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What Are The Side Effects Of Ashwagandha

What Are The Side Effects Of Ashwagandha?

Last modified: December 27, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Side effects of Ashwagandha may include digestive upset, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and potential liver impact. It can also affect thyroid function and may not be safe during pregnancy.

To learn more about Ashwagandha’s side effects and how they might affect you, Keep reading for a simple, easy-to-understand breakdown that covers everything you need to know.”

Are There Any Side Effects Of Ashwagandha?

List of the potential side effects of Ashwagandha:

  1. Digestive Issues: Some individuals may experience digestive discomfort, including an upset stomach. This can manifest as a general feeling of unease in the stomach area.
  2. Diarrhea: In certain cases, Ashwagandha can lead to diarrhea. This involves more frequent, loose, or watery bowel movements, which can be uncomfortable.
  3. Nausea: A feeling of sickness or the urge to vomit can occur. This sensation of queasiness is a common side effect for some people taking Ashwagandha.
  4. Vomiting: Although less common, vomiting can occur as a more severe reaction to Ashwagandha, leading to the expulsion of stomach contents.
  5. Liver Health Concerns: There have been rare instances where Ashwagandha use is linked to liver-related side effects. This can range from mild liver function disturbances to more serious conditions.
  6. Thyroid Function Fluctuations: Ashwagandha might affect thyroid hormones, leading to changes in hormone levels. This is particularly noteworthy for individuals with thyroid conditions.
  7. Pregnancy Risks: Ashwagandha is generally advised against during pregnancy due to potential risks and complications that could arise.
Side Effects Of Ashwagandha

Are There Common Experiences Or Symptoms Reported By Those Using Ashwagandha?

Common experiences or symptoms reported by those using Ashwagandha include:

  1. Stress Reduction: Many users report a noticeable decrease in stress levels and an enhanced sense of calm.
  2. Improved Sleep Quality: Users often experience better sleep, including easier time falling asleep and more restful nights.
  3. Increased Energy: Some individuals note a boost in energy and vitality.
  4. Enhanced Focus and Cognitive Function: Improved concentration and mental clarity are frequently mentioned benefits.
  5. Digestive Discomfort: Some users experience mild digestive issues like upset stomach or diarrhea.
  6. Headaches: A few individuals report headaches, especially when starting the supplement or at higher doses.
  7. Drowsiness: Ashwagandha can cause drowsiness, particularly in combination with other sedative medications or supplements.
  8. Allergic Reactions: Rarely, allergic reactions such as itching or rash can occur.

Is There A Difference In Side Effects Between Various Forms Of Ashwagandha Supplements?

Form of Ashwagandha SupplementPotential Side Effects
Root Powder– Mild digestive discomfort (e.g., bloating, gas) .
– Lower risk of concentrated effects, leading to fewer instances of severe side effects.
Capsules/Tablets (Extracts)– Higher concentration can increase the risk of digestive issues (e.g., upset stomach, diarrhea).
– Possible drowsiness or sedation.
– Increased likelihood of interacting with other medications.
Liquid Extracts/Tinctures– Faster absorption may lead to quicker onset of side effects.
– Easier to inadvertently consume higher doses, increasing risk of side effects.
– Potential for alcohol-based tincture side effects (if applicable).
Teas (Infusions)– Generally milder effects due to lower concentration.
– Lower risk of severe digestive issues.
– Hydration from the tea can mitigate some mild side effects.

Are There Any Long-term Consequences Associated With Ashwagandha Use?

Long-term consequences of Ashwagandha use are not fully understood due to limited research. While short-term use is generally considered safe, the effects of prolonged consumption remain unclear. Some studies suggest potential liver impact over extended periods. Also, its influence on thyroid function could have long-term implications, especially for those with pre-existing thyroid conditions. It’s important to be cautious with long-term use, as the full spectrum of possible consequences is not yet comprehensively documented.

Can Ashwagandha Have Negative Effects On Your Digestive System?

Yes, Ashwagandha can have negative effects on the digestive system. Common digestive side effects include upset stomach, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms occur as the body reacts to the herb, potentially irritating the digestive tract. For some, these effects are mild and temporary, but for others, they can be more pronounced and uncomfortable. The likelihood and severity of these digestive issues can vary based on individual tolerance and the dosage of Ashwagandha taken.

Side Effects Of Ashwagandha

Is It Safe To Use Ashwagandha For An Extended Period?

