The roots of the Withania Somnifera plant have been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha, which is also known as Withania Somnifera or Indian Ginseng, is a popular medicinal herb. It belongs to the nightshade family and grows throughout the year.
Ashwagandha has become especially well-known for its health benefits, and most notably, these are for testosterone levels in men, but what about women? Only recent studies have discovered how this organic remedy can heighten female health and vitality.
As with most supplements, there are specific guidelines that need to be followed while taking Ashwagandha.
Always consult your doctor before taking any supplement or medication. Pregnant women are not the exception to that rule.
The question is: Can You Take Ashwagandha While Pregnant? Let’s find out.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha root extract is a multifaceted herb from Ayurvedic medicine focused on lengthening lifespans. It's called by many names: Withania Somnifera, Indian Ginseng and Winter Cherry. As an adaptogen, it comes from the family of medicinal plants that help your body deal with both mental and physical stressors- which means it can be used for more than just longevity!
Ashwagandha Health Benefits
It is an adaptogen that can balance the body’s hormones. Ashwagandha is also used as a sleep aid, and it has been observed that it can reduce anxiety in patients.
Ashwagandha is a herb that regulates reproductive hormones and balances cortisol levels. This can be beneficial for both men and women when it comes to regulating their reproductive hormone levels.
Cortisol is a stress hormone produced in the body. When consumed in excess, it harms the immune system, digestion, and metabolism- this we know as an unavoidable part of society today. Nevertheless, lowering your cortisol levels with Ashwagandha on occasion may result in many benefits, including:
- Lessened anxiety
- Stress reduction
- Better sleep
- Enhanced energy
- Increased happiness
- Improved immune system
- Lower blood sugar levels
Sleep and Relaxation
Ashwagandha is often used as a natural way to combat stress-related disorders, anxiety, and depression. This herb can help reduce your cortisol levels by reducing the effectiveness of monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzymes in the brain.
Stress and anxiety are significant problems for many people today; this means they experience health issues like depression, insomnia or other symptoms that manifest when someone experiences high levels of stressors in their life.
For centuries, Ashwagandha has been used to help promote relaxation and ease feelings of anxiety. It is said that it calms the nervous system, which allows you to release tension naturally. One study found that taking Ashwagandha in capsule form helped improve both sleep quality and sleep duration in adults with insomnia.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
Nausea, an upset stomach, and diarrhea are some of the most common side effects linked to Ashwagandha.
Is Ashwagandha Safe During Pregnancy?
In the quest for stress relief, a glass of wine may be off the table.
Ashwagandha is appealing as a "natural" alternative to that- it's been used in Indian traditional medicine for hundreds of years, after all!
However, it should not be consumed by pregnant women and has been classified as "unsafe" by FDA. There is some evidence that Ashwagandha may help with fertility but is also associated with miscarriages.
Not enough studies have been done to give a set answer, and the right answer depends on each individual. However, if you're looking to air on the side of caution - avoid this herb during the length of your pregnancy.
If Ashwagandha is a crucial part of your health routine, consult with your doctor to decide what amount you should consume and if you should avoid it in certain trimesters.
Are there benefits to consuming Ashwagandha while pregnant?
In Ayurvedic practice, Ashwagandha has traditionally been used during pregnancy. When taken in controlled amounts, it is thought to give the mother and fetus strength and vitality.
The most common benefit is a reduction in anxiety which can help with mood swings that may be caused by fluctuating hormones during pregnancy.
There are also studies that show increased milk production and better sleep patterns as potential side effects of Ashwagandha consumption when pregnant.
It has also been found that Ashwagandha might help with regulating blood sugar levels and reducing postpartum depression symptoms.
While these studies are promising, it is still unclear how much Ashwagandha needs to be consumed to see these results or if they will be present at all. For now, it would be best to speak with your doctor before considering taking any supplements while pregnant.
Women who take Ashwagandha postpartum have reported an increase in their energy levels, a reduction in stress and anxiety, improvements in their sleep quality, and a decreased need for anti-depressants. Studies have also shown that it alleviates the symptoms of hormone imbalance and can help treat postpartum depression and anxiety.
One of the most popular benefits of Ashwagandha is its ability to improve sleep quality. Many people who regularly take this supplement report that their sleep has improved, and they are more rested in the mornings.
A full night's sleep can be a distant dream in the first few months as your new baby arrives. However, Ashwagandha can help if you have trouble falling asleep after getting up at night to feed or care for your child.
Being a new mother can be overwhelming, and anxiety is also very common in the postpartum period. Ashwagandha's ability to balance cortisol (the primary stress-inducing hormone) helps reduce anxiety in this tough time and brings you some much-needed calm.
Ashwagandha builds strength, vitality and energy. It is also an immunity booster that can help new mothers avoid fatigue and maintain their day-to-day lives.
Ashwagandha, a plant extract used in Ayurveda for centuries to increase milk production, is likely to be just one of the many positive side effects of stress reduction. High levels of stress and anxiety can have an indirect negative impact on your milk supply because the mother may not be eating properly, drinking enough water, or nursing her baby as frequently as she should as a result.
Ashwagandha and Fertility in Women
Ashwagandha's ability to reduce stress benefits the female reproductive system.
Stress can have a significant impact on female hormone regulation and often lowers progesterone levels, which is not good for fertility or menstrual cycle health.
Ashwagandha helps by lowering cortisol levels and increasing blood production, as well as decreasing body tension. With all of these advantages, it should come without surprise that studies have discovered Ashwagandha improves female fertility.
Fortunately, this plant isn't just limited to females- Ashwagandha also boosts testosterone in men! It has been used widely with very good results when dealing with sperm count issues too!
The Bottom Line
The multiple benefits of Ashwagandha make it an excellent herb for fertility and postpartum recovery. If taken in limited quantities, it can help alleviate stress, boost immunity, regulate hormones, improve sleep quality and rebuild strength. It is best to consult your doctor if you want to take this herb during pregnancy.
Does Ashwagandha Make you Have a Miscarriage?
Large doses of Ashwagandha can cause miscarriage in animal studies, and therefore it should be avoided during the first trimester or any other for that matter.
The first trimester is a difficult time for pregnant women, requiring extra precautions. You should not eat anything that could endanger your pregnancy.
Since Ashwagandha falls under "likely unsafe" conditions during pregnancy, you shouldn't take it at all while pregnant.
Does Ashwagandha Help in Conceiving?
Ashwagandha is a herb that promotes human health in general. Because it has the ability to improve several bodily functions, it has been successfully used to increase fertility. This herb alleviates stress and stimulates the production of reproductive hormones in both men and women.
Can Ashwagandha Regulate Periods?
Some women who have irregular or painful periods may find that Ashwagandha helps regulate the cycle. Ashwagandha is a hormone regulator and helps balance out hormones in the body. This can help alleviate severe symptoms of PMS, menstrual cramps and heavy periods.