Side effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has a long history of use as an herb and is generally considered safe to use. No serious side effects of Ashwagandha have been observed when consumed in moderation by healthy individuals. The way in which Ashwagandha effects the human body is thought to be adaptongenic, meaning that the herb actually promotes ideal health. However it is always important to consult a doctor before use and some possible side effects of Ashwagandha are as noted below.

Ashwagandha and Side Effects on the Digestive System

Ashwagandha can cause heaviness in the abdomen as well as flatulence in some individuals. High doses can cause irritation of the stomach with some nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These side effects are generally observed in individuals with weakened digestive systems. Generally a decrease in dosage resolves these side effects. You should avoid Ashwagandha if you have a weak digestive system, suffer from ulcers or any other digestive system conditions.

The Ashwagandha Thyroid Connection

People who have an over active thyroid should consult a doctor before starting on supplements of this herb. The Ashwagandha thyroid connection draws from the observation that the herb tends to promote thyroid activity. As such it may aggravate symptoms for people who already have a thyroid

condition. Similar precautions should also be taken if you have any liver conditions since Ashwagandha may aggravate the problem. Always refrain from use of Ashwagandha in conjunction with alcohol or other sedatives or anxiety medications.

Ashwagandha's effects on pregnant women

Pregnant women should use precautions when taking this herb. The way in which Ashwagandha effects the fetus has not been thoroughly studied in the West. It is believed that some of the active compounds in Ashwagandha may have adverse effects on the development of the fetus. Ironically the herb is actually administered to pregnant women in India for certain conditions and it is thought to help the fetus. So the Western and Eastern view in this matter is somewhat contradictory.


Despite Ashwagandha being considered generally safe, it is important to remember that BEFORE taking any herbal supplements, you must seek the advice of your doctor. Even AFTER you start taking Ashwagandha supplements you should keep a close watch for any abnormal reactions. Often people have a dangerous misconception that a natural herb can do no harm to your body. This is very misleading since natural herbs can be very potent and cause significant harm to your body if not taken properly or if consumed in large amounts. Any such adverse reaction should be brought to your doctor's attention as you may have an allergy to the herb.

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