A warning message about using Ashwagandha extract

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mpost
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 1167
   Posted 12/14/2015 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
So i used to take Ashwagandha root extract. It was quite efficient in the beginning of my treatment, my fatigue was gone. I have continued to take it, and in the last 3 weeks i developed some very weird symptoms that first i thought they were a herx, then Bartonella going berserk, etc...

- insomnia
- agitation
- day sweats, night sweats (babesia, right?)
- conjunctivitis/red eyes
- rapid heart beat

It was much worse just before going to bed, especially the eyes got quite red. I went to the eye dr, done a complete exam. Nothing. Just irritation.

Then one morning, unable to sleep i took an extra Ashwagandha pill. I noticed something weird when lying down, my pulse rate went to the roof (but only when lying down). That was something strange, so i started to google around and found these symptoms almost perfectly match hyperthoridism (or to be more exact thyrotoxicosis)

Then i found this:
europepmc.org/abstract/med/16355578

Then remembered my eyes were worst a few hours after taking the Ashwagandha pill, because it was late in the night i thought first im just more tired.

I discontinued Ashwagandha and in 48h all symptoms (including red eyes, insomnia, heart, agitation) disappeared.

I was using this one
eu.iherb.com/Now-Foods-Ashwagandha-450-mg-90-Veggie-Caps/310

I got my thyroid hormones tested in the summer and they were fine (just before starting with the herb). Ill make sure to re-test.

Just a warning, these supplements are sometimes too strong and you need to be careful. The symptoms mimic all sorts of conditions, and esp for lymies one can get easily confused and think that's a herx, detox issue, or something related...

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 12/14/2015 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
You're right, all herbs are medicinal and should be treated as medicine - just like pharmaceuticals. We have a tendency to forget this due to easy access, but that doesn't change their effectiveness.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen - In Ayurveda, there are specific herbs with adaptogenic benefits, Ashwagandha is one of them. Adaptogens are substances (a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and herbs) that modulate your response to stress or a changing environment. Adaptogens help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia. www.chopra.com/ccl/ashwagandha#sthash.iBPK5B2E.dpuf

www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2006/6/report_ashwa/Page-01
"Ashwagandha, an exotic Indian herb, has demonstrated anti-anxiety and neuroprotective effects, and tantalizing evidence suggests that it is also a cancer fighter. Animal toxicity studies indicate that this remarkable plant is safe and well tolerated." But as you have discovered, not every herb is for every person - and this can't be said often enough, really.

I'm taking ashwagandha for adrenal issues more than anything, although it's good for thyroid issues as well for some. I had to run it by my doc first though as I had really severe adrenal issues and she wanted me waiting until I had some healing before trying it. I find it very useful, but still can't take it at night before bed or I won't sleep well at all. 3 hours of sleep just isn't enough.
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New Lyme case 8/2014 - Healed 1/31/15
*I can usually post a link to any info that I post. Wish to see a link? Please just ask!

CD3764
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 4508
   Posted 12/14/2015 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow!

So sorry you had to deal with this!

I was aware of the potential thyroid impact of Ashwagandha. As a person who has been dealing with hypothyrodism for easily 5 years before the tick bite, I was hoping it would help with my thyroid. (it didn't) Maybe I should switch from tinctures to NOW brand ;)

Still, being hyper is no fun. Glad you're feeling better!

Most especially, thanks for posting!
Moderator - Lyme Forum
Jul 14 started what proved to be inadequate treatment ala PCP day after nymph deer tick bite
Sept 14 met LLMD - clinically dx'd with Lyme due to Bells Palsy - confirmed via CDC positive WB
Feb 15 transitioned off abx and started full Cowden protocol along w/LDN
Aug 15 started transition to Buhner's Lyme, Babesia & Bartonella protocols
Nov 15 98% healed!!

CD3764
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 4508
   Posted 12/14/2015 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Trav - what brand/type of Ashwaghanda have you been taking? Ironically, Buhner mentions it may cause drowsiness.

I'm beginning to wonder about the tinctures I bought from Woodland Essence and Sage Woman Herbs...
Moderator - Lyme Forum
Jul 14 started what proved to be inadequate treatment ala PCP day after nymph deer tick bite
Sept 14 met LLMD - clinically dx'd with Lyme due to Bells Palsy - confirmed via CDC positive WB
Feb 15 transitioned off abx and started full Cowden protocol along w/LDN
Aug 15 started transition to Buhner's Lyme, Babesia & Bartonella protocols
Nov 15 98% healed!!

mpost
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 1167
   Posted 12/14/2015 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes Buhner recommends it, that is why i was taking it.

