Ashwagandha – Uses, Side Effects, and More

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Ashwagandha

An evergreen plant, ashwagandha grows in both Asia and Africa. Stress is frequently treated with it. There is not much proof that it is used as an “adaptogen.”

Chemicals in ashwagandha may aid in lowering blood pressure, relaxing the brain, reducing edema, and affecting the immune system.

Ashwagandha is a classic adaptogen used for a variety of stress-related ailments. Adaptogens are said to aid the body’s ability to withstand both physical and mental stress. It is purported to treat a variety of ailments, such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and aging; however, the majority of these uses lack solid scientific backing. Also, there is no solid research to back up the use of ashwagandha for COVID-19.

Ashwagandha should not be confused with Physalis alkekengi. Both have the moniker “winter cherry.” Also, avoid conflating ashwagandha with eleuthero, Panax ginseng, or American ginseng.

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for

Insomnia. Some people appear to experience better overall sleep and sleep quality when taking ashwagandha orally.
Stress. Some individuals appear to experience stress reduction while taking ashwagandha orally. It might also lessen weight gain brought on by stress.
Although there is interest in utilizing ashwagandha for a variety of additional conditions, there is not enough trustworthy data to determine whether it will be beneficial.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth, Ashwagandha may be safe when taken orally for up to three months. It is unknown whether ashwagandha is safe over the long term. It may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when taken in high doses. Rarely, liver issues could arise.

When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough trustworthy data to determine whether ashwagandha is safe or what potential adverse effects there may be when applied topically.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth

Using ashwagandha for up to three months may be safe. It is unknown whether ashwagandha is safe over the long term. Ashwagandha may produce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when taken in high doses. Rarely, liver issues could arise.

When applied to the skin

There isn’t enough trustworthy data to determine whether ashwagandha is safe or what potential adverse effects there may be when applied topically.

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Pregnancy

It is probably dangerous to use ashwagandha while pregnant. According to some research, ashwagandha may result in miscarriages.

Breastfeeding

There isn’t enough trustworthy data to determine whether ashwagandha is safe to use while nursing. Avoid use to be on the safe side.

Multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other “auto-immune disorders”: Ashwagandha may boost immunity, which could exacerbate the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. It’s advisable to stay away from ashwagandha if you suffer from one of these conditions.

Surgery

Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system during surgery. Medical professionals are concerned that this impact could be exacerbated by anesthetics and other drugs used during and after surgery. Ashwagandha should be stopped at least two weeks prior to the operation.

Disorders of the thyroid

Ashwagandha may elevate levels of thyroid hormone. If you take thyroid hormone drugs or have a thyroid issue, ashwagandha should be used with caution or avoided altogether.

Interactions

Moderate Interaction

With this combo, use caution.

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interact with ASHWAGANDHA

Ashwagandha can boost the immune system’s functioning. Certain drugs, such as those prescribed after a transplant, reduce the immune system’s function. It may lessen the effects of some drugs when taken concurrently.

Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interact with ASHWAGANDHA

Ashwagandha may slow breathing and make you feel sleepy. Sedatives are a class of drugs that can also make you sleepy and decrease your breathing. Using ashwagandha with sedative drugs may result in difficulty breathing and/or excessive tiredness.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interact with ASHWAGANDHA

Ashwagandha may make you feel sleepy and slow your breathing. Moreover, sedative drugs have the potential to make you sleepy and slow your breathing. When used with sedative drugs, ashwagandha may result in difficulty breathing and/or excessive sleepiness.

Thyroid hormone interacts with ASHWAGANDHA

Thyroid hormone production occurs spontaneously in the body. Ashwagandha may enhance the body’s production of thyroid hormone. The effects and adverse effects of thyroid hormone may be increased if ashwagandha is used along with thyroid hormone supplements.

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Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interact with ASHWAGANDHA

The herb ashwagandha may help people with diabetes. Using ashwagandha with diabetes medicines may result in dangerously low blood sugar levels. Keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interact with ASHWAGANDHA

The herb ashwagandha may reduce blood pressure. Using ashwagandha with blood pressure-lowering drugs may result in dangerously low blood pressure. Keep a tight eye on your blood pressure.

Dosing

Adults have used ashwagandha most frequently in doses of up to 1000 mg per day for up to 12 weeks. Find out from a healthcare professional what dosage might be appropriate for your condition.

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