As much as ashwagandha sounds like a powerful herbal supplement, it can easily do a lot. Ashwagandha has a long history of use for various remedies and is now a popular supplement. But this has raised concern about whether taking such a high dose is safe.
For example, many have claimed a symptom suffering from heart conditions: ashwagandha heart palpitations.
Ashwagandha directly doesn’t lead to heart palpitations but can act as a precursor. Irregular heartbeats may occur if you have a preexisting condition or have not followed the recommended dosage. On the other hand, ashwagandha’s adaptogenic and anxiolytic effects may help reduce heart palpitations.
Read on to understand how ashwagandha affects your heart and what you can do to avoid and fix this problem.
Ashwagandha Heart Palpitations: Fact Or Fiction?
There is no evidence that ashwagandha directly causes heart palpitations, but some users have complained about irregular heartbeats. Regular intake and too much ashwagandha in the body can lead to various issues. While some people suffer from irregular heartbeats, why this happens is still unknown.
Although ashwagandha is considered a beneficial herbal supplement, it is also connected by many users to heart palpitations. They either took large doses or combined ashwagandha with other medicines.
In most cases, heart palpitations indicate an underlying condition. So Ashwagandha might be triggering it.
Some experts think that the chemical compounds in this herb, like withanolides and alkaloids, can change heart rate by affecting the nervous system. Ashwagandha also increases enzyme activity which in turn affects the cardiovascular system. So, these mechanisms inside the body can cause heart palpitations.
However, more research is needed in this area.
If you plan to take ashwagandha, consult with a healthcare specialist. Besides, check your heart rate regularly, or monitor any health changes.
Does Ashwagandha Help with Irregular Heartbeat?
Interestingly, ashwagandha can be used as a herbal remedy to reduce irregular heartbeat. There are several ways in which ashwagandha cures heart problems.
- It lowers cortisol levels, removing stress and bringing the heartbeat to normal rhythms.
- If you have palpitations caused due to anxiety, then ashwagandha can work like the neurotransmitter GABA to reduce anxiety.
- Ironically, ashwagandha can regulate hypothyroidism by boosting T3 and T4 hormone levels and lower stress selectively. But if you have hyperthyroidism, avoid taking ashwagandha, as it can worsen your symptoms.
- Research has demonstrated that Ashwagandha can effectively reduce blood pressure levels by boosting insulin secretion and enhancing glucose absorption. Hence, it can also reduce palpitations from high blood pressure.
- Ashwagandha is beneficial for regulating heart problems, so any palpitations indicating heart diseases are also reduced.
- It can also play a role in controlling electrolytes. Increasing potassium levels that were dangerously low fix palpitations.
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What May Cause Heart Palpitation
Mostly, heart palpitations indicate a medical condition. If you suffer from irregular heart rates, it can happen due to several reasons, including-
- Hormonal changes
- Heart diseases
- Some medications (blood pressure medicines, beta-blockers, thyroid hormone, antidepressants, etc.)
- Alcohol and tobacco.
Herbal Supplements Causing Heart Arrhythmia
Other than ashwagandha, there are other natural supplements that you should avoid if you have existing heart conditions.
- Bitter orange- It can cause irregular heartbeats.
- Ephedra and ephedrine alkaloids- Proven to cause heart attack, arrhythmia, stroke, and even death.
- Fish oil- It is risky for atrial fibrillation or blood thinners.
What To Avoid And What To Take During Heart Palpitation?
If you suffer from heart palpitations, you can take some instant measures.
- Firstly, avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking, or anything that would increase stress. All are precursors of palpitations.
- Use some vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium to prevent arrhythmias. Can low magnesium be a silent killer? Let’s explore.
- Some herbal elements, like lavender, chamomile, etc., may help reduce heart rate.
- You should also maintain regular exercise, some yoga, and a healthy diet free from fatty acids and sugar.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Why do people take ashwagandha? – of course, for the outstanding benefits it serves within regulated dosages. Let’s explore them.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties like Withania somnifera to decrease chronic inflammation and some chronic conditions.
- It is beneficial for various heart conditions. You can take it to regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- You can also take it regularly to feel more active and increase energy to remove fatigue.
- For mood swings, stress, depression, and anxiety, ashwagandha is an excellent antidepressant. Learn the effect of ashwagandha and magnesium on anxiety.
- You can also have lower cancer risks from ashwagandha, as it can block tumor growth and kill cancer cells with an antioxidant called withaferin.
- According to a study, ashwagandha root extract supplementation can increase serum testosterone levels and improve your sexual desire.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
Even as a safe herbal supplement, you must know of some potential health hazards from ashwagandha.
- Stomach Troubles – Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and constipation are common. Severe cases can lead to ulcers and stomach pain.
- Low Blood Pressure – Some take ashwagandha for a lower heart rate, but it may be dangerous for some. It can lower blood pressure severely and cause fatigue.
- Drowsiness – Ashwagandha can help induce sleep, but too much may cause excessive drowsiness. Some people may experience insomnia from taking it.
- Chest Pain – Some may suffer from chest pain upon taking ashwagandha, especially heart patients.
- Liver Issues – Too much ashwagandha might also lead to liver damage, mostly when taken without supervision or the prescribed method.
- Fever – Sometimes, ashwagandha might increase your body temperature, but this is rare. If you feel yourself burning, consider avoiding ashwagandha.
- Dry Mouth – Although rare, users might also suffer from dryness around the mouth and tongue. It might make you more thirsty and feel heartburn. To cure this problem, drink more water.
- Hypothyroidism – Ashwagandha can trigger hypothyroidism and increase hormone production uncontrollably. Men might have an increase in testosterone, making them more active. It can become a severe problem with older men having prostate problems.
- Acne – Ashwagandha causes hormonal imbalance by increasing Testosterone and DHT levels which might lead to an acne breakout with existing acne problems like non-inflammatory cystic or hormonal acne.
- Pregnancy – Pregnant and breastfeeding women are prohibited from taking ashwagandha, which can cause several birth complications. Besides, your baby will also suffer from the side effects.
What are the possible health problems due to heart palpitations?
Mostly, heart palpitations occur due to heart diseases like an abnormality in the valves, imbalance in potassium levels, reactions to different medicines, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid gland, low oxygen levels, and so on.
Which vitamins to take to stop heart palpitations?
You can take several minerals and vitamins as a treatment for palpitations. It includes magnesium, CoQ10, taurine, or L-carnitine. You might also need beta-blockers.
So, ashwagandha does trigger heart palpitations but doesn’t cause it. Since it is a herbal supplement, it might cause different reactions to different users. But overall, it is considered a safe supplement for regular intake.
To avoid potential negative effects, consult your doctor before using this product. Your doctor can check and ensure that you have no issue that would cause an adverse or allergic reaction.
Check our blogs for more information on healthy supplementation.
I am a health and wellness enthusiast working in a Pittsburgh-based wellness clinic. My primary role as a consultant is to tailor a balanced lifestyle for my patients, where positive steps and potent supplements play a synergistic role.