Is It Safe to Take Ashwagandha daily?

Reviewed on 10/6/2021
what is the benefits of ashwagandha
Taking ashwagandha daily is safe, however, people must stick to their recommended dose and consult their doctor before taking it with other medications.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an evergreen shrub mainly found in India, Middle East, Western China, and Africa. Ashwagandha is commonly called “Indian winter cherry” or “Indian Ginseng” and is used in Indian traditional medicine (Ayurveda) for its wide-ranging benefits.

Yes, taking ashwagandha daily is safe, but people should never take it beyond the recommended doses or periods. Ashwagandha may have contaminates, such as dirt and heavy metals, so processing it to get its purest form is necessary.

Ashwagandha can be taken at any time of the day based on your personal preference, but taking ashwagandha on an empty stomach may cause stomach discomfort.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it helps the body adapt and reduce stress, while also preventing inflammation in the body.

Start taking ashwagandha only after getting the okay from your healthcare provider.

13 health benefits of ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has an important place in ayurvedic medicine because it has several medicinal properties that improve health and overall well-being. Different treatments employ various components of the plant, such as the leaves, seeds, and fruit. Most health benefits of ashwagandha need further studies to be scientifically substantiated.

The proposed health benefits of ashwagandha include:

  1. Reduces stress: A study suggested that ashwagandha may reduce cortisol levels (a stress hormone) in the body and decrease both mental and physical stress.
  2. Improves brain function: Ashwagandha has antioxidant properties that protect the nerve cells and enhance the function of the brain and nervous system. It improves memory and thinking and learning in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
  3. Reduces anxiety and depression: Ashwagandha helps reduce anxiety symptoms and nervousness. Though evidence is limited, regular use of ashwagandha is considered to help decrease severe depression when taken in appropriate doses. Additionally, it is believed to help treat insomnia.
  4. Reduces cholesterol: The anti-inflammatory effects of ashwagandha help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Anticancer: Studies suggest that ashwagandha may delay the growth of cancer cells and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells.
  6. Heart health: A study suggested that ashwagandha root extract may enhance cardiorespiratory endurance, which may improve heart health. It may also decrease blood pressure, reduce high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and prevent heart diseases.
  7. Rheumatoid arthritis: Ashwagandha may have analgesic (painkiller) and anti-inflammatory properties that relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. A study done on a small group of people suggested that ashwagandha reduced joint pains and may be used as a treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  8. Improves muscle mass and strength: A study suggested that people who took ashwagandha gained muscle mass and strength while having significant fat loss when compared with the group who were given a placebo.
  9. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Ashwagandha has been proven to help children with ADHD by increasing attention and impulsive control.
  10. Aging: The antioxidant qualities of ashwagandha can help reduce the symptoms and development of several health issues linked to aging. It also helps prevent greying of hair by increasing melanin synthesis in hair cells.
  11. Cerebellar ataxia: Ashwagandha is proven to enhance balance in patients with cerebellar ataxia when used in combination with other Ayurveda treatments.
  12. Boosts immunity: Ashwagandha boosts the body's immune system by increasing cell-mediated immunity. Its strong antioxidant properties aid in the prevention of cellular damage caused by free radicals.
  13. Male fertility: A study suggested that men who took ashwagandha had increased testosterone levels and better sperm quality and fertility due to its high antioxidants content. It promotes a healthy sexual and reproductive balance by improving the function of the reproductive system.

What are the side effects of ashwagandha?

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the supplements of ashwagandha, it is recommended to only get them from trustworthy companies.

Consuming heavy doses may lead to side effects such as stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Liver problems were seen in rare cases, which are believed to be linked to the presence of contaminants in unregulated supplements.

It is always recommended to seek advice from a doctor before taking ashwagandha while also taking medications for high blood pressure, blood sugar, or thyroid hormone function. Ashwagandha may affect the immune system, so patients with autoimmune diseases must avoid it. Additionally, pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid taking ashwagandha.

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References
WebMD. Ashwagandha. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-953/ashwagandha

Singh N, Bhalla M, de Jager P, Gilca M. An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011;8(5 Suppl):208-213. doi:10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9

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