fight against harmful molecules called free radicals.

Below are the top science-backed benefits of ashwagandha for teens and kids. 

1. May Support Stress & Anxiety 

Anxiety affects one in eight children in the United States, which can cause issues with learning, socializing, and self-care. 

In a clinical study involving college students, ashwagandha supplementation significantly helped reduce stress and increase students’ overall well-being. Other effects of the 30-day ashwagandha supplementation included significantly improved sleep, balanced energy levels, and heightened mental clarity. 

In another clinical trial observing healthy college students with stress, researchers observed that ashwagandha helped increase quality of sleep, lower stress levels, and decrease food cravings. 

Ayurveda, a traditional Indian medicine system, mentions that ashwagandha is helpful for all conditions caused by stress. The herb acts as a tonic for the nervous system, nourishing frazzled nerves and helping the body become better adapted to stressful situations. 

2. May Boost Focus & Memory 

Optimal brain health is essential for teens and kids because the front of the brain develops and matures most during adolescence. The frontal lobe is responsible for decision-making, memory, planning, and impulse control.   

A clinical study observing college students discovered that ashwagandha supported mental clarity after 30 days of supplementation. Researchers suggested that this effect was due to ashwagandha’s ability to support the stress response. 

In a review, researchers mention that ashwagandha is significantly helpful for children with attention and memory challenges. The review further states that this ability to benefit cognitive function is a characteristic of Rasayana herbs. 

Ayurvedic texts suggest taking ashwagandha and gotu kola as a tonic to promote optimal brain function and nerve health. 

3. May Increase Strength & Endurance 

Childhood and adolescence are crucial periods of physical growth. Ashwagandha may support healthy growth and strength in teens and children. 

In a clinical trial involving children, researchers discovered that milk fortified with ashwagandha acted as a growth promoter. The researchers also noted that ashwagandha supplementation provided an anti-anemic effect due to its rich iron content. 

A clinical comparison study involving children found that ashwagandha ghee and ashwagandha granules significantly increased body and muscle mass. Researchers mentioned that the children in the ashwagandha ghee group experienced a faster growth rate and could breathe more deeply. 

In Ayurvedic texts, ashwagandha is listed as an herb that supports the formation of new tissue and can be used as a tonic to encourage greater strength. It is sometimes used in combination with other herbs as a muscle tonic.      

4. May Improve Sleep  

During sleep, the body helps clear out cellular waste in the brain. If kids and teens don’t get enough sleep, it can impact memory, concentration, and the stress response. 

In a clinical study, researchers discovered that ashwagandha supplementation had a small but significant effect on sleep quality. The herb worked best for those who experienced 8 weeks of supplementation. This study suggests children and teens may have to take ashwagandha for a significant amount of time before experiencing noticeable support.   

Some clinical texts on herbal medicine suggest ashwagandha in warm milk to support a restful sleep.

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is used as a mild sedative to encourage sleep. Due to ashwagandha’s effect on the nervous system, it usually supports restlessness caused by increased stress and an overactive mind. 

5. May Support The Immune System 

Kids and teens spend most of their time with other children, so a robust immune system is essential for keeping their bodies healthy. 

In a review of ashwagandha, researchers mention that ashwagandha’s active constituents are known for their immune-balancing effects. Additionally, ashwagandha is considered a tonic that supports immunity and longevity. 

Ashwagandha for reducing stress and improving cognitive function

Mental Health & Teens and Kids:  

Mental health issues have become an increasing epidemic for kids and teens. Since childhood and adolescence are vital times for both physical and mental development, it’s crucial that teens and kids receive holistic support during this time. 

