Women who take Ashwagandha often report these 8 unexpected effects

ashwagandha for females

Ashwagandha, an ancient medicinal herb, is known for its numerous health benefits.

As a result, many women have turned to Ashwagandha and discovered a host of unexpected benefits.

But before you start taking this supplement to regulate your stress, you should know that it may also present some side effects for females that are less widely recognized.

With deep understanding and thorough research, I’ve uncovered the potential side effects this adaptogenic herb can have on women’s health.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into the 8 surprising side effects of Ashwagandha for females. This will equip you with valuable knowledge, enabling you to make an informed decision about its usage in your wellness routine.

1) Potential hormonal imbalance

In my research, I found that one of the most intriguing aspects of Ashwagandha is its impact on hormones, especially in women.

Ashwagandha is acclaimed for its adaptogenic properties, which help the body adapt to stress and regulate various bodily functions.

But guess what?

For some females, the herb can potentially disturb the delicate hormonal balance.

The thing is this powerful herb can stimulate thyroid activity. And this, in turn, leads to an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism in some cases.

Symptoms often include rapid heartbeat, unexplained weight loss, and increased appetite.

Furthermore, Ashwagandha can also interfere with the menstrual cycle, leading to irregular periods or even missed cycles in some women.

As for me, the key takeaway is that while Ashwagandha has numerous health benefits, its influence on hormonal balance requires careful consideration, especially for females.

2) Possible interactions with medication

Another potential side effect of Ashwagandha that women should be aware of is its possible interaction with certain medications.

Specifically, this herb can exacerbate the effects of sedative drugs, leading to increased drowsiness. It can also interact with medications for diabetes and hypertension, altering their effectiveness.

But here’s the kicker:

Ashwagandha can enhance the immunosuppressive effects of corticosteroids, which are commonly prescribed for autoimmune disorders.

This can lead to an overly suppressed immune system, making one more susceptible to infections and diseases.

Given these potential interactions, I strongly recommend that if you’re currently on any medication, particularly for the conditions mentioned above, it’s vital to discuss with your doctor before incorporating Ashwagandha into your wellness routine.

In fact, this advice applies to any natural supplement – always consult your healthcare provider first to ensure it’s safe and suitable for you.

3) Risk of gastrointestinal issues

While we’re on the subject of potential side effects, it’s worth noting that Ashwagandha can also cause gastrointestinal issues in some women.

Now, you might be thinking:

How can a natural herb cause digestive problems?

Well, here’s how:

Despite its numerous health benefits, Ashwagandha can sometimes lead to stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting. This is likely due to its high fiber content, which, while beneficial for many, can cause digestive discomfort in others.

Now, don’t let this deter you from considering using Ashwagandha.

Remember, everyone’s body reacts differently to various substances.

What causes discomfort in one individual may not have the same effect on another.

However, if you’re someone with a sensitive stomach or pre-existing gastrointestinal conditions, it would be wise to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any supplement regimen with Ashwagandha.

I cannot stress enough the importance of personalized healthcare decisions, especially when it comes to natural supplements.

4) Potential for allergic reactions

Have you ever had an unexpected allergic reaction to a natural supplement?

It happens more often than you might think, and Ashwagandha is no exception.

Despite being a natural herb, ashwagandha can still trigger allergies in some people.

Usually, this manifests in various forms, such as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or even breathing difficulties.

For those with a history of allergies, especially to plants in the nightshade family (which includes Ashwagandha), the risk of an allergic reaction is significantly higher.

So, what does this mean for you?

It simply means that if you’re considering adding Ashwagandha to your wellness routine, especially if you have known allergies, it’s crucial to start with small doses to observe how your body reacts.

5) Increased heart rate

What’s more, Ashwagandha has been reported to increase heart rate in some individuals.

I know this might sound surprising, given the herb’s reputation for promoting relaxation and stress relief.

But it’s important to note that Ashwagandha stimulates the central nervous system, which can potentially lead to a faster heart rate.

While this might not be a concern for everyone, for those with pre-existing heart conditions, it’s a significant point to consider.

Here are some symptoms to look out for that may indicate an increased heart rate due to Ashwagandha use:

  • Feeling your heart pounding in your chest
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Unusual shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Simply put, if you have a history of heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions, it’s worth thinking twice before incorporating Ashwagandha into your wellness regimen.

6) Potential insomnia and restlessness

Here’s something I found particularly counterintuitive:

Despite its reputation as a stress-relieving adaptogen, Ashwagandha can actually cause insomnia and restlessness in some women.

This might sound contradictory, but let me explain.

Ashwagandha stimulates the nervous system, which can lead to increased alertness. This heightened state of alertness can make it more difficult to relax and fall asleep.

In my experience, this is a clear example of how individual bodies can react differently to the same substance.

What might induce a sense of calm and tranquillity in one person could potentially cause restlessness and sleep difficulties in another.

If you’re someone struggling with sleep issues or anxiety, it’s crucial to tread carefully with Ashwagandha. My advice?

Always start with a lower dosage to see how your body responds.

7) Pregnancy and breastfeeding concerns

Let’s imagine you’re a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding. You’ve heard about the numerous health benefits of Ashwagandha and you’re considering adding it to your wellness routine.

But here’s the catch:

Ashwagandha has been traditionally used to induce miscarriages in Ayurvedic medicine.

This suggests that it might not be safe for pregnant women. It’s also unknown how Ashwagandha might affect breastfeeding, as there is limited research in this area.

Let me share a personal experience here.

A close friend of mine, a new mother, was considering natural supplements to combat post-partum fatigue.

She was keen on trying Ashwagandha, but upon consulting her healthcare provider, she learned about these potential risks and decided against it.

The takeaway here is clear:

If you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding, it is crucial to consult your healthcare provider before using Ashwagandha or any other natural supplement.

8) Risk of liver damage

Perhaps the most concerning potential side effect of Ashwagandha is its possible impact on the liver.

While it’s relatively rare, there have been cases where the use of ashwagandha has been associated with liver damage.

Symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe conditions like jaundice and hepatitis.

Given the vital role the liver plays in detoxification and metabolism, any impact on its health can have serious implications for overall well-being.

It’s crucial to note that many factors can contribute to these risks, including the quality of the Ashwagandha supplement and individual health conditions.

Therefore, regular monitoring of liver health is advisable while taking this supplement, especially for long-term use.

Final thoughts: Making informed decisions

The potential side effects of ashwagandha for females outlined in this article highlight the importance of making informed decisions about our health and wellness.

While Ashwagandha offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to consider these potential risks and consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your wellness routine.

And before you leave, here are a few tips from me — someone who takes ashwagandha at least 3 times a year:

  • Know your body: Understanding your body is key. Everyone reacts differently to substances, and what works for one person might not work for another.
  • Quality matters: Choose high-quality, reputable brands when buying Ashwagandha or any other supplement.
  • Start small: If you decide to use Ashwagandha, start with a smaller dose and observe how your body responds.

Every wellness journey is personal and unique, rooted in self-awareness and informed choices. Let’s continue to learn, grow, and prioritize our holistic well-being.

Aria Sun

Aria Sun

I'm Aria, living in San Francisco, and I'm your go-to person for all things spirituality. With a love for meditation and a curiosity for life's mysteries, I write about finding balance in the chaos. My goal? To help you find peace in the everyday and connect with your inner self. When I'm not writing, you can find me hiking the trails of Northern California or deep in a yoga session, always seeking new ways to connect with the world around me.

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