Side effects of Ashwagandha for digestive health as per Ayurveda

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When it comes to ashwagandha, it is important to consume it in moderation. Otherwise, you will end up having digestive issues.

With the new year 2022, the new Covid-19 variant Omicron has brought back the fear too. Amid a sharp uptick in Omicron cases across the country, getting fully vaccinated and boosting the efficacy of the body’s immune system are some of our primary defense systems against the virus. But people are also turning to old and gold techniques of Ayurveda to boost health and immunity  The universe of Ayurveda revolves around the whole range of herbs that are therapeutic in nature. One such herb is Ashwagandha, also known as Winter cherry or Indian ginseng.
It is one of the most important herbs of Ayurveda.

side effects of ashwagandha
Powder, whole, or capsule – Ashwagandha is bliss in every form. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

What makes ashwagandha so special? Let’s find out!

Ashwagandha is a popular Ayurvedic plant for boosting energy and lowering stress. Its powerful capacity to heal depleted tissues, frazzled nerves, and low sexual energy, makes it a rejuvenating treatment. It is also used for arthritis, anxiety, bipolar disorder, insomnia, tumours, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma), backache, menstrual problems, hiccups, chronic liver disease and help to reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood, says Vaidya Shakuntala Devi, an Ayurveda expert.

But like they say, overdoing anything is a bad idea, it’s the same with ashwagandha. Consuming it in moderate quantities is beneficial but the moment you go overboard, you will expose yourself to side effects.

And did you know that Ashwagandha can mess with your agni or digestive fire if not taken in the right quantity? Well, that’s true ladies.

Let’s understand how ashwagandha can mess with the digestive system

Ashwagandha is used for several medicinal uses. The Ministry of AYUSH, in fact, recently commissioned a study to understand this herb’s likely role in Covid-19 recovery.

While we may know a lot about ashwagandha and its benefits, but we can’t say the same of its adverse effects.

Shakuntala Devi tells us, “The plant’s roots have traditionally been utilised for medicinal purposes. These roots are starchy, dense, heavy, and oily, and they’re notorious for being tough to digest. People who have a low digestive fire or Agni should avoid this plant or take the proper dosage.”

Also, read: From low blood pressure to thyroid disorder, here’s what eating ashwagandha can do to you

Most people readily tolerate small-to-medium doses of Ashwagandha, but large amounts of this herb, on the other hand, might cause:

  • Stomach distress
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

And all this may be caused by inflammation of the intestinal mucosa.

side effects of ashwagandha
Ashwagandha can impact your digestive health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“According to Ayurveda, ashwagandha must be utilised with caution, especially in cases of increased pitta. If not taken in moderation, it can cause many ailments in the body including piles, acidity and many more,” adds Shakuntala Devi.

Last words

Generally, Ashwagandha is considered safe for most. But now you know that it is not entirely free of side effects. People with ulcers also should not take ashwagandha alone. In fact, it is also recommended to avoid its consumption during pregnancy as its spasmolytic activity on the uterus and its ability to induce abortions in humans when given in huge quantities, says Shakuntala Devi.

To avoid any negative effects, it is usually recommended to ingest ashwagandha under the supervision of Ayurveda experts.

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