The Pros and Cons of Ashwagandha

pros and cons of ashwagandha

People often talk about the benefits of ashwagandha, especially in the herbal remedies community, but only a few people know both the pros and cons of ashwagandha. This ancient herb offers several advantages to promote health and overall well-being, but knowing its limitations is important to avoid unpleasant long-term effects. Keep reading to learn both sides.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common pros and cons of ashwagandha supplements that everyone should know when considering it. But before we discuss the advantages and possible side effects of ashwagandha, we’ll first need to know exactly what ashwagandha is and what ingredients it contains. So, let’s dig a little deeper.

What is Ashwagandha? | Pros and Cons of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, otherwise known as Indian ginseng, winter cherry, or botanically Withania somnifera, is an ancient herb that has a long history of therapeutic use in traditional medicine, especially in longstanding Indian traditional medicine called Ayurveda. It is native to the dry regions of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Ashwagandha has many possible benefits in terms of promoting physical and mental health. Although flowers and leaves have therapeutic properties, the plant's roots are most commonly used to prepare herbal remedies. Today, ashwagandha is widely available in various forms, such as ashwagandha powders, capsules, pills, gummies, and liquid drops.

Active Ingredients in Ashwagandha | Pros and Cons of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has many biologically active ingredients, including various alkaloids, tannins, saponins, and steroidal lactones, primarily nicotine, somniferine, withanone, and withanolides, just to name a few. The health benefits of ashwagandha seem to come from the active ingredients it contains and their medicinal properties.

The Pros and Cons of Ashwagandha

Like many other herbs and natural remedies, ashwagandha has advantages and disadvantages. But of course, the disadvantages are relatively minimal, and the benefits of ashwagandha have the overwhelming majority.

Let's take a quick look at some of the most common pros and cons of ashwagandha individually.

Potential Benefits of Ashwagandha

The therapeutic properties of ashwagandha have been identified since the ancient ages. The plant's roots have traditionally been used in medicine for over 5000 years and are reported to have myriad health benefits.

This evergreen herb is known as one of the most acclaimed adaptogens worldwide. From a therapeutic perspective, adaptogens are natural substances that help the human body better adapt in response to stress, meaning they help manage physical and mental stressors so that the body gets back its balance and vitality in the quickest possible way.

Modern research has also substantiated many of its traditional uses and advantages. Let’s look at some of the most scientifically proven benefits of ashwagandha.

1. Ashwagandha May Reduce Stress and Anxiety

One of ashwagandha's most potential health benefits is its incredible ability to lower stress and anxiety. It works wonders in managing physical and mental stressors and their associated symptoms, such as fatigue, fear, panic, and pain. Due to its calming properties, much talk has been about Ashwagandha vs L-Theanine.

In a 2012 randomized controlled trial (RCT) published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, researchers found that ashwagandha root is a safe and effective agent to improve one’s resistance to stress and overall quality of life.

2. Ashwagandha May Support the Immune Health

Research suggests that taking ashwagandha daily may benefit immune health by activating several immune cells, which may help protect the body from various conditions caused by compromised immune function.

One 2009 clinical study investigating the immunologic effects of ashwagandha on humans found positive results in immune cell activation. However, further in-depth research is required to confirm these effects.

3. Ashwagandha May Help Improve Sleep

In Indian traditional medicine Ayurveda, ashwagandha has long been used to promote restful sleep. There is also a decent amount of evidence that claims ashwagandha has the potential to address various sleep issues and improve overall sleep quality.

A 2020 study in Cureus showed that ashwagandha root extract effectively improves sleep quality, mental alertness, and overall quality of life, especially in elderly people.

4. Ashwagandha May Boost Testosterone Levels and Fertility in Men

Ashwagandha is one of the best herbs for testosterone and has significant reproductive benefits for men. Multiple studies suggest (here and here) that ashwagandha can increase male fertility by significantly rebalancing the levels of reproductive hormones and improving sperm quality.

5. Ashwagandha May Improve Sexual Function in Women

Ashwagandha may provide benefits to women experiencing different types of sexual difficulties. A 2015 clinical study in Biomed Research International shows that ashwagandha is effective and relatively safe in improving sexual function in women.

