The Bircher Bar is proudly reader-supported! When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more.

Ashwagandha Side Effects and Interactions: How To Take It Safely

Key Takeaways

  • Ashwagandha is generally safe when taken within the recommended dosage range of 300mg - 1500mg per day, but exceeding this may lead to side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
  • It's advised to take a four-week break from Ashwagandha every three months to avoid potential side effects from prolonged use.
  • Ashwagandha may lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, so it's essential to consult a healthcare professional before use, especially if you have diabetes or are on blood pressure medication.
  • Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, individuals with autoimmune diseases, stomach ulcers, or bleeding disorders like hemophilia should avoid Ashwagandha due to potential adverse effects.
  • There are possible interactions with medications such as sedatives, immunosuppressants, and antihypertensive drugs, so it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider before combining Ashwagandha with any medication.

Ashwagandha is considered to be one of the most powerful herbal supplements available and it is believed to have multiple health benefits.

However, as with all medicines whether herbal or prescription, there can be some side effects from taking Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha root, powder, and capsules

    Possible Side Effects Of Ashwagandha

    For the most part, it’s safe to use Ashwagandha for up to three months continuously as long as you aren’t taking too much. Anywhere between 300mg - 1500mg per day is acceptable, depending on how your body has adapted to it.

    The issues start when you exceed this recommended dosage. If you do, especially when you first start taking Ashwagandha, you may suffer from any of the side effects listed below:

    Vomiting & Diarrhea

    Taking too much Ashwagandha can cause diarrhea or vomiting as your body tries to process the influx of vitamins compounds and minerals you’ve fed it.

    These effects can also occur if you take Ashwagandha over a long period of time. This is why it’s recommended that you take a four-week break around every 3 months.


    Ashwagandha is believed to lower our cortisol levels and help us feel calmer. However, for this reason, taking too much can lead to drowsiness. You should also avoid taking Ashwagandha alongside any other sedatives.

    Low Blood Pressure

    Some people take Ashwagandha for this purpose. However, if you take too much and you don’t have any high blood pressure issues, you could lower your blood pressure to a dangerous level.

    For this reason, you should also avoid taking Ashwagandha if you have been prescribed blood pressure medication.

    Lower Blood Sugar Levels

    Some studies suggest that ashwagandha may lower blood sugar by reducing inflammatory markers and improving insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells do not respond properly to the hormone insulin, which can lead to high blood sugar. Ashwagandha may also lower blood sugar by inhibiting the production of TNF-alpha and IL-6 which are cytokines that can impair insulin sensitivity. That is why, if you have diabetest or are on medications for it, always consult a healthcare professional before using ashwagandha as a supplement.

    Liver Issues

    Ashwagandha is generally safe for short-term use, but there have been rare reports of liver problems. While clinical trials haven't shown liver issues, some case studies link ashwagandha to mild-moderate liver injury. These cases typically resolved after stopping the supplement. It's important to consult a doctor before taking ashwagandha, especially if you have any pre-existing liver conditions.

    Weight Loss

    Some reports suggest that the use of ashwagandha root extract may cause some weight loss by reducing cravings and improving eating behaviours, which can be caused by chronic stress. Chronic stress itself can lead to weight gain, so ashwagandha may indirectly affect weight by reducing stress and anxiety. However, more studies are needed to confirm these findings.

    buy ashwagandha

     Click Here To Check The Latest Prices On SuperFeast Ashwagandha Click Here To Check The Latest Prices On Teelixir Ashwagandha

    Can Ashwagandha Be Bad For You?

    While Ashwagandha is believed to possess some amazing health benefits, there are certain circumstances in which it can be considered bad for you. However, these usually only involve pre-existing conditions.

    Below, we’ve put together some examples of situations where taking Ashwagandha could be bad for you.


    There is evidence to suggest that taking Ashwagandha during pregnancy could lead to miscarriage, so it’s advised that you stop taking it if you are pregnant.

    The reason for this is that it can help strengthen the adrenal glands, reduce cortisol, and increase blood flow during menstruation. So, while it may be a helpful supplement for achieving conception, it shouldn’t be taken when you are pregnant.


    If you are breastfeeding your child, it’s also recommended that you refrain from taking Ashwagandha.

    While there isn’t any evidence to suggest it has a negative effect on your baby’s health, it’s still a powerful medicinal herb that your baby’s tiny body may not be able to process while it’s developing.


    If you are due to go into surgery, it’s recommended that you stop taking Ashwagandha at least two weeks beforehand. The reason for this is because Ashwagandha is believed to slow down your central nervous system, which is responsible for your body’s respiratory functions.

    When you undergo anesthesia, the central nervous system is also slowed down, and if it’s slowed too much by a mixture of Ashwagandha and anesthesia, you could face difficulties breathing during and after surgery.

    Organic Ashwagandha roots

    Possible Ashwagandha Interactions

    Generally speaking, Ashwagandha is a wonderful medicinal herb that is believed to possess multiple health benefits. However, as with all herbal and prescription medications, there are some circumstances in which it may do more harm than good.

    The most common of these circumstances is mixing Ashwagandha with another medicine. Certain prescription drugs may either enhance or negate the effects.

    So, if you’re taking any of the drugs listed below, it’s a good idea to stop taking Ashwagandha until you’ve completed your prescribed course of treatment.

