Ashwagandha Side Effects

Despite its many possible benefits, there are a few known ashwagandha side effects.

Also known as Indian Ginseng, Ashwagandhahas a long and impressive history in India, and it is used today to treat a variety of ailments, including arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, backache and hiccups, as well as more serious conditions, such as tumors, tuberculosis, bronchitis, fibromyalgia and chronic liver disease.

Known Ashwagandha Side Effects

First and foremost, the herb is not recommended for use by anyone who is pregnant as some evidence indicates it could cause miscarriages.  Though serious side effects are rare, users should be aware of possible complications.


Those with stomach ulcers may be advised to avoid using it because it can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain.

Autoimmune Disorders May Be Aggravated

It is also best not to use ashwagandha if a patient has an auto immune disease. It can cause the immune system to become more active, which could increase the symptoms associated with that disease.


Diabetics are encouraged to use caution when taking ashwagandha as it may lower blood sugar levels and interact negatively with diabetic medications.

Stop Before Planned Surgery

Anyone taking ashwagandha should stop two weeks before any planned surgery. There is evidence it may slow down the nervous system and health officials worry combining it with anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery may increase this effect. (This same warning applies to a variety of health supplements, so be aware of this.)

Can Cause Drowsiness

Sleepiness and drowsiness can result from taking ashwagandha so caution should be observed by anyone also taking a sedative. The combination could cause too much drowsiness, low blood pressure or decreased respiratory function. The benefits of taking ashwagandha, however, would seem to outweigh the possible side effects of ashwagandha. Studies show ashwagandha benefits for ailments such as osteoarthritis, anxiety and even cancer.

In addition, it also seems to help with pain and fatigue, as well as boost the immune system after an illness. There are some side effects associated with ashwagandha, but they are for the most part minor.

Ashwagandha Side Effects on Pregnant Women

Pregnant women should not take it under any circumstances, but otherwise, serious side effects are rare. Caution should be exercised by those with some other medical conditions, but even then the side effects are minimal if monitored correctly. If you notice any of the above ashwagandha side effects while taking it, stop immediately.

Disclaimer:  This listing of ashwagandha side effects is for informational purposes only.  It is NOT medical advice.  Always consult with a medical professional if you have concerns or questions.