8 Ashwagandha Side Effects and Benefits to Keep in Mind

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

General Physician

4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Reduction of stress is one of the main benefits of ashwagandha
  • Ashwagandha side effects include drowsiness and diarrhea
  • Nausea is one of the other ashwagandha negative side effects

Ashwagandha is biologically known as Withania Somnifera. It is one of the most important herbs in ayurveda, in use for more than three thousand years. You can find the herb in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. There are many benefits of ashwagandha that can improve your daily life. It is a powerful way in which you can enhance your body’s resilience to stress [1]. Its roots have been historically used to treat ailments like:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia

Although you can use it to boost immune system, it is wise to use it in moderation. If you have certain diseases or have too much, you may be exposed to a number of ashwagandha negative side effects. Read on to understand ashwagandha benefits and side effects better.

Ashwagandha Side Effects


If you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, it is better to not consume ashwagandha. It fails to balance the thyroid hormone and may further provoke the problem. However, you may use it to treat thyroid function that doesn’t meet the blood level cut-offs of hypothyroidism. The herb may still cause side effects such as lethargy, hair loss, and weight gain. It may also interact with the medicine that lowers the output of the thyroid hormone. If left untreated, the rising hormone levels in people with hyperthyroidism can lead to thyrotoxicosis [2], a severe condition that may cause heart failure and other complications.


Having it may also make some people drowsy. This may interrupt your normal activities. In such cases, you should avoid driving. The tranquilizer effects of ashwagandha usually affect those taking other sedative drugs such as barbiturates.


If you have a low blood pressure, avoid this herb. People with hypertension often take prescription medication to lower blood pressure. However, taking ashwagandha along with these can cause your BP to drop too low. So, consult your doctor before taking it alongside other medicines.


If you are pregnant, make sure you talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Though you may feel stressed during this time, avoid taking this herb for stress relief. While there are many benefits of ashwagandha, certain compounds in it may lead to a miscarriage.

Sleep Disorders

If you are suffering from insomnia, you can have ashwagandha to improve your sleep quality as it is a natural sedative. However, if you have a normal sleep cycle, don’t consume it. Follow this guideline to keep any ashwagandha bad reaction at bay.

Low Blood Sugar Levels

Studies suggest that ashwagandha reduces blood sugar levels as much as up to 15%. So, if you take diabetes medications or have low blood sugar, don’t consume it. It may further lower your glucose levels, which can be dangerous for your health.

Auto-Immune Disorders

These disorders occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. Ashwagandha is an immune booster, so it can do more harm than benefit for people with auto-immune diseases. Avoid it if you have:

In such cases, having this herb can further worsen your symptoms.

Additional Read: Ashwagandha Benefits for Men

Gastrointestinal Problems

High doses of ashwagandha can irritate the membranes inside your stomach. Some of the common ashwagandha negative side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach

You can get rid of these side effects as soon as you stop having the herb or its supplements.

Benefits of Ashwagandha

Here are some of the reasons why this herb is so useful.

· It has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and immunomodulatory properties [3]· It helps you reduce cortisol, the stress hormone in your body· It boosts your cognitive function and memory· It increases your muscle strength and improves fertility in men· It has anti-cancer properties and analgesic benefits· It helps you reduce anxiety and depression· It improves your ability to learn and recall things· It lowers cholesterol, triglyceride, and reduces the signs of agingAdditional Read: Benefits of Ashwagandha

Following ayurvedic health tips like taking this herb can be beneficial for you. But it is important to know factors like ashwagandha powder side effects and other negative results before taking it regularly. You can speak to AYUSH specialists on Bajaj Finserv Health to find out the benefits of ashwagandha along with its side effects. This way, you can make the most of ayurvedic tips to improve your health.

Published on 24 Nov 2021Last updated on 30 May 2023
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318106120_Thyrotoxicosis
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32242751/

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

, MBBS 1


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