Stress is a leading factor in mental health challenges. Both home- and school-related issues can cause long-term stress and lead to other issues like: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Behavioral issues
  • Isolation
  • Sleep issues 
  • Appetite changes 

While natural supplementation is a health-supportive option, there are other ways to reduce stress and soothe mental health complications. Some helpful methods include: 

  • Movement 
  • Adequate hydration 
  • Unprocessed, whole-food diet 
  • Mindfulness 
  • Therapy 
  • Spending time outside and having fun 
  • Quality time with parents, guardians, or friends  

Ashwagandha Dosage for Teens & Kids:

As a general rule of thumb, it’s safe to use the reliable Clark’s Rule to calculate a child’s dose. The rule states: 

A Child’s Dose = (Weight of child divided by 150 lbs.) x Adult Dose 

Below is a chart of estimated dosage given Clark’s Rule and the adult dose of 600mg. 

Weight (lbs) Daily Dosage (mg) 

Parents often notice the best results when splitting the dose between morning and evening. It is recommended to consult a primary care physician if you would like to increase the dosage. 

How to Select a Supplement for Your Child or Teen:

Choosing the right dietary supplement type for your child or teen will make administration easier and encourage a consistent routine.

If your child or teen is sensitive to taste, a non-alcoholic glycerin tincture or ashwagandha gummies might be best.  

Capsules and decoctions (an ashwagandha infusion) are also available if your child or teen doesn’t have a problem swallowing pills or is comfortable with potent drinks.  

Adding Ashwagandha To Your Child’s Routine:

To encourage supplementation, add a non-alcoholic glycerin tincture dietary supplement to juice, water, or other drinks in the morning so the child or teen receives the benefits throughout the day. Adding honey to a milk or water decoction can be helpful and increase palatability. 

Ashwagandha gummies may encourage supplementation due to their favorable flavor. 

Since ashwagandha is known for promoting a calm response, splitting up the dosage for morning and evening supplementation may support restful sleep. 

Is Ashwagandha Safe? 

Ashwagandha is generally well-tolerated and has a relatively safe profile for adults and kids. 

Numerous clinical studies confirm that children didn’t experience any adverse side effects of ashwagandha.  

Kids and teens with sensitivities to Solanaceae family plants should avoid using ashwagandha. If a child or teen experiences hemochromatosis (excess iron), ashwagandha should also be avoided due to its high iron content.  

Ashwagandha may also potentiate or increase the effects of thyroid medication and barbiturates. 

effects of ashwagandha root for kids and teens


Supplementing with ashwagandha for teens and kids may support their overall mental and physical health, given its potential to balance the stress response and boost brain health. 

It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before including ashwagandha in a child’s or teen’s daily routine. 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US). (2022, October). 2022 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report: Child and Adolescent Mental Health [Internet]. Rockville, MD. Available from:

American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Stress in children and adolescents. Retrieved April 9, 2024, from 

Arain, M., Haque, M., Johal, L., Mathur, P., Nel, W., Rais, A., Sandhu, R., & Sharma, S. (2013). Maturation of the adolescent brain. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 9, 449–461.

Baker, C., Kirby, J. B., O'Connor, J., Lindsay, K. G., Hutchins, A., & Harris, M. (2022). The Perceived Impact of Ashwagandha on Stress, Sleep Quality, Energy, and Mental Clarity for College Students: Qualitative Analysis of a Double-Blind Randomized Control Trial. Journal of Medicinal Food, 25(12).

Cheah, K. L., Norhayati, M. N., Husniati Yaacob, L., & Abdul Rahman, R. (2021). Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 16(9), e0257843. 

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O'Connor, J., Lindsay, K., Baker, C., Kirby, J., Hutchins, A., & Harris, M. (2022). The Impact of Ashwagandha on Stress, Sleep Quality, and Food Cravings in College Students: Quantitative Analysis of a Double-Blind Randomized Control Trial. Journal of medicinal food, 25(12), 1086–1094. 

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Venkataraghavan S, Seshadri C, Sundaresan TP, Revathi R, Rajagopalan V, Janaki K. The comparative effect of milk fortified with ashwagandha, ashwagandha and punarnava in children: a double-blind study. J Res Ayurved Siddha. 1980;1:370-385. 

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About Siobhan Mendicino

Siobhan is a herbal researcher and writer. She has a bachelor of science in communications as well as having completed a post-baccalaureate certificate in herbal studies.