Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used in Ayurveda for centuries. It is known for its ability to help the body manage stress, reduce inflammation, and improve brain function.
While ashwagandha is generally safe for most people to use, there are certain groups of people who should avoid it or speak with their healthcare provider before taking it.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it's generally recommended that you avoid using ashwagandha. While there is limited research on the effects of ashwagandha on pregnancy and lactation, some animal studies have shown that it may cause developmental problems in the fetus or infant.
People with Thyroid Disorders
Ashwagandha has been known to stimulate thyroid function, making it beneficial for people with hypothyroidism. However, if you have hyperthyroidism or are taking medication for thyroid disorders, you should avoid using ashwagandha without consulting your healthcare provider. This is because ashwagandha may increase thyroid hormone levels, which can worsen hyperthyroidism symptoms or interfere with medications.
People with Autoimmune Diseases
Ashwagandha has been shown to enhance immune function, making it a powerful herb for most people. However, if you have an autoimmune disease like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or multiple sclerosis (MS), using ashwagandha may worsen your symptoms. This is because ashwagandha may stimulate the immune system and trigger an autoimmune response. It's best to avoid using ashwagandha if you have an autoimmune disease or speak with your healthcare provider before taking it.
People Taking Sedatives or Anxiety Medications
Ashwagandha has been shown to have sedative effects, which can help to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. However, if you are already taking sedatives or anxiety medications, using ashwagandha may increase the effects of these drugs and cause drowsiness or other side effects. It's best to avoid using ashwagandha if you are already taking these types of medications or speak with your healthcare provider before taking it.
While ashwagandha is generally safe, there is limited research on its safety for children. It's best to avoid using ashwagandha in children unless under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Ashwagandha is a popular herb that offers numerous benefits. However, it's important to note that not everyone can safely use it. If you fall under any of the categories mentioned in this article, it's best to avoid using ashwagandha or speak with your healthcare provider before taking it.