Is Ashwagandha Safe While Breastfeeding? Risks and Benefits 

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Ashwagandha is a warm and earthy herb that many tout for its health benefits. However, is this Ayurvedic herb safe for you while you are breastfeeding? Are there any risks?

Overall, it is best to avoid ashwagandha while you are breastfeeding because there is simply not much information out there about its safety. This recommendation includes supplements, food uses, teas, and gummies. 

This article will discuss more about the uses, risks, and potential side effects of taking or consuming ashwagandha while you are breastfeeding. 

Is Ashwagandha Safe When Breastfeeding? 

While researchers have demonstrated that ashwagandha is unsafe for pregnant women because it can lead to miscarriage, there is a lack of clinical trials on the safety of ashwagandha when breastfeeding (source: Nutritional Medicine Journal). 

ashwagandha roots and powder

This unknown is the case for many herbs and spices because of the ethical implications of conducting clinical trials and experiments on breastfeeding women and their breastfed babies. 

Additionally, another concern of consuming ashwagandha while breastfeeding is the high withanolide content (source: Biomolecules).

The withanolides are steroidal lactones that are thought to give ashwagandha its many health benefits (source: Neutraceuticals). Again, there is little information about the safety of these withanolides while breastfeeding. 

Therefore, it is best to avoid ashwagandha in all forms and dosages while you are breastfeeding.

It is important to note that ashwagandha supplements are very popular for their potential benefits to sleep, stress, aging, memory, and more (source: Nutritional Medicine Journal).

However, supplements are not regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety or effectiveness prior to hitting the shelves of your local health food store (source: FDA). Dietary supplements are instead monitored for adverse effects after they are already available for purchase by the general public. 

Therefore, speak with your physician before taking any dietary supplement while you are breastfeeding. 

Is Ashwagandha Used for Breastfeeding in Ayurvedic Medicine? 

Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, which is an ancient Indian medicine that relies on holistic approaches to health (source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [NCCIH]). However, there is little evidence supporting the effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicine on health issues. 

Additionally, ashwagandha may be used for breastfeeding. However, consult your physician before using any Ayurvedic medicine products while breastfeeding (source: NCCIH).

Is There a Safe or Recommended Dose for Ashwagandha When Breastfeeding? 

Since such little research has been done on ashwagandha and lactating women, there is no established safe dose or upper limit. So instead, it is recommended to altogether avoid ashwagandha while breastfeeding.

ashwagandha capsules, roots and powder

What are the Potential Side Effects of Ashwagandha When Nursing? 

Since there is so little information about ashwagandha’s use in breastfeeding, it is challenging to say the potential side effects to you and your baby. 

Speak with your physician about the risks of consuming this herb while you are breastfeeding. 

Are Ashwagandha Gummies Safe When Breastfeeding? 

Since ashwagandha is not recommended while you are breastfeeding, it is best to avoid ashwagandha gummies as well, such as the popular Goli Nutrition ashwagandha gummies. 

These gummies are primarily marketed to reduce stress, promote relaxation, improve the overall quality of life, and more. 

Additionally, these are dietary supplements that, as mentioned above, are not well-regulated by the FDA. In other words, they are best avoided while you are breastfeeding.

I hope you found this information helpful in learning about the safety of consuming ashwagandha while you are breastfeeding.