Does Ashwagandha Cause Miscarriage During Pregnancy?

Ashwagandha is a medicinal plant that is part of the nightshade family.  It has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, but recently it has gained popularity as a supplement to address various issues such as stress, anxiety, and even reproductive health. However, many women are concerned about whether this herbal remedy is safe to take during pregnancy.  In particular, there are questions about whether taking ashwagandha could lead to miscarriage or other complications.  Does ashwagandha cause miscarriage? To answer this question, we will look at the potential risks of ashwagandha on pregnant people. We will also discuss what it means for those considering taking this supplement during their pregnancy or as a new mother.

Ashwagandha is appealing to many because it is a more natural way of treating common health issues and even some mental health issues that many of us face. More people are turning to alternative medicine rather than traditional medications. This has led to an increase in the use of herbs like ashwagandha. There is still not enough concrete scientific evidence to prove the safety and efficacy of ashwagandha as a pregnancy or breastfeeding supplement.

This article does not give medical advice.  Always check with your medical providers before starting a new supplement.  Also, check with your provider for any questions or concerns you may have about the benefits or risks of ashwagandha as a part of your routine.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng or Indian winter cherry. It is an adaptogenic herb that has been used by Ayurvedic practitioners for thousands of years for a wide variety of reasons. This herb is an evergreen shrub also known as Withania somnifera. It is believed to have a calming effect on the mind and body, as well as boost the immune system, cognitive function, and energy levels. Ashwagandha can be taken in various forms, including as a powder form, capsule form, or an extract.  You can typically find these supplements in health food stores, online retailers, and even some grocery stores.

Ashwagandha tea is another popular way to consume the herbal remedy. This tea can be purchased in different varieties. It is often mixed with other herbs and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, or lemon for added flavor.  You can drink it either iced or hot.

Ashwagandha root extract is also available for those who prefer a stronger and more concentrated dose. It is believed to contain higher levels of the active compounds in ashwagandha, such as withanolides and other alkaloids that are thought to provide health benefits. 

Another common form that is available is Ashwagandha powder.  The powder can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or other recipes for a delicious and nutritious snack. It can easily be added in to become a part of your healthy diet.

The dosage amount of ashwagandha should be discussed with a qualified healthcare provider before taking it, especially during pregnancy. There is not enough research on the safety of ashwagandha during pregnancy. Therefore, it is best to follow the advice of your doctor or midwife when considering taking this supplement.  It is always better to stay on the safe side and not add in any new supplements during your pregnancy.

Remember, in the United States, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements, so there is no guarantee of safety or effectiveness. Many of the suggested effects of ashwagandha are based on anecdotal evidence and traditional use, rather than scientific research. 

Ashwagandha supplement is in a brown bowl

Overall Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a popular supplement that is used for a variety of issues. This is including, but not limited to, stress relief, anxiety reduction, mood improvement, and increased energy levels. It is also believed to help improve cognitive functioning and enhance overall well-being.

Those with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory health conditions can also potentially benefit from taking ashwagandha due to its anti-inflammatory properties.  Autoimmune diseases  such as lupus, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis may also respond positively to ashwagandha supplementation. 

Cortisol levels may also be reduced with regular ashwagandha use, as it is believed to reduce stress hormones. This could potentially also have a positive effect on sleep quality and issues with chronic stress.  Stress is an area of our lives that so many struggle with on a daily basis.

Blood pressure may possibly be reduced with regular ashwagandha use. Thus, it has the potential to be beneficial for those who have issues related to blood pressure.

Some research has even suggested that using this herb can help prevent weight gain and could be beneficial for those trying to lose weight as well. This works by regulating hormones involved in weight gain and reducing stress levels which can be a major factor when it comes to losing or gaining weight.

There is also some evidence that ashwagandha can help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety in people suffering from these mental health conditions. 

As you can see, there are a large number of things that this herb has the potential to help with.  It is important to note that all of the above ashwagandha benefits are only potential benefits. More scientific research and human studies are needed to determine if ashwagandha can really provide these health benefits.

Ashwagandha and Reproductive Health

This herb has been used to improve male fertility. In some cases, it has been shown to improve sperm count and sperm quality. However, more research is needed to validate these claims.  Testosterone levels have also been shown to increase when taking ashwagandha. 