    • Sedatives: Mixing sedatives with Ashwagandha can be harmful in two different ways. First of all, it can enhance the sedative effects, making you incredibly drowsy. Secondly, it can negate the effects of the sedative by raising your energy levels.
    • Immunosuppressants: Since Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, it may reduce the effects of immunosuppressants. This is one of the reasons why it shouldn’t be taken by anybody with an autoimmune disorder.
    • Antihypertensive drugs: Ashwagandha is also believed to lower blood pressure. This means it may interact negatively with any antihypertensive drugs and reduce your blood pressure too much.

    buy ashwagandha

     Click Here To Check The Latest Prices On SuperFeast Ashwagandha Click Here To Check The Latest Prices On Teelixir Ashwagandha

    Aside from the above medicines, another reason why somebody may find they have a bad reaction to Ashwagandha is that they are taking too much. As a rule, you should only be taking between 300mg - 1500mg per day and you should take a 4-week break every three months.

    Who Should Not Take Ashwagandha?

    Ashwagandha can be used by most people and it is a fantastic herbal supplement with lots of health benefits. However, there are some people that should avoid using Ashwagandha altogether.

    This includes the following:

    • Diabetics: This is a bit of a double-edged sword. As discussed, studies have shown that Ashwagandha can lower blood sugar levels. However, while this may make it sound helpful for diabetics, it can interfere with diabetes medication and cause your blood sugar levels to drop suddenly.
    • Anybody suffering from a stomach ulcer: One of the potential side effects of Ashwagandha is vomiting and nausea. For this reason, it’s not advised to take it if you suffer from a stomach ulcer as it may irritate the GI tract.
    • Pregnant women: You should stop using Ashwagandha straight away if you are pregnant. The main reason for this is because it can help stimulate the adrenal glands and maintain a healthy menstruation cycle. This isn’t something you want to happen when you’re pregnant.
    • Anybody with an autoimmune disease: Whether you're suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or any other kind of autoimmune disease, you should not use Ashwagandha. The reason for this is because it increases activity in the immune system. As such, the symptoms of your autoimmune disease could get worse and any medications you’ve been prescribed could stop working.
    • Hemophiliacs: Ashwagandha is also believed to have anticoagulant properties. For this reason, it shouldn’t be taken by anybody suffering from hemophilia or any other type of bleeding disorder. It may also negate the effects of certain blood disorder medications.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it okay to take ashwagandha everyday?

    Yes, but while generally safe for short-term use, consult a physician to discuss long-term use. Potential side effects may come up with long-term heavy use. Learn more about Ashwagandha dosage for daily use.

    Can ashwagandha cause anxiety?

    Ashwagandha is known to reduce anxiety and stress, not cause it. However, everyone reacts differently. If you experience anxiety, consult a doctor or reduce dosage. Learn more about ashwagandha's effect on anxiety.

    Should you take a break from ashwagandha?

    Taking breaks from Ashwagandha is recommended to avoid potential side effects. Consider a 2-4 week break every 6-8 weeks. 


    As with all medicinal herbs, there are some side effects you might experience when you take Ashwagandha. However, for the most part, Ashwagandha is believed to be totally safe if taken in the correct dosage.

    Different forms of Ashwagandha use different parts of the the plant (e.g. KSM-66, Sensoril, Shoden etc.) which can have different effects as well.

    It’s also important to introduce your body to all forms of Ashwagandha slowly, otherwise, you may experience a mild stomach upset.

    Having said that, it is very important to note, also, that there are some people who should never take Ashwagandha. These include pregnant women, hemophiliacs, people with diabetes, and anybody with an autoimmune disease.

    There are also certain medications that it could negate the effects of. So, if you are on medication, we’d always recommend checking with your doctor before you start taking Ashwagandha.

    If you do feel like Ashwagandha is something you'd love to incorporate into your life, these are the best Ashwagandha supplements we've found and where you can buy them.

    Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

    Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

    Related Posts

    The Best Probiotics in Australia 2024: For Your Gut Health
    The Best Probiotics in Australia 2024: For Your Gut Health
      Product tester and written by Anita Yau   Scientifically reviewed & edited by Isabella Truong Key Takeawa...
    Read More
    The Mighty Matcha Whisk (Chasen) & Why You Need One
    The Mighty Matcha Whisk (Chasen) & Why You Need One
    Key Takeaways Matcha whisk, or "chasen," essential for creamy, frothy texture of matcha tea. Originating in 15th cen...
    Read More
    6 Gatorade Alternatives To Try: Healthy Alternatives to Sports Drinks
    6 Gatorade Alternatives To Try: Healthy Alternatives to Sports Drinks
    Key Takeaways Coconut water offers natural electrolytes with less sugar than Gatorade, keeping you hydrated and fuele...
    Read More

    The Bircher Bar's Top Product List:

    We are always trialling and testing the best science-backed stuff we can find to help support and improve our health, performance and lonegvity!

    The list below showcases some of our favourite finds in some key areas of health and happiness - check them out:

    1.) For Covering Nutritional Bases & Supporting Energy

    Athletic Greens AG1

    Check Product: Athletic Greens AG1

    (Or Click Here To Read Our Full Review)

    2.) For Optimising Sleep Quality & Duration

    Momentous Huberman Lab Sleep Bundle

    3.) For Supporting Good Digestion & Gut Health

    (Or Click Here To Read Our Full Review)

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published