Ashwagandha is an ancient herd that has been used for hundreds of years. Known for its ability to relieve stress and increase energy levels, it’s no wonder this supplement is taking the world by storm.
Its botanical name is Withania somnifera and comes in the form of a small shrub with yellow flowers. Found to grow natively in India and Southeast Asia. Packed with several benefits that I will briefly explain.
- Decreases stress levels
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen meaning it’s an ingredient that can help reduce stress and anxiety in the body. It works by reducing the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It’s this system that regulates the body’s response to stress, although there is scientific evidence lacking, many find their anxiety is calmed and stress levels reduced once they have introduced ashwagandha into their daily routine.
- May help with mental health conditions
Although not completely proven, there is some evidence of daily dose of ashwagandha can reduce symptoms of certain mental health conditions. With various studies showing an improvement in those who suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. There still needs to be a few studies carried out to prove this, so ensure you seek the advice of your doctor before trying anything new.
- Improves sleep quality
Many users of ashwagandha praise the extract for combating sleep issues. When taking ashwagandha in the evenings sleep is aided thanks to the reduction of anxiety, ensure a peaceful night’s sleep. Following this in the morning with another capsule there is an increase in energy helping users feel more awake and ready to tackle the day.
- May help with brain function
There is some evidence demonstrating that taking ashwagandha can help with cognitive function. Many found that there is an improvement in their attention, reaction time, performance, and memory.
There you have examples of the benefits of ashwagandha, we’ll now move onto answering the question we have, which is who should not take ashwagandha. So, without further a due, let’s get stuck into finding out more.
Is ashwagandha bad for kidneys?
Yes, it can be bad for kidneys. As effective as it is for the body, there are a few conditions and medications that can be affected when taking the supplement. The most concerning is the fact that taking ashwagandha when suffering from chronic kidney condition or failure can lead to severe pain and discomfort. There is also evidence that taking the supplement once you have had a kidney transplant could lead to the transplant being rejected from the body.
It is very important you consult with a doctor before introducing ashwagandha into your routine. If you have a history with kidney problems or find yourself hospitalised that you also mention any supplements you have in your daily routine.
Is ashwagandha bad for your liver?
Yes and no, by this I mean ashwagandha is generally considered a safe supplement to include in your daily routine. If you are in good health and are not aware of any issue with your liver or kidney then ashwagandha would be a beneficial addition to your day. However, as I have already mentioned, there is some evidence of the herb having a negative impact on your kidney health, which can also lead to liver problems too. Therefore, you should only take ashwagandha supplements once you have consulted with your doctor.
Are there any negative side effects to ashwagandha?
Yes, there are some negative side effects to ashwagandha which are the following.
- Upset stomach
There are also a few people who should avoid taking ashwagandha which you can see in the section below.
- Do not take ashwagandha is you’re pregnant
Avoid taking ashwagandha during pregnancy as the herb contains abortifacient effects, meaning it can lead to miscarriages and premature births.
- Do not take ashwagandha if you have a thyroid condition
Ashwagandha has been known to interfere with thyroid tests. It can also alter the function of the thyroid and increase the hormones which could cause a great many issues for those suffering from thyroid conditions.
- Do not take ashwagandha if you have an autoimmune condition
Those suffering from an autoimmune condition may find that their medication are altered when taking ashwagandha. Avoid using the herb to prevent it decreasing the effectiveness of your prescription.
- Do not take ashwagandha if you have diabetes
Ashwagandha has been proven to decrease blood sugar levels, those with diabetes should avoid taking the herb unless they have consulted with their doctor.
Those are just some examples of who should avoid taking ashwagandha, as I have mentioned a few times already, for peace of mind always consult with your doctor before introducing the herb into your routine.
Does ashwagandha interact with medications?
Yes, ashwagandha can interact with some types of medications and prevent them from performing. Those who are taking medication for the following.
- Blood thinners
- Supplements for thyroid conditions
- Medication to treat immune concerns
- High blood pressure
- Medication to help with anxiety and stress
Taking ashwagandha whilst having these medications could result in various concerns, such as severe interference with your prescriptions, especially if you are about to have surgery. You will also find that the nervous system is slowed down and your immunity could reduce resulting in you becoming ill quickly. Always check with your chemist or doctor to ensure you are safe to take ashwagandha supplement with your prescriptions.
Is ashwagandha safe for high blood pressure?
Yes and no, as a natural ingredient, ashwagandha can effectively lower blood pressure. The only trouble is if you are already on a prescribed blood pressure medication taking the herb will alter the effectiveness of the medication and cause some problems. Therefore, it is very important you do not self-medicate and introduce new supplements into your daily lifestyle without consulting with your doctor.
Is ashwagandha safe for men?
Yes, it is considered safe for men to take daily dose of ashwagandha. Ensuring of course, they suffer from none of the conditions previously mentioned in the blog. Ashwagandha carries a variety of health benefits, especially for men. Many studies showing an improved sperm count, sexual stability, and boost in testosterone. Ashwagandha does not however, help with any concerns regarding erectile dysfunction as this will require the advice of your medical professional.
There you have some examples of who should not take ashwagandha and the various benefits you can expect to see if you do introduce it into your routine. Don’t forget if you have any further questions, come, and follow us on Instagram for more.