Ashwagandha

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Uses

What is ashwagandha used for?

Ashwagandha is a plant. The root and berry are used to make medicine. It is commonly used for treating:

  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Tumors
  • Tuberculosis
  • Asthma
  • A skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma)
  • Bronchitis
  • Backache
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Menstrual problems
  • Hiccups
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Fertility problems in men and women
  • Sexual desire

Some people use it for improving thinking ability, decreasing pain and swelling (inflammation), and preventing the effects of aging.

Ashwagandha is also used as an “adaptogen” to help the body cope with daily stress, and as a general tonic.

Ashwagandha is applied to the skin for treating wounds, backache, and one-sided paralysis (hemiplegia).

How does it work?

There are not enough studies about how this herbal supplement works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, there are some studies that show:

  • Ashwagandha may reduce blood sugar levels through its effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity.
  • It promotes the death of tumor cells and may be effective against several types of cancer.
  • Ashwagandha supplements may help lower cortisol levels in chronically stressed individuals.
  • Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in both animal and human studies.
  • The limited research available suggests that ashwagandha may help reduce severe depression.
  • Ashwagandha helps increase testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men.
  • The herb has also been shown to increase muscle mass, reduce body fat and increase strength in men.
  • Ashwagandha has been shown to increase natural killer cell activity and decrease markers of inflammation.
  • Ashwagandha may help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Ashwagandha supplements may improve brain function, memory, reaction times and the ability to perform tasks.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using ashwagandha?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
  • You have allergy with any substances of ashwagandha or other medications or other herbals.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

The regulations for an herbal supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herbal supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.

How safe is ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha appears to be a safe supplement for most people.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding:

Not enough is known about the use of ashwagandha during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Side effects

What kind of side effects may I have from ashwagandha?

Large doses of ashwagandha might cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.

Interactions

What interactions may I have with ashwagandha?

This herbal supplement may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbal healer or doctor before using.

These health conditions may include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Type 1 diabetes

Medications that may interact with your herbal, including:

  • Ashwagandha seems to increase the immune system. Taking ashwagandha along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of these medications. They include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
  • Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines): Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. These sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and others.
  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants): Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. These sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
  • Thyroid medications
  • Blood sugar and blood pressure medications

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.

What is the usual dose for ashwagandha?

Although ashwagandha is safe for most people, certain individuals shouldn’t use it unless authorized by their doctor.

The recommended dosage is 450–500 mg once or twice per day.

What form does ashwagandha come in?

This herbal supplement may be available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsules

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Sources

Review Date: April 22, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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