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Can Ashwagandha Raise Blood Pressure?

Ashwagandha is known to lower blood pressure, not raise it.

Ashwagandha, a popular Ayurvedic herb, is often used for its stress-relieving properties. It is generally known to lower blood pressure rather than raise it.

Ashwagandha and Blood Pressure

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens help the body manage stress. Studies show that ashwagandha can lower blood pressure by reducing stress and inflammation. It contains withanolides, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

How It Works

Ashwagandha helps calm the brain and reduce swelling. This can lower blood pressure. It also improves blood vessel function, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Research Findings

Several studies support the blood pressure-lowering effects of ashwagandha:

  • Antioxidant Activity: Ashwagandha’s antioxidants protect the cardiovascular system from oxidative damage, reducing blood pressure.
  • Anti-inflammatory Effects: Chronic inflammation is linked to high blood pressure. Ashwagandha reduces inflammation, improving cardiovascular health.
  • Stress Reduction: By balancing cortisol levels, ashwagandha reduces stress, which can lower blood pressure.

Dosage and Forms

Ashwagandha is available in various forms, including capsules, powders, and extracts. The typical dosage ranges from 250-500 mg per day. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any supplement.

Potential Side Effects

While ashwagandha is generally safe, it can cause side effects in some people. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache

Who Should Avoid Ashwagandha?

Certain groups should avoid ashwagandha:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • People with autoimmune disorders
  • Those with thyroid issues
  • Individuals on blood pressure or diabetes medications

Ashwagandha can interact with these medications, potentially causing adverse effects.

Clinical Evidence

Clinical studies have shown that ashwagandha can improve various health conditions, including:

  • Stress and Anxiety: Ashwagandha helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can indirectly lower blood pressure.
  • Sleep Quality: Improved sleep can also contribute to better blood pressure control.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Ashwagandha improves lipid profiles and reduces poor cholesterol, further supporting heart health.

Summary of Benefits

Ashwagandha offers several health benefits:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Enhances cardiovascular health

Conclusion

Ashwagandha is a versatile herb with many health benefits. It is particularly effective in lowering blood pressure by reducing stress and inflammation. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, especially if you have existing health conditions or are on medication.

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