The Side Effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic remedy claimed to be good for many conditions, including stress, fertility, depression and cancer, but there is inadequate data to prove its effectiveness, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. The roots, leaves and fruit of the ashwagandha plant are used medicinally. A typical dosage is 1 to 2 grams three times a day. Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it may help restore normal bodily function and resist the damage that stress causes. Consult a healthcare provider before using ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha seed (Withania somnifera)
A closeup image of Ashwagandha seed. (Image: ziprashantzi/iStock/Getty Images)

Side Effects

According to Drugs.com, ashwagandha appears to be nontoxic at moderate doses. But the herb may induce miscarriage, so pregnant women shouldn't use it. Ashwagandha may enhance the effects of sedative and anti-anxiety medications, including herbal St. John's wort, immune suppressants, and drugs used to lower high blood pressure or glucose levels. It may also enhance the effects of alcohol. People with bleeding issues or an upcoming surgery shouldn't use ashwagandha. Other possible side effects of ashwagandha include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, drowsiness and slowed pulse.

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