Female fertility may also be improved with the use of ashwagandha. Some studies suggest that it can help the female reproductive system by regulating hormones, reducing stress levels, and improving ovulatory function.

Oxidative stress is believed to sometimes contribute to infertility in both men and women. This type of stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize them.  Ashwagandha is believed to help reduce this type of stress, thus possibly increasing fertility in both sexes.

Hormone levels may also be regulated with ashwagandha, as it can help to reduce levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the body. As a result, menstrual cramps or other symptoms associated with PMS may be reduced. 

More research is needed to validate these claims but for now, ashwagandha may be a good supplement to consider when trying to improve reproductive health. 

Keep in mind that these benefits are for people who are not currently pregnant.  The risk of taking this herb during pregnancy does not outweigh any potential benefits you may receive.  If you are taking this supplement to improve fertility, you would want to stop as soon as you get pregnant.

Does Ashwagandha Cause Miscarriage?

The short answer is no: there is currently no scientific evidence linking ashwaganda to miscarriage in pregnant women. However, there is not enough evidence or research to recommend its use during pregnancy.  There is no clear answer to how much ashwagandha is safe to take during pregnancy, so it is best to avoid it altogether.

There can be some adverse effects when taking ashwagandha during pregnancy, such as headaches, diarrhea, and dryness of the mouth. Other potential side effects include nausea, increased heart rate, and palpitations. Uterine contractions have also been reported in some cases with ashwagandha use.  These contractions could potentially increase the risk of miscarriage.

Although ashwagandha has been used to improve fertility in women, it is important to note that taking the herb during pregnancy may have a negative impact on the developing fetus. Therefore, caution should be exercised before taking this supplement during pregnancy.

It is also not advised to take ashwagandha while breastfeeding as there is very limited data on its effects on infants.  Milk production may also be affected. 

Though ashwagandha has been used for centuries to treat various health issues, there is just not enough research to prove the safety of taking it during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend taking any supplement during pregnancy without first asking your doctor.

It is also important to note that many of the studies on ashwagandha during pregnancy are limited in scope. Therefore, more research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be made about its safety during pregnancy. 

It is always best to consult with your medical professionals before taking ashwagandha during pregnancy. Also discuss the dosage amount and any potential risks or side effects that may be associated with it.

Ashwagandha plant

Risks of Using Ashwagandha

Though there are many supposed benefits of using this herb in small doses, there are also some potential risks even healthy adults should be aware of.  These risks are also referred to as the toxicity effect.  Again, pregnant women should avoid ashwagandha altogether unless explicitly approved by their health care professionals. This is because there is limited research of the effects on pregnant and nursing women.

When taken in high doses, ashwagandha supplementation has been associated with potentially dangerous side effects. These side effects can include an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also interact negatively with certain medications including anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives. 

Ashwagandha can potentially cause an increase thyroid hormones.  In some cases, this can be beneficial, but in other cases, this can be harmful depending on your individual health situation.  Thyroid function  should be monitored closely when taking ashwagandha.

Allergic reactions are possible when taking ashwagandha, and it can also interfere with blood sugar levels. People with diabetes or insulin sensitivity should be especially careful when using this supplement as it may cause their glucose levels to drop dangerously low. 

Other potential risks can include increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and dehydration. It is important to note that these side effects are rare and usually only occur when taking large doses of ashwagandha.

As with any herbal remedy, it is important to discuss usage of ashwagandha with your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement.  They will help you weigh all of the potential benefits against all possible risks and help you make a decision that is right for your individual health needs.  It is also important to use ashwagandha under the guidance of an experienced practitioner, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.  That way, they can help monitor and adjust your dosage as needed.  

In conclusion, while ashwagandha has been used widely in traditional medicine and has a variety of potential health benefits, its safety during pregnancy remains uncertain. There is currently no scientific evidence suggesting that ashwagandha causes miscarriage directly, but taking it during pregnancy could have other, less known effects. Therefore, it is crucial that women consult with their healthcare provider before deciding to take ashwagandha, particularly during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and so precise dosing and safety cannot be guaranteed. It is always best to prioritize safety and exercise caution when considering the use of any dietary supplements during pregnancy.

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