Ashwagandha - Uses, Side Effects, and More

Ashwagandha - Uses, Side Effects, and More

Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that is mostly found in the tropical regions of Asia and Africa. This herb has long been used for its stress-relieving effects and is commonly referred to as an "adaptogen." Ashwagandha root contains a number of medicinal compounds, including chemicals that can help to calm the brain, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and modulate the immune system. Although more research is needed to confirm the efficacy of ashwagandha for these purposes, preliminary evidence suggests that it may be a helpful natural remedy for stress and anxiety.

Ashwagandha is a traditional remedy for stress that is believed to help the body adapt to physical and mental stressors. However, there is little scientific evidence to support most of the conditions it is used for, such as insomnia, ageing, anxiety, and many others. There is also no good evidence to support using ashwagandha for COVID-19.

Ashwagandha and Physalis alkekengi are often confused because they are both known as winter cherries. Ashwagandha is also sometimes confused with American ginseng, Panax ginseng, or eleuthero.

Ashwagandha - Uses, Side Effects, and More

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for

If you're having trouble sleeping, ashwagandha may be able to help. Some research suggests that taking the herb by mouth can improve overall sleep and sleep quality in people with insomnia. Ashwagandha may also help reduce stress in people who are under a lot of pressure. It's thought to work by reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Taking ashwagandha may also help prevent stress-related weight gain. There is some interest in using ashwagandha for other purposes, but there is not enough reliable evidence to say whether it is effective.

Side Effects

If you're considering taking ashwagandha, it's generally considered to be safe when used for up to three months. However, not much is known about the long-term safety of the herb, so it's best to err on the side of caution if you're planning on taking it for an extended period of time. Ashwagandha can sometimes cause stomach upset, diarrhoea, and vomiting, so it's best to start with a lower dose and increase gradually as needed. In rare cases, ashwagandha might also cause liver problems. When applied to the skin, there isn't enough information available to know whether ashwagandha is safe or what side effects might occur. So again, it's best to use caution if you're planning on using it topically.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Ashwagandha is generally considered to be safe when taken by mouth for up to three months, although more research is needed in order to confirm this. The long-term safety of ashwagandha is not yet known. Taking large doses of ashwagandha could potentially cause stomach upset, diarrhoea, or vomiting. In rare cases, liver problems might occur. Because there is not enough reliable information available, it is not known if ashwagandha is safe to use when applied to the skin. Side effects are also unknown.

Pregnancy: It is likely unsafe to use ashwagandha when pregnant. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might cause miscarriages. Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if ashwagandha is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Auto-immune diseases: Ashwagandha might cause the immune system to become more active, which could exacerbate symptoms of auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), or rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Surgery: If you're taking ashwagandha, be aware that it may slow down the central nervous system. This could be a problem during surgery, when anaesthesia and other medications are used. To be safe, stop taking ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before a planned surgery. Thyroid disorders: Ashwagandha might affect the thyroid gland. So if you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone medications, use ashwagandha cautiously or avoid it altogether.


You should moderate your interaction with ashwagandha if you are taking immunosuppressant medications. Ashwagandha can increase the activity of the immune system, while immunosuppressants work to decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking both together could cancel out the effects of the immunosuppressants.

Ashwagandha and Sedative Medications Ashwagandha

might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Some medications, called sedatives or CNS depressants, can also cause these effects. Taking ashwagandha with these medications might cause serious breathing problems or too much sleepiness.

Thyroid hormone interacts with Ashwagandha

The body produces thyroid hormones naturally, but ashwagandha may increase the amount of thyroid hormone the body produces. Taking ashwagandha with thyroid hormone pills could lead to too much thyroid hormone in the body, and amplify the effects and side effects of thyroid hormone. Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetic drugs) interact with Ashwagandha might lower blood sugar levels. Taking ashwagandha along with diabetes medications could cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely if you take these medications together.

Medications used to lower blood pressure levels (Antihypertensive drugs) may interact with ASHWAGANDHA. Ashwagandha has the potential to lower blood pressure when consumed. If you take ashwagandha and medications that lower blood pressure together, your blood pressure might drop too low. Closely monitor your blood pressure levels when taking these substances together.


Ashwagandha has commonly been taken by adults in doses up to 1000 mg per day, for a maximum of 12 weeks. However, it is best to speak with a healthcare provider beforehand to see what dosage might be the most effective for your specific condition.

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