Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a popular herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including stress, anxiety, and insomnia. While ashwagandha is generally considered safe, it can cause a range of side effects in some people. Here are the top 10 side effects of ashwagandha that you should be aware of.
- Stomach upset
One of the most common side effects of ashwagandha is stomach upset, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This can be especially problematic for people who have a sensitive stomach or digestive issues.
Ashwagandha is often used as a natural remedy for insomnia and other sleep disorders. However, it can also cause drowsiness in some people, which can be a side effect if you are taking it during the day.
Some people may experience a rash or other skin irritation when taking ashwagandha. If you develop a rash while taking this herb, stop using it and consult a healthcare professional.
Headaches are a common side effect of ashwagandha, especially when the herb is taken in large doses or for an extended period of time. If you experience headaches while taking ashwagandha, it may be a good idea to reduce your dosage or speak with a healthcare professional.
Ashwagandha can also cause dizziness in some people. If you experience dizziness while taking this herb, stop using it immediately and consult a healthcare professional.
- Dry mouth
Dry mouth is a common side effect of ashwagandha, and it can be particularly uncomfortable if you are taking the herb for an extended period of time. To help alleviate this side effect, try drinking plenty of water and sucking on sugar-free candies or gum.
- Increased thyroid hormone levels
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase thyroid hormone levels in some people. This can be a concern for those with hyperthyroidism or who are taking thyroid medication, as it may interfere with their treatment. If you have a thyroid condition or are taking thyroid medication, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking ashwagandha.
- Interactions with medications
Ashwagandha can interact with certain medications, including sedatives, blood thinners, and drugs that lower blood sugar levels. If you are taking any medications, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking ashwagandha to ensure that it is safe for you.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Ashwagandha should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, as there is not enough research to determine its safety in these groups. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking ashwagandha.
- Allergic reactions
Ashwagandha can cause allergic reactions in some people, including itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms while taking ashwagandha, stop using the herb immediately and consult a healthcare professional.
Summing It All Up
Ashwagandha is a popular herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of ailments. While it is generally considered safe, it can cause a range of side effects in some people, including stomach upset, drowsiness, rash, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, increased thyroid hormone levels, interactions with medications, pregnancy and breastfeeding contraindications, and allergic reactions.
If you are considering taking ashwagandha, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine whether it is safe for you and to discuss any potential side effects or interactions with medications.
- “Ashwagandha.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Mar. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/ashwagandha/safety/hrb-20059618.
- “Ashwagandha.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nccih.nih.gov/health/ashwagandha.
- “Withania somnifera.” Natural Medicines, Therapeutic Research Faculty, www.naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=970.