Ashwagandha is an herb that has seen its usage skyrocket in recent years. It is believed to help reduce stress levels, and as a single mom (or any parent for that matter) it can seem like a golden ticket to help ease some of the mental and emotional pressures that we deal with on a daily basis while trying to raise our little ones.
If you’re currently raising a newborn, you may be wondering if it’s safe to use Ashwagandha while breastfeeding. In this article, we’ll jump right into it and explore the pros and cons of using this Ayurvedic medicine while nursing.
Table of Contents
- What is Ashwagandha?
- What is Ashwagandha good for?
- Improving Sleep
- Feeling Rejuvenated
- Side-effects of Ashwagandha
- Should you use Ashwagandha while pregnant?
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to promote stress relief and improve sleep. As a single mom, it sure does sound like the perfect antidote to the tribulations that we experience daily.
Ashwaghanda is adaptogenic, which means it’s a type of herb that reduces stress on the body. It is most commonly consumed as a capsule or in powder form mixed with water or tea.
The first uses of Ashwaghanda can be traced back to 6000 B.C. in India, where it was considered to be a “rejuvenator”. Its name roughly translates to “consuming gives the power of a horse”.
What is Ashwagandha good for?
Ashwagandha is known to reduce cortisol levels, which is the hormone that gives us our feeling of stress. If you’re constantly feeling stressed, your cortisol levels may remain high which can lead to numerous unwanted issues such as anxiety, depression, weight gain, or fatigue.
Consuming Ashwagandha can help maintain and reduce your cortisol levels which can alleviate the feelings of stress. Using the herb to reduce stress can lead to several positive side effects including feeling more relaxed, energized, and clear-minded.
A lack of sleep can be a chronic problem for a new mother, especially if you’re raising a child on your own. Ashwagandha contains triethylene glycol, which has been shown to improve sleep according to peer-reviewed studies.
In addition to its calming properties, Ashwagandha may also help you feel energized or rejuvenated. After all, the herb was referred to as the “rejuvenator” in ancient India. The herb is loaded with withanolides, which is a compound that’s known to produce an anti-stress and anti-inflammatory effect.
Side-effects of Ashwagandha
Now that we’ve covered some of the positive effects of Ashwagandha, it may seem like a godsend to a new or nursing mom. However, there are several side effects to keep in mind.
First, large doses of Ashwagandha can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea. This is believed to be due to an irritation of the intestines.
Secondly, although there are some scientific studies on the affects of Ashwagandha on the human body, there are still many unknowns about the herb — especially with its interactions with other medicines or supplements.
Should you use Ashwagandha while pregnant?
Although Ashwagandha can provide many benefits, a complete view of the risk factors of using the herb are unclear. Many studies remain inconclusive and the herb’s interactions with other medications can possibly lead to unintended side effects. Because of this, it’s not advisable to use ashwagandha while breastfeeding.
However, everyone’s body and nutritional habits are different and If you are intent on using the herb, you should ask your medical provider about the specific risks and benefits before proceeding.
While Ashwagandha may seem like a miracle solution for breastfeeding moms that are lacking in energy and sleep, there remains too many unknowns about the effects of the herb on the body to recommend taking it while nursing.