But he recommends 1000mg bark, before bed, i was taking 500mg of extract, which is probably equivalent to several grams, so too much for me. Again, in the first months of the treatment it was excellent for my adrenals...

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 12/14/2015 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
My doc was concerned that it would ramp up my adrenals too much at first as well since we were still trying to get them to calm down, which is why she only just now gave me the okay to give it a try.

Thank you for a well timed subject!
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New Lyme case 8/2014 - Healed 1/31/15
*I can usually post a link to any info that I post. Wish to see a link? Please just ask!

finisului17
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 12/14/2015 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Mpostelnicu,

maybe in he meantime your adrenals got better and you don t need Ashwaganda anymore?

mpost
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 1167
   Posted 12/14/2015 11:25 PM (GMT -7)   
finisului17 said...
,
maybe in he meantime your adrenals got better and you don t need Ashwaganda anymore?


yeah, maybe :-)

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 12/15/2015 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
cd3764 said...
Hey Trav - what brand/type of Ashwaghanda have you been taking? Ironically, Buhner mentions it may cause drowsiness.

I'm beginning to wonder about the tinctures I bought from Woodland Essence and Sage Woman Herbs...


My doc told me to try Swanson's Ashwagandha: www.amazon.com/Swanson-Premium-Ashwagandha-Powder-Gelatin/dp/B00068UBYQ

And as a side note, my doc has been telling all of her patients to stop taking NOW brand supplements. Those patients that have been using their products have not had their lab values raising like the others using other brands. The only NOW product I still buy is stevia because they are the only ones that don't use some other type of sweetener in it. I know that they too are natural sweeteners usually, but my intestines absolutely require only stevia, so it's not really even my choice! LOL!
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New Lyme case 8/2014 - Healed 1/31/15
*I can usually post a link to any info that I post. Wish to see a link? Please just ask!

bbuggy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 27
   Posted Today 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   
This post really caught my eye and I have to add my experience. For a year and 1/2 I have been taking a giant mix of supplements and some herbals along with Clarithromycin. I am under the care of a wonderful LLMD and I also see a nurse practitioner in a different practice for hormone balancing (thyroid/adrenal/estrogen, etc.) There is significant overlap in their recommendations and they oversee the whole picture very well for me.

In May my nurse practitioner added Ashwaganda to the mix. I got the Pure Encapsulations brand because they both recommend it. Through the summer I had five distinct episodes of what was like food poisoning that lasted about 4 - 5 hours each. Complete involuntary explosive purging...you get the idea. I was careful to track what I had taken beforehand and avoided what I thought were the culprits. This can be hard when you take so much stuff and they all seem important. One of the supplements I suspected was Ashwaganda so I put it away in an upstairs cupboard where it sat in the dark for at least two months.

One night a couple weeks ago in a stroke of genius I decided I should start taking it again because of the benefits I keep hearing about. I dug around for the bottle and took one capsule before bed. Exactly two hours after I took the Ashwaganda, I spent five hours alternately wrapped around the toilet and laying on the cold tile floor next to it bathed in sweat. The velocity of my body getting rid of it was the stuff of horror movies. I can rule out some factors: I had taken all my other Rx/supplements about three hours prior, and my stomach was not empty.

I called Pure Encapsulations a couple days later when I felt normal again to give them the batch number in case they got other calls on it. We ruled out expiration date issues and I confirmed I only took one capsule, not megadoses.

If any of you have had this happen, it would be really good to hear. I'm pretty sure I threw the bottle away. Hmmmm, I should have kept it in case I need to inflict harm on any extended family members after Christmas get-togethers. Just hope they all behave and don't get into any crazy political arguments! LOL!

PeteZa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 9217
   Posted Today 9:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I have to watch my heart because it seems to be easily affected by herbs. For this reason I will not even attempt Ashwagandha. I've read too many warnings. I will find an alternative if I need it.

Like Traveler said herbs are medicines. Not all herbs are good for all people.

You have to do your research and see the side effects just as you would a pharmaceutical.

bluelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 4441
   Posted Today 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Petez have you tried the chronic tonic..? I know it has other thread but just curious
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