Ashwagandha is a shrub that has been around for the last 4,000 years and is famous for its medicinal properties. This plant belongs to the nightshade family and is planted in India, Pakistan, China, Yemen, and Nepal. The roots and berry of Ashwagandha are used to make herbal supplements. This supplement that was in use in the yesteryears is still used today to treat numerous illnesses.
The root and leaf of Ashwagandha have a high amount of steroidal compounds such as carbon-27-glycowithanolide and Withaferin A. This category of steroid compounds is known as Withanolides. Ashwagandha also contains alkaloids such as anaferine, tropine, saponins, and pseudotropine isopelletrine.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen whose role is to help the body maintain homeostasis and prevent stress. This herbal supplement has chemicals that lower inflammation, calm the brain, alter the immune system and lower blood pressure.
Ashwagandha is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. This is the reason why many users opt to buy Ashwagandha. Some of the illnesses and conditions this herb can treat include:
- Anxiety and stress;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD);
- Chronic liver disease;
- Bipolar disorder;
- Menstrual complications;
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder);
- Lower side effects of cancer and schizophrenia medication;
- Lower sugar and fat levels in the blood;
- Lower effects of aging;
- Fertility complications in both men and women;
- Treatment of wounds.
Mode of Indication, Dosage and Treatment Duration
You should talk with your health provider if you wish to fully benefit from Ashwagandha. This herb is usually administered in dosages beginning from 450mg to 2g. You can either take this herb as a liquid extract, powder or capsules. Precise dosage, however, depends on numerous factors such as the age of the patient, their general health status and condition being treated. For many illnesses, a standard dosage of 250-500mg for a period of one month is advised as many people feel better afterwards. However, note that herbal and natural product dosages can never be precise for anyone, directions have to be given by your doctor. It is advisable to take this drug with food and a full glass of water for capsule medication.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
Even though Ashwagandha is considered safe for use, there are a few side effects that may manifest in some individuals. Common side effects in this case include:
- Abdominal pain;
- Increased thyroid hormone activity which causes mood swings, weight loss, irritability, excessive sweating, and irregular heartbeat.
Like other herbal supplements, it is important to use Ashwagandha as directed by your medical practitioner to obtain the best benefits. It is advised to begin with a low dose and increase gradually as you check your response and tolerance. It’s recommended to talk to your doctor if you are on other medication. Generally, this supplement is not suitable for people with the following conditions.
- Expectant and breastfeeding mothers;
- Due to surgery within a fortnight;
- Stomach ulcers;
- Immune system complications such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis;
- High or low blood pressure.
When taken with Ashwagandha, some medicines can increase or lower the effectiveness of this herbal supplement. Some of the drugs that interfere with the effectiveness of Ashwagandha or this natural herb affects how they work include:
- Anti-diabetes medication such as glyburide, glipizide, rosiglitazone, insulin, glimepiride, and metformin;
- High blood pressure and hypertension drugs such as valsartan, enalapril, amlodipine, and hydrochlorothiazide among others;
- Immunosuppressant medication i.e. Imuran, cyclosporine, daclizumab, corticosteroids, tacrolimus, prednisone, mycophenolate, and sirolimus;
- Sedative medications i.e. Benzodiazepines, midazolam, diazepam, alprazolam and clonazepam among others;
- Thyroid hormone pills.