6. Ashwagandha May Support Brain Function, Including Memory

Ashwagandha is effective in improving memory and other brain functions. These benefits seem to come from the antioxidant compounds found in ashwagandha that help protect and maintain cognitive health. Besides that, there’s now a new trend that explores Ashwagandha and ADHD relief

7. Ashwagandha May Ease Pain

Ashwagandha and its plant chemicals have been shown to possess noticeable anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help ease pain in many health conditions. One study in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine showed that administering ashwagandha extracts (both roots and leaves) significantly reduced knee pain and swelling after 12 weeks.

By the way, due to the same properties, many people got interested in Ashwagandha skin benefits.


Potential Side Effects of Ashwagandha | Pros and Cons of Ashwagandha

Nearly every good thing has potential disadvantages, so Ashwagandha has limitations, too. But most disadvantages of ashwandha are easily avoidable and even reversible with taking simple precautions. Let’s have a look at some common ones:

  • Drowsiness. Ashwagandha may cause drowsiness and may interrupt daytime work.
  • Unsuitable during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This herb may not be suitable during pregnancy or breastfeeding and, hence, should not be used without medical advice.
  • Possible interactions. Ashwagandha may interfere with how certain medications, supplements, and herbs work in the body. Therefore, those on medications or other herbs must ask their healthcare providers before using them.
  • Side effects. Even though rare, some people may experience uncommon adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, rashes, and a fall in blood pressure. However, It’s best to consult with a certified naturopathic doctor or herbalist before taking this herb to determine whether it's right for your specific health status.

How to Use Ashwagandha | Pros and Cons of Ashwagandha

Now that we’ve learned more about the pros and cons of Ashwagandha, it’s time to talk about the proper use of this herb. Like any dietary supplement, Ashwagandha can be taken in many ways, including powders, capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. Most often, ashwagandha is recommended with meals or warm milk.

It’s highly recommended to consult with a professional natural healthcare practitioner about the efficacy and safety of ashwagandha root extract to get your personalized dose before starting ashwagandha, especially if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or on medications for any underlying health issue.

Pros and Cons of Ashwagandha: Final Words

Here you go. Now you know both the pros and cons of ashwagandha. The possible benefits of Ashwagandha include many things, from reducing stress to boosting immunity and improving brain function. This is why this herb has been increasingly popular for thousands of years despite some possible disadvantages.

Consider working with a licensed naturopathic doctor or herbalist to determine whether this amazing herb is right for you and what method would best suit your health needs.

Secrets of the Tribe is a family-owned and operated US business focused on delivering natural herbal health solutions. Our goal is to support your health naturally. Join our family!

Ashwagandha: FAQ 

  • What time of day is the best time to take Ashwagandha? The best time to take ashwagandha depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some people find that taking ashwagandha in the morning helps them feel more energized and focused. In contrast, others prefer it in the evening to promote relaxation and better sleep. Consistency is key, so choose a time that works best for you and stick to it.
  • What is the best form to take ashwagandha? Ashwagandha is available in various forms, but we recommend consuming it as a tincture or capsule for optimal results. Tinctures and capsules are convenient, easy to use, and allow for precise dosing.
  • How long do the effects of ashwagandha last? The duration of ashwagandha's effects can vary from person to person. Some individuals may notice the benefits within a few days of consistent use, while others may require several weeks to experience the full effects. Generally, the adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha are cumulative, meaning that the benefits may become more pronounced with regular, long-term use.
  • What is the best quality ashwagandha? When looking for the best quality ashwagandha, choosing a product made from high-quality, potent extracts is essential. At Secrets of the Tribe, we offer premium ashwagandha extract in tincture and capsule form. Our ashwagandha is carefully sourced and processed to ensure maximum potency and effectiveness.
  • How many ashwagandha pills should you take? The recommended dosage for ashwagandha capsules is 2 capsules, 2-3 times a day, taken with food. To experience the full benefits of ashwagandha, taking the capsules consistently for at least 30 days is essential. This allows your body to adapt to the herb and enables the adaptogenic properties to take effect.
  • Can Ashwagandha increase height? No scientific evidence suggests that it can directly increase height. Height is primarily determined by genetics and nutrition during the growing years. However, ashwagandha may support overall health and well-being, contributing to proper growth and development as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle.
  • Can you mix ashwagandha with alcohol? It is generally not recommended to mix ashwagandha with alcohol. Alcohol can interfere with the herb's adaptogenic properties and may even counteract some of its beneficial effects. Additionally, both ashwagandha and alcohol can cause drowsiness, so combining them may lead to excessive sedation.
  • Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published