Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses. However, there are certain groups of individuals who should exercise caution or avoid ashwagandha altogether. It’s important to note that while ashwagandha is a natural herb, it can still interact with certain medications and may not be suitable for everyone.
Here are some groups of people who should be cautious or avoid ashwagandha:
Pregnant and breastfeeding women: There is insufficient evidence regarding the safety of ashwagandha during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before using it.
People with autoimmune diseases: Ashwagandha may stimulate the immune system, which could potentially worsen symptoms in individuals with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or multiple sclerosis. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before using ashwagandha in such cases.
Individuals with thyroid disorders: Ashwagandha has been reported to have thyroid-stimulating effects. While this can be beneficial for people with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), it may not be suitable for those with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Close monitoring of thyroid hormone levels is recommended if using ashwagandha alongside thyroid medications.
People with low blood pressure: Ashwagandha has been reported to have hypotensive (blood pressure-lowering) effects. If you have low blood pressure or are taking medications for blood pressure regulation, it’s important to exercise caution when using ashwagandha. Regular monitoring of blood pressure is advisable.
Individuals with diabetes: Ashwagandha may lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes or are taking medications to manage your blood sugar, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while using ashwagandha. Adjustments to medication dosages may be necessary under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
People with gastrointestinal disorders: Ashwagandha may have an irritant effect on the gastrointestinal tract, especially in high doses. Individuals with conditions like peptic ulcers, gastritis, or inflammatory bowel disease should use ashwagandha with caution or avoid it altogether.
It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist before starting any new herbal supplement, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.