Ashwagandha Side Effects & Risks

Ashwagandha also is known as Withania somniferous or winter cherry is basically an herb commonly used in traditional medicine in India. 

The fact that Ashwagandha is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ayurvedic practitioners in India use this herb in oral and topical preparations to help an individual strengthen his immune system, increase energy and improve overall health. Ashwagandha has many significant health benefits but is best known for its powerful adaptogenic properties, i.e., it helps mind and body adapt better to stress.

In fact, taking this herb also aids in treating tuberculosis, fungal infection and male fertility and impotence in a successful manner. However, along with curatives properties, it is important to be familiar with the Ashwagandha side effects especially if you are planning to take it for longer periods of time.

Ashwagandha Side Effects


People taking Ashwagandha for the first time often experience drowsiness. Although the effects of this symptoms tend to decrease after a certain period of time, it is recommended that you take three to five grams of this medicinal herb on a full stomach or before going to bed to help reduce periods of drowsiness successfully.

Blood Sugar Reduction

Among the many Ashwagandha side effects, one of the greatest side effects is the fact that this herb is prone to reduce blood sugar and develop insulin sensitivity. Thus, it becomes important for people with low blood sugar to be cautious about using this herb. In fact, diabetic patients are required to keep a check on their sugar levels more closely especially when they are taking drugs to regular blood glucose.


The fact that while taking Ashwagandha tends to slow down your central nervous system, administering anesthesia or any other medications during and after surgery can increase this effect. Thus, it is highly recommended to stop taking this medicinal herb at least a fortnight before a scheduled surgery.

Raises Body Temperature

One of the greatest Ashwagandha side effects is the fact that this herb tends to raise body temperature. Thus, if you are suffering from high fever within a week or two of beginning the Ashwagandha routine, it is highly recommended that you consult your physician immediately.

Inflammatory Conditions

The fact that Ashwagandha helps boost immunity, taking this medicinal herb during inflammatory or muscle degenerative conditions can cause flare-ups of greater severity and frequency. Thus, it is advised to avoid taking this Indian herb in conditions like multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and lupus.

Stomach Ache

One of the Ashwagandha side effects is the fact that this herb can be hard on a person with a sensitive stomach. Thus, taking the powered leaf or root forms of this herb can cause a sense of fullness, gas or stomach ache. In fact, people suffering from ulcers should completely avoid taking this medicinal herb alone and should only use it in combination with food or other herbs.


Intake of Ashwagandha root powder may result in frequent or loose bowel movements, thereby causing diarrhea. Apart from being embarrassing and bothersome, experiencing regular bouts of diarrhea may increase the risk of dehydration, thereby making it important for you to consult your doctor immediately to ensure that you receive proper care and advice.

Medication Interactions

One of Ashwagandha side effects is the fact that this herb tends to counteract the effect of medications. Thus, it is highly recommended to avoid taking Ashwagandha in conjunction with immunosuppressant therapies such as prednisone, corticosteroids, prednisone, and azathioprine.


Since one of the side effects of Ashwagandha is the fact that it tends to promote thyroid activity, taking this herb can aggravate the symptoms for those people who have an overactive thyroid condition.

Ashwagandha Side Effects during Pregnancy

The fact the taking Ashwagandha during pregnancy can have an adverse effect on the development of the fetus, it is important that pregnant women avoid taking this Indian herb. In fact, Ashwagandha taken by either pregnant or breastfeeding women can cause miscarriage and also pose a potential threat to the fetus and the infant.

Although Ashwagandha has innumerable healing and curative properties and is generally considered safe, this medicinal herb should be consumed in moderation to stay healthy and fit. However, seeking the advice of your physician before taking this herb can go a long way in averting the Ashwagandha side effects on your body in a simple, effective and successful manner.