Can You Take Ashwagandha During Pregnancy?

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Dr. Deepinder Kaur (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
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Can You Take Ashwagandha during Pregnancy?

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Ashwagandha, which is also known as Withania somnifera, Indian ginseng, or winter cherry, is a popular medicinal herb. The Sanskrit translation of Ashwagandha is the “smell of a horse”. It belongs to the nightshade family and grows throughout the year.

Ashwagandha is well known for its health benefits. This herb is particularly known to improve the quality of semen, but is it also beneficial for women? Studies are just beginning to record how this organic remedy can heighten female health and vitality. Read on to understand how safe Ashwagandha really is for a soon-to-be mother.

Is Ashwagandha Safe in Pregnancy?

Ashwagandha is one of the oldest known adaptogens. An adaptogen is a particular herb or plant that helps our body manage stress. It aids the adrenal system and balances the hormonal levels. This herb has been used for many centuries in India by Ayurvedic practitioners, but it cannot be said that it is safe to consume during pregnancy. In India, pregnant women generally take Ashwagandha to improve their vitality and to steady the progress of their growing baby. But it is best avoided during pregnancy because it can induce abortion. If you still want to take it, consult your doctor first. Ashwagandha or any other herb should be consumed only after your doctor gives you the go-ahead.

Risks of Consuming Ashwagandha During Pregnancy

There are different views on the use of Ashwagandha during pregnancy. Medical experts and Ayurvedic specialists are of the belief that Ashwagandha can make a woman feel energetic and lively during pregnancy, which makes it a must-have supplement during pregnancy. Taking it as a supplement after delivery also helps a new mother. It helps her regain her energy, reduces the stress, and eventually aids stimulation of the mammary glands to help in milk production. However, apart from its various benefits, there are also a lot of risks associated with it.

Ashwagandha is known to cause early onset of menstruation. This is the reason why it is commonly avoided in enormous quantities during pregnancy. Consuming this herb in large quantities is linked to the risk of abortion. Ayurvedic consultants and experts generally suggest a limited intake of this herb, i.e., less than half a teaspoon or just a teaspoon every day. However, this amount should also be checked with a doctor.

As a mother-to-be, you have to make decisions every day about what you can eat, what supplements you can take, and what will be good for your baby. Do your homework well and read up as much as you can about various herbs and Ayurvedic supplements. Although they are best avoided during pregnancy, if you still want to consume them, it is wise to consult your doctor about the same. Talk to a qualified professional before you add any herb in your diet. Be well informed and stay safe during your pregnancy.

Also Read: Consuming Shatavari during Pregnancy

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