The Truth About Ashwagandha and Weight Loss

As a health and wellness expert, I have been asked numerous times about the potential effects of ashwagandha on weight gain. This powerful herb has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, but its impact on weight has been a topic of debate. After conducting extensive research and analyzing various studies, I can confidently say that ashwagandha does not cause weight gain. In fact, it may even have the opposite effect. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology observed an improvement in cravings when participants took 300 mg of ashwagandha per day.

The results showed a significant reduction in scores on the food cravings questionnaire, indicating that ashwagandha may actually help with weight management. While weight loss is a complex process that involves various factors, it is possible that ashwagandha plays a role in metabolism. One of the ways ashwagandha may contribute to weight loss is through its ability to improve muscle strength. By increasing muscle mass, it is possible that some individuals may experience weight gain. However, this would be in the form of healthy muscle mass rather than fat.

In fact, several studies have shown that ashwagandha can improve body weight control, particularly in individuals who suffer from chronic stress (1). This is because ashwagandha has adaptogenic properties that help the body cope with stress and reduce cortisol levels, which can contribute to weight gain. While there is no evidence to suggest that ashwagandha causes an increase in fat, it is important to note that this herb may have gastrointestinal side effects that could interfere with weight gain. These include vomiting and diarrhea, as well as irritation of the gastrointestinal tract and worsening of peptic ulcer disease. Additionally, ashwagandha may interact with certain medications and other herbs, potentially reducing their effectiveness or causing adverse effects. For example, taking ashwagandha with immunosuppressive medications may reduce their effectiveness.

This includes drugs such as azathioprine, dexamethasone, fluticasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone, tacrolimus, and tramcinolone.


may also interact with other drugs, such as paracetamol, butabarbital, fentanyl, hydrocodone, prazepam, sufentanil, and zolpidem. It can also potentiate the effects of herbs and supplements that have sedative properties, such as kava kava, valerian, and St. John's wort. While ashwagandha is a powerful herb that can address many health issues, it is important to note that it does not have a direct impact on weight gain.

Instead, it helps to address the underlying causes that may be preventing an individual from gaining weight. These can include stress, poor digestion, weak immune system, and poor gut health. Most sources recommend a daily dosage of 250-600 milligrams of ashwagandha to experience its potential weight loss benefits. However, it is important to note that there is limited data on how ashwagandha may affect pregnant and breastfeeding individuals. Therefore, it is best for these groups to avoid ashwagandha until further research is conducted.

However, if you are taking ashwagandha for another purpose, such as reducing anxiety or improving overall health and wellness, there is no evidence to suggest that it will cause weight gain as a side effect.

Colin Buhite
Colin Buhite

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