Ashwagandha Side Effects

Jessica Drew
ashwagandha

True ashwagandha side effects are nonexistent. Practitioners of Indian and Ayurvedic medicine have used this herb for centuries to treat a wide array of ailments. Just a few traditional applications include using the herb to help cure tumors, arthritis, addictions and several infectious diseases. Unlike many other herbs, researchers have studied the benefits of ashwagandha extensively. The findings of this research indicate that the herb is truly effective. Remarkable compounds, called withanolides, stimulate the immune system's lymphocyte cells, which inhibits inflammation, fights the effects of cancer, improves memory and promotes overall health and wellness.

In addition to the many benefits of ashwagandha there are no known side effects, only some rare and minor findings that cannot even be certainly linked to the herb.

Ashwagandha Safety Profile

As with any herb you should check with your doctor before consuming ashwagandha. However, nearly all doctors have declared the herb safe for most people. Since ashwagandha is not a central nervous system stimulant side effects and risks are mild at best. This characteristic coupled with the ages the herb has been used in traditional medicine without any significant adverse reactions lend ashwagandha an excellent safety profile.

Ashwagandha Side Effects

Due to the herb's characteristics and absence of ill effects over its long history of use clinicians have done very few studies on ashwagandha side effects. No studies have turned up any concerning results. Some conditions did arise in very few individuals, but the correlation between these conditions, as potential side effects and the consumption of the herb were too weak to make any substantiated claims. The possible side effects present in some participants of these studies were:

  • Slight rise in body temperature after one week of use
  • Gastrointestinal irritation

Individual reports have lead to some unscientific observations of potential side effects. Still these claims are highly uncommon and it can't be said for sure if consuming ashwagandha causes them:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Cautions and Interactions

Herbalists do advise certain individuals to avoid this herb. Caution is recommended for those with the following conditions:

There are no known adverse combinations of ashwagandha and any other herbs or drugs. However, since the herb is a potential sedative-hypnotic, it may theoretically increase the effects of other sedatives, so taking sedatives with ashwagandha is not recommended. Still no one has reported or studied these potential side effects, and such effects are unlikely to present a real danger.

Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers

Clinicians do not know the effects of the herb on an unborn child or nursing infant and therefore it's not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.


In summary, there are no known side effects of ashwagandha. There is only anecdotal evidence and inconclusive studies that the herb may or may not be linked to certain reactions and conditions. Children in India have even used the herb for centuries and it has posed no threat. However, numerous scientific studies have validated the many benefits of the herb, which far outweigh the risk of side effects.

Ashwagandha Side Effects