Pregnancy can be uncomfortable, there’s no doubting that, and several well-known over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications are not advised to be taken at this time.
What about healing plants like Ashwagandha, though?
Ashwagandha is frequently promoted as a treatment for a variety of ailments, including some of the most prevalent symptoms of pregnancy, such as stress, discomfort, and insomnia.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate Ashwagandha, like all other supplements, thus there may be variations in the ingredients or potency depending on the producer.
The safety and effectiveness of Ashwagandha during pregnancy are also subjects of scant scientific research.
Is using this supplement while pregnant safe?
Here is what we do know about the effects of this herb on a developing fetus.
Read on to find out more.
✅ Many herbal remedies, including Ashwagandha, have not been researched in pregnant women.
✅ Because of this, it’s crucial to consult your doctor before using any herbal medications while pregnant.
✅ There may be variations in the components and potency of these items because the FDA doesn’t regulate herbal medications and supplements like Ashwagandha.
✅ Research doesn’t back up many of the claims made about this treatment’s efficacy.
✅ It’s advised to stay away from Ashwagandha during pregnancy if you want to be safe, so make an appointment with your doctor or other healthcare providers beforehand.
What is the primary use of Ashwagandha?
Withania somnifera, often known as Ashwagandha, is an indigenous herb to the Middle East, Africa, and India. It belongs to the family of nightshades. For thousands of years, it has been a crucial herb in the use of Ayurveda, a type of conventional Indian medicine.
It has often been used to:
- lessen anxiety and tension
- Boost vitality and lessen weariness
- Reduce pain
- lessen inflammation
Ashwagandha is often taken as a powder that is diluted in a beverage or in capsule form. It can be taken at any time of day, however, some people find that taking it at night improves their quality of sleep. A typical Ashwagandha dosage is not known, according to a clinical study. A 2019 study advises a daily dosage of 250–600 mg for stress relief. Higher dosages have been recommended by certain other research.
What are the primary benefits of taking Ashwagandha?
There is some evidence to support some of the health benefits that Ashwagandha supporters claim the plant has. But the following are the uses of Ashwagandha that are most popular:
- To lower tension. According to a small 2012 study, ingesting Ashwagandha regularly may help lower cortisol levels. Participants were given 300 mg twice a day. This may then positively impact stress reduction.
- To lessen discomfort and inflammation. It is believed that Ashwagandha has some anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities. 2015’s scant research suggested that it might be successful in treating rheumatoid arthritis in particular. This proof, however, was provided by a small, hastily conducted study without a control group. These results need to be confirmed by other research.
- To enhance sleep. A small 2020 study with 74 older adult participants found that Ashwagandha may help enhance the quality of sleep and mental alertness after waking.
- To enhance physical performance. According to two analyses of studies, one from 2020 and the other from 2021, Ashwagandha may aid in enhancing cardiovascular health and hastening the recovery process after exercise.
- To increase fecundity. Although the body of research is relatively small, a 2018 study reveals that Ashwagandha may improve various sperm quality indicators, perhaps improving the likelihood of conception.
There are a few more alleged advantages to using Ashwagandha, although some of these advantages lack sufficient proof at this time for researchers to establish a link between Ashwagandha and the result.
What are the possible negative effects?
Anything in excess, even pleasant things, can become problematic. No exception applies to Ashwagandha. Even in generally healthy, non-pregnant adults, Ashwagandha taken in excessive amounts might have negative effects like:
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Ashwagandha overdoses can sporadically cause liver damage.
Is it okay to use it when pregnant?
The safest course of action is to avoid using this supplement during pregnancy because there hasn’t been any research that explicitly looks at Ashwagandha’s effects on human pregnancy.
The unclear guidelines for dosage with regard to Ashwagandha use during pregnancy are another issue. There is little data regarding how much of the herb is “too much” during pregnancy or otherwise, despite research suggesting that taking the supplement in excess can have negative side effects.
Instead, discuss any health concerns with your doctor or another healthcare provider. Your doctor can advise you on the most secure strategy to treat your symptom or worry based on your medical history and any other medications you may be taking.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications are regarded as safe for occasional usage in treating issues with stress, sleep, pain, and other illnesses during pregnancy.
Is Ashwagandha safe to take before getting pregnant?
Higher Ashwagandha doses may enhance the quality of sperm, but what about enhancing female fertility?
A review from 2018 did make a few intriguing observations:
- Ashwagandha appeared to enhance the harmony of female hormones and follicle growth in animal experiments.
- It improved female sexual function in one human trial.
Therefore, using Ashwagandha before pregnancy to maybe help enhance fertility is probably safe; nevertheless, don’t count on it to help you conceive. And if you do get pregnant, you should cease using it.
However, compared to male fertility, there has generally been far fewer clinical study conducted on the benefits of Ashwagandha on female fertility.