The Pros and Cons of Long-Term Use of Ashwagandha

As an expert in herbal medicine, I have been frequently asked about the safety and effectiveness of various supplements. One popular herb that has gained a lot of attention in recent years is ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera. Many people wonder if this herb can be taken indefinitely, and what the potential risks and benefits are of long-term use. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, ashwagandha can be taken safely for a short period of time, usually up to three months.

However, the long-term effects of this herb are not yet well established. While some research suggests that ashwagandha can be taken for extended periods without adverse effects, there is also evidence that continued use may reduce its effectiveness over time as the body becomes used to its effects. One way to think about taking ashwagandha is like riding a bike. When you first start using it, your body may respond very well and you may experience numerous health benefits.

However, over time, your body may become accustomed to the herb and its effects may not be as noticeable. This is why it is often recommended to take breaks from using ashwagandha, allowing your body to reset and maintain its responsiveness. In addition to its potential long-term effects, ashwagandha has also been found to be effective in helping people control stress levels. A recent study compared the use of ashwagandha to a placebo and found that the herb was more effective in reducing stress levels in participants.

Determining the Right Dose

One challenge with taking ashwagandha is determining the right dose. The amount of ashwagandha that is recommended can vary depending on the formulation of each supplement. It is important to carefully read the label and follow the recommended dosage instructions. It is also important to note that there have been rare cases of liver toxicity reported from the consumption of ashwagandha.

In one case, a patient reported taking ashwagandha for a year before becoming ill. While these cases are rare, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with long-term use of this herb.

The Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of conditions. Today, it is commonly used as a supplement and has been found to provide numerous health benefits.

One study conducted in India involved 80 healthy participants who took 300 mg of ashwagandha or a placebo twice a day for eight weeks. The results showed that taking ashwagandha as a supplement was safe for healthy adults. Some potential benefits of ashwagandha include:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety: Ashwagandha has been found to have a calming effect on the body and may help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
  • Improving cognitive function: Some studies have shown that ashwagandha may improve memory, attention, and other cognitive functions.
  • Promoting better sleep: Ashwagandha has been found to have a sedative effect, which may help improve sleep quality.
  • Boosting immune function: Some research suggests that ashwagandha may have immune-boosting properties, helping to fight off infections and illnesses.
  • Reducing inflammation: Ashwagandha contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce inflammation in the body.


As an expert in herbal medicine, I believe that ashwagandha can be a beneficial supplement when used correctly and in moderation. While the long-term effects of this herb are still being studied, it is generally considered safe for short-term use.

However, it is important to be aware of potential risks and to follow recommended dosage instructions. If you are considering taking ashwagandha for an extended period of time, I recommend consulting with a healthcare professional first. They can help determine the right dosage for your specific needs and monitor any potential side effects.

Colin Buhite
Colin Buhite

Award-winning social media geek. Certified social media aficionado. Wannabe internet geek. Freelance analyst. Lifelong twitter fanatic.