Ashwagandha side effects, risks, safety, uses for various health conditions, root benefit, does it help with reducing anxiety or improving sexual health?
Risk for thyroid gland hormone release or hyperthyroidism

March 23 2014

Ashwagandha is a shrub cultivated in India and North America. The root has been used for thousands of years by practitioners of Ayurvedic herbal medicine. The root contains flavonoids and many active ingredients of the withanolide class. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor , anti-stress, antioxidant, mind-boosting, immune-enhancing, and rejuvenating properties. Historically this plant has also been noted to have sex-enhancing properties.

Ashwagandha side effects, safety
No significant ashwagandha side effects have been reported in the medical literature except for some reports on thyroid hormone stimulation symptoms. Long term studies are not yet available. A very high dose could cause irritability and insomnia. A mild side effect could include sleepiness or lethargy but this is not a consistent effect.

Buy Ashwagandha root extract, 500 mg, 60 veggie caps

Ashwagandha root is an herb that is extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional health care system in India. This root is used as a general tonic and adaptogen, helping the body adapt to stress. In addition, it has been shown to possess antioxidant activity.

Supplement Facts:
Ashwagandha root extract 500 mg
 

Suggested Use: As an herbal dietary supplement, take 1 capsule a few times a week.

Buy ashwagandha root extract supplement, male and female enhancer
Passion Rx natural formula
Some of t
he herbs in highly popular product include Mucuna pruriens herb, maca, ashwagandha root extract, catuaba herb, muira puama herb, tribulus, tongkat ali, and Yohimbe. Both mucuna and ashwagandha are used in Ayurvedic medicne. Passion Rx is formulated by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Could you please explain what "take before meals" means? Does it mean an ashwagandha capsule should, or should not be taken with food? How long before a meal? It sounds as though one should take it immediately preceding a meal, but then why not say take "with food"? If it shouldn't be taken with food, why not say take "on an empty stomach" or "between meals"?
   The reason the instructions are not very specific is that different people respond better taking dietary supplement at different times. Some people find taking it with food is better for them, others like to take it a few minutes before eating, and still others like to take it half an hour or an hour before a meal. The best way to find out how it works for you is by trial and error. However, most of these sexual improving herbs work better on an empty stomach at least a half hour before breakfast.

Ashwagandha benefit
Anti-anxiety and mood enhancing herb
The roots of ashwagandha is used extensively in Ayurveda, the classical Indian system of medicine, and  where its categorized as a rasayana, used to promote physical and mental health, to provide defense against disease and adverse environmental factors and to slow the aging process. In rodent studies it has been shown to reduce anxiety and have positive effect on mood.

I have recently stopped taking Xanax and Valium, because of the side effects and addictive properties. However, I do have anxiety issues. Will this ashwagandha product help, and how so? I am new to herbs, and I want to make sure I am doing the right thing.
    This Ayurvedic plant has withanolides which can help reduce stress and anxiety but is not as potent as benzodiazepines. There are other herbs and supplements helpful for anxiety such as theanine and passion flower. .

Aphrodisiac properties, sexual improvement
Ashwagandha root is historically used as a sex enhancer. Laboratory studies show it can produce nitric oxide which is known to dilate blood vessels. We are not aware of specific human studies regarding its role in erectile dysfunction.

Does ashwagandha cause male enhancement?
   If you mean a bigger penis, no. Ashwagandha may help slightly with impotence. A more potent male herb is
tongkat ali.

Thank you for the ashwaganda product. I am enjoying my life with it. I still need Viagra but it does help me get in the mood more.

I will like to know the different between ashwagandha and Passion Rx.
   Ashwagandha is an herb only that has many effects, including sexual enhancement and relaxation. Passion Rx is a combination of many sexual herbs that are potent in a combination form and can help with many aspects of sexual arousal and enhancement.

Blood thinning
I'm having a fine needle biopsy of thyroid and was instructed to not use blood thinners before procedure. I'm taking ashwaganda 2 days a week and 5htp 6 days a week do these products have blood thinning effects?
    We have not seen studies regarding the blood thinning effects of ashwagandha or 5-HTP. it's often a good idea to minimize or completely stop supplement use during a medical procedure.

