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Can Ashwagandha Cause Acne? Examining Its Benefits And Potential Risks!

By Dr. Luna Rey

Updated On

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Determining whether or not ashwagandha can cause acne is a difficult question. Celebrated for its many health advantages, ashwagandha is an ancient plant that has been used for generations in Ayurvedic medicine. But as its use becomes more widespread around the globe, it’s important to think about the possible negative consequences of this effective supplement, such as the potential to cause acne.

In this article, we’ll delve into the intricate relationship between ashwagandha and acne, exploring not only the potential risks but also the potential benefits this herb may offer for your skin. We’ll examine the scientific evidence and traditional wisdom surrounding ashwagandha’s effects on the body, shedding light on how it could potentially contribute to or alleviate acne.

So, whether you’ve been using ashwagandha for a long time or are just interested in learning more about how it affects acne, this article will work as a thorough guide, giving you the knowledge you need to navigate with confidence this complicated subject.

Key takeaways:

Ashwagandha is commonly used in traditional medicine for its purported health benefits, including stress reduction and improvement of overall well-being.
There have been some anecdotal reports suggesting that ashwagandha might cause acne in some individuals. However, there isn’t strong scientific evidence to support this claim.
Although certain people have claimed to develop acne flare-ups following ashwagandha consumption, others have observed enhancements in their skin condition.

Ashwagandha And Its Various Purposes

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera or Indian ginseng, is a small woody plant native to India and North Africa. Its roots and leaves have been used in traditional Indian medicine for their therapeutic properties. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body cope with stress and promotes overall wellness.

Purposes Of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety: Ashwagandha is known for its ability to lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress.
  • Improving sleep quality: The herb has been shown to promote better sleep and reduce insomnia.
  • Boosting immunity: Ashwagandha contains compounds that may help strengthen the immune system.
  • Increasing muscle strength and endurance: Some studies suggest that ashwagandha can enhance athletic performance and muscle recovery.
  • Managing blood sugar levels: The herb may help regulate insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes.
  • Improving male fertility: Ashwagandha has been traditionally used to improve male reproductive health and sperm quality.

Can Ashwagandha Cause Acne?

The relationship between ashwagandha and acne is not straightforward, as there are several factors to consider. While some individuals have reported experiencing acne breakouts after taking ashwagandha, others have found that it has helped improve their skin condition.

Acne’s development can be shaped by an array of elements like hormones, genetic predispositions, and skincare regimens. Even habits like dietary changes or smoking use can influence the development of acne. So it’s essential to consider these factors when experiencing acne while taking ashwagandha. If you’re concerned about acne or any other side effects while taking ashwagandha, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Potential Skin Benefits Of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, two key contributors to the development of acne. Additionally, the herb has been traditionally used to balance hormone levels, which can be beneficial for individuals with hormonal acne.

Some studies have suggested that ashwagandha may help regulate the production of sebum, the oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands that can clog pores and lead to acne. By controlling sebum production, ashwagandha may potentially help prevent acne breakouts.

Side Effects Associated With Ashwagandha

While ashwagandha is generally considered safe when taken in recommended dosages, there are some potential side effects to be aware of (apart from acne breakout).

  • Gastrointestinal issues: Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when taking ashwagandha.
  • Drowsiness: It may cause drowsiness or sedation in some individuals.
  • Hormonal changes: As an adaptogen, ashwagandha can influence hormone levels, which may lead to acne or other hormonal imbalances in some people.

It is important to note that individual reactions to ashwagandha can vary, and some people may be more susceptible to developing acne or other skin issues when taking this herb.

Also read: Is Niacinamide Good For Acne? Does It Pose Any Risks?

Precautions When Using Ashwagandha

If you are considering taking ashwagandha, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking other medications. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Start with a low dose: Begin with a lower dosage of ashwagandha and gradually increase it if necessary to minimize the risk of side effects.
  • Monitor your skin: Pay close attention to any changes in your skin condition after starting ashwagandha. If you notice an increase in acne or other skin issues, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
  • Consider your hormonal status: Individuals with hormonal imbalances or conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) should exercise caution when taking ashwagandha, as it may further disrupt hormone levels.
  • Avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding: Due to the potential hormonal effects of ashwagandha, it is generally recommended to avoid taking it during pregnancy and breastfeeding, unless advised by a healthcare provider.


The relationship between ashwagandha and acne is complex and can vary from person to person. While some individuals may experience improved skin health and reduced acne due to the anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing properties of ashwagandha, others may develop acne or other skin issues as a side effect.

It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before taking ashwagandha, especially if you have a history of hormone-related conditions or skin issues.

Additionally, it is essential to follow the recommended dosage and precautions to minimize the risk of adverse effects.


1. Does Ashwagandha make you break out?

There isn’t substantial scientific evidence to suggest that Ashwagandha directly causes acne or breakouts. But it may cause acne or skin breakouts in some people.

2. Is ashwagandha good for your skin?

It has potential skin benefits but effects vary individually.

3. Does ashwagandha cause hormonal changes?

While there is some evidence to suggest that ashwagandha may affect hormonal levels, particularly cortisol levels (the stress hormone), more research is needed to fully understand its effects on hormones.

4. Can ashwagandha cause skin problems?

It is generally considered safe for most people when taken in recommended doses. However, it might cause acne, rashes, or irritation in a minor group of people.


NCBI (n.d) An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

MedlinePlus (n.d) Ashwagandha Available online at: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/953.html

Dr. Luna Rey

Dr. Luna Rey is a renowned dermatologist who has established herself as an authority in diagnosing and managing a diverse array of skin disorders. Her expertise encompasses both common conditions such as acne and eczema, as well as more complex dermatological issues like psoriasis and skin malignancies. Complementing her clinical practice, Dr. Rey has cultivated a profound passion for writing, which has led her to contribute numerous articles to prestigious medical journals. Her writing is characterized by its clarity, concision, and accessibility, enabling her work to resonate with a wide readership.

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