The safety of using Ashwagandha for an extended period is not fully established. While short-term use is generally considered safe, the long-term effects are less clear. Concerns about prolonged use include potential impacts on liver health and thyroid function. Additionally, the herb’s long-term interaction with the body’s hormonal balance is not thoroughly understood. Until more comprehensive research is available, caution is advised when considering the extended use of Ashwagandha.

Is Ashwagandha Dangerous During Pregnancy?

Ashwagandha is generally considered dangerous during pregnancy. This is due to its potential to affect hormone levels and the uterus. Ashwagandha has properties that could stimulate the uterus, leading to the risk of premature labor or miscarriage. Additionally, the herb’s influence on hormonal balance can be problematic during pregnancy, a time when hormonal stability is crucial. Given these risks, pregnant individuals are typically advised to avoid Ashwagandha to ensure the safety of both the mother and the developing fetus.

How Does Ashwagandha Interact With Medications?

Ashwagandha can interact with various medications, potentially altering their effects. It may enhance the sedative properties of drugs like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and central nervous system depressants, increasing drowsiness and lethargy. Ashwagandha can also interact with immunosuppressants, potentially reducing their effectiveness.

For those on thyroid medication, it can either amplify or diminish the effects of these drugs due to its influence on thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, it can interact with medications for diabetes and high blood pressure, affecting blood sugar and blood pressure control. These interactions highlight the importance of monitoring and adjusting medication dosages when using Ashwagandha.

What Do You Need To Know About Ashwagandha’s Impact On Liver Health?

Regarding Ashwagandha’s impact on liver health, it’s important to be aware that while rare, there have been instances of liver damage linked to its use. These cases often involve supplements containing Ashwagandha, where the exact cause of liver damage can be difficult to pinpoint due to the presence of multiple ingredients.

Symptoms of liver damage can include jaundice, fatigue, nausea, and abdominal pain. The risk might be higher when Ashwagandha is taken in large doses or for extended periods. However, these instances are relatively uncommon, and for most people, Ashwagandha does not pose a significant risk to liver health when used responsibly.

Is There A Cautionary Tale Regarding Ashwagandha And Thyroid Disorders?

Yes, there is a cautionary tale regarding Ashwagandha and thyroid disorders. Ashwagandha can influence thyroid hormone levels, potentially exacerbating existing thyroid conditions. For those with hypothyroidism, it may increase thyroid hormone production, leading to hyperthyroidism symptoms. Conversely, in hyperthyroidism, it could further unbalance hormone levels.

Side Effects Of Ashwagandha

The herb’s impact on thyroid function is significant because it can subtly alter the delicate hormonal balance, making management of thyroid disorders more challenging. Therefore, individuals with thyroid conditions should approach Ashwagandha use with caution, aware of its potential to disrupt thyroid hormone levels.

How Do You Navigate The Dilemma Of Ashwagandha Dosage?

Navigating the dilemma of Ashwagandha dosage involves understanding individual needs and responses. Typically, dosages range from 250 to 1,500 mg per day. Lower doses are often sufficient for stress relief and general well-being, while higher doses may be used for specific therapeutic purposes.

It’s important to start with a lower dose and observe how your body reacts, then gradually increase if necessary. Overdosage can lead to adverse effects like digestive issues and drowsiness. Finding the right balance is key, as individual tolerance and the desired effect play a significant role in determining the optimal dosage.


Can Ashwagandha Cause Allergic Reactions?

Yes, in rare cases, Ashwagandha can cause allergic reactions, including rash, itching, or hives.

Does Ashwagandha Affect Hormone Levels?

Ashwagandha can influence hormone levels, potentially impacting thyroid function and testosterone levels.

Can Ashwagandha Lead to Increased Drowsiness?

Ashwagandha may cause drowsiness, especially when taken in higher doses or with sedative medications.

Is Ashwagandha Safe for People with Autoimmune Diseases?

Ashwagandha might exacerbate symptoms in autoimmune conditions due to its immunomodulating effects.

Does Ashwagandha Interfere with Blood Sugar Levels?

Ashwagandha can lower blood sugar levels, which is important for those with diabetes or on blood sugar medications.


Ashwagandha is known for its many health benefits, it’s important to be aware of its potential side effects. These can range from mild digestive issues to impacts on hormone levels and drowsiness. However, many people use Ashwagandha safely and effectively. If you’re considering this supplement, it’s wise to start with small doses and pay attention to how your body reacts. Remember, understanding and respecting your body’s responses is key to safely enjoying the benefits of Ashwagandha.


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