Brain health
Ashwagandha root is used in India to treat mental deficits in geriatric patients, including amnesia. Researchers from the University of Leipzig in Germany, wanted to find out which neurotransmitters were influenced by it. After injecting some of the chemicals into rats, they later examined slices of their brain and found an increase in acetylcholine receptor activity. The researchers say, "The drug-induced increase in acetylcholine receptor capacity might partly explain the cognition-enhancing and memory-improving effects of extracts from ashwagandha root observed in animals and humans."
   A study done in 1991 at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center indicated that extracts had GABA-like activity. This may account for this herbís anti-anxiety effects.

Cancer
Ashwagandhanolide, a Bioactive Dimeric Thiowithanolide Isolated from the Roots of ashwagandha.
J Nat Prod. 2006. Laila Research Center, Jawahar Autonagar, Vijayawada, India, and Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals, Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
Ashwagandhanolide displayed growth inhibition against human gastric, breast (MCF-7), central nervous system (SF-268), colon, and lung cancer cell lines. In addition, ashwagandhanolide inhibited lipid peroxidation and the activity of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 in vitro.

Cholesterol
One small study found ashwagandha root was able to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and had a diuretic effect.

Cortisol influence
I would like to know your thoughts on the effects of ashwagandha on the levels of cortisol in the body. Some ecommerce sites make claims that this herb reduces levels of the hormone cortisol, while lowering fasting blood sugar levels and improving lipid profiles.
   We have not seen any human studies with ashwagandha and measurement of cortisol levels. Even if done so, herbs influence more than the level of one hormone but have influences on a number of natural chemicals in the body and it is quite a limited viewpoint to focus on the level of only one hormone or substance that is influenced. The more important aspect is how it makes one feel and how it benefits a particular medical condition.

Gout, is there a benefit?
Suppressive effect of withania somnifera root powder on experimental gouty arthritis: An in vivo and in vitro study.
Chem Biol Interact. 2006. Faculty of Biosciences, School of Bioengineering and Biosciences, Vellore Institute of Technology (Deemed University), Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
The effect of ashwagandha root powder on paw volume and serum lysosomal enzyme activities was investigated in monosodium urate crystal-induced rats. The levels of beta-glucuronidase and lactate dehydrogenase were also measured in monosodium urate crystal incubated polymorphonuclear leucocytes.  Ashwagandha showed potent analgesic and antipyretic effect with the absence of gastric damage at different dose levels in experimental rats. For comparison purpose, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) indomethacin was used as a standard. These results provide evidence for the suppressive effect of ashwagandha root powder by retarding amplification and propagation of the inflammatory response without causing any gastric damage.
  
Vision
Can ashwangandha herb improve eyesight?
   The influence of on eyesight is minimal compared to other herbs and supplements.

Availability by herbal ingredient suppliers
Ashwagandha extract is available in a number of concentrations and extract potencies. These include 1 percent alkaloids, 1 percent withanolides, 1.5 percent, 2.5 percent, and 5 percent withanolides. We have not looked into the liquid form of this herb.

Use with dietary supplements, interactions
Can ashwagandha and CoQ10 be taken together?
   If the dosages are low then there should be not problems taking these two supplements together.

Use with prescription drugs and antipsychotic medications
See antipsychotic medication usage and how to reduce the side effects using natural antioxidant supplements such as withania. Clozapine is a medications also known as Clozaril and used as an antipsychotic.

Interactoins with medications
Luvox
Currently I take anti depressant like Luvox and risperidone. Is it safe to take ashwagandha herb along with these medications?
   We are not able to answer this kind of question since there are many factors that are involved in making a decision regarding how to combine supplements and prescription medications including dosage, the overall health of the person, dietary habits, etc.

Naltrexone
I have ordered a bottle of the pills and was wondering if they may be taken with the prescription drug of LDN. Low dose Naltrexone. The dosage of the LDN I take daily is 4.5mg for multiple sclerosis. That is all the meds I am taking at this point and I have tried to find this question and the answer on the Internet but have not succeeded in finding an answer.
    We have not seen any studies regarding the combination of this herb with this prescription medication. As a general rule, if starting another supplement or medication along with an existing pill, it is best to use a very low dose initially at a different time of day and have approval by a health care provider.

Sensoril brand
I tried taking an ashwaghanda extract containing 125mg of Sensoril brand. I took three different days on an empty stomach as recommended on the label, and each time I experienced a muscle-tension headache lasting over 3 hours. I was taking it for the calming effect, but that wasn't noticeable. Would other companies' extracts give me the same problems?
    The effects of ashwagandha herb depend on the dosage, extract potency, and method of processing the herbal extract. Products from different companies are likely to provide different effects. Another option is to take less, such as a third of a tablet or capsule.