Does ashwagandha thin your blood?

There has been a lot of talk recently about the potential health benefits of ashwagandha. Known also as Withania somnifera, this ancient herb is said to be so powerful that it can both cure and prevent almost everything from stress to cancer. Whilst there are certainly some proven health benefits associated with ashwagandha usage, one question which frequently arises is whether or not the herb thins your blood.

Is this true? I’m afraid you’ll have to read on to find out!

What Is Ashwagandha?

Before we dive headlong into exploring the relationship between ashwagandha and blood thinning, let’s first take a moment to explore in depth what exactly this mysterious herb actually is.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic plant which has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its extensive range of known health benefits. It possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous and antioxidant properties which make it well worth considering if you’re looking for ways to boost your physical and mental wellbeing.

And yes – it’s also renowned (or rather, infamous) for being more difficult than spelling ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ after three gin and tonics!

What Are The Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha?

So now that you know what ashwagandha actually is – here comes the fun part – let’s take a closer look at the endless list of supposed health claims surrounding it:

Reduced Stress Levels

One particular benefit of note when discussing ashwagandha usage relates directly to our nervous systems: research has shown that taking an appropriate dose consistently over time can lead to reduced cortisol (the hormone linked closely with stress) levels within our bodies [1].

Boosted Brain Functioning

Other studies have revealed links to improved cognitive function [2], whilst ashwagandha has also been associated with increased testosterone levels for men and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety [3].

Sounds like it’s right up there alongside unicorn tears and dragon drool as a health miracle cure, doesn’t it?

What Is Blood Thinning?

So now we get to the nitty-gritty. To be able to determine whether ashwagandha affects blood clotting or not, we first need to understand what ‘blood thinning’ actually means.

Blood thinning – otherwise referred to as ‘anticoagulation’ – is the process by which substances within our bloodstream hinder or slow down the formation of clots. Some factors that can influence blood thickness include prescribed medications such as heparin or stroke-preventing drugs Warfarin; vitamin K-deficiency; genetic predispositions including Factor V Leiden thrombophilia – an inherited condition which increases your risk of developing abnormal blood clots; regular alcohol consumption (which thins out platelets); even being dehydrated!

And here comes the million-dollar query:

Does Ashwagandha Thin Your Blood?

The confusing answer is… maybe! Conflicting opinions currently exist surrounding this hot topic in medical circles.

Whilst certain research suggests that ashwagandha could possess anticoagulant properties [4] (i.e that taking it might inhibit platelet aggregation), other studies have shown just the opposite – i.e no effects on clinical bleeding time results were demonstrated after subjects consumed ashwagandha at varying doses over differing periods of time.[5]

Nevermind: if you’re looking for certainty then I’d suggest flipping through tea leaves instead!

Should You Be Concerned About Taking Ashwagandha If You’re On Medication Which Affects Blood Clotting?

If so many questions remain unresolved concerning this herb’s effect on blood coagulation, the obvious follow-up is whether or not it’s actually safe for individuals taking prescription medication which affects their blood clotting ability to be using ashwagandha as a supplement.

The same answer returns: there isn’t necessarily a straightforward one! For some prescription drugs such as Warfarin, certain health practitioners may advise avoiding usage of any herbal supplements that could potentially have an effect on blood-clotting. Other medications might also complicate the changing thickness of our rush hour expressways, even if taken with something like ashwaghanda or other dietary supplements [6].

Of course, when in doubt it’s always best to consult your doctor before altering your wellness routine (especially if you’re already taking prescribed anticoagulants)!

You guessed correctly…another ‘not so helpful’ conclusion I’m afraid!

In Conclusion…

So what does all this mean?

Whilst current scientific studies don’t provide conclusive evidence either way regarding potential implications for blood thinning after consumption of Ashwagandha within acceptable dosages – and therefore we cannot say concretely whether ashwaganhda possesses properties that might affect platelet activity– many people throughout history have relied on this adaptogenic herb fondly referred to as ‘winter cherry’ due its widespread medicinal benefits [7], and more recently by those interested in natural healing and holistic lifestyles..

If you’re considering beginning use of ashwaganhda as part of your own personal wellness plan yet still apprehensive about how mixing possibly with other herbs might impact complex interplay between different variables influencing overall health outcome – here are some things worth considering:

  • Always start with small doses initially
  • Try experimenting under supervision from licensed practitioners or reliable sources.
  • Be open-minded about alternative approaches, but stay careful while exploring untested remedies
  • And above all else: keep smiling whilst slurping down your ginseng-infused chai!

After all, laughter has been scientifically proven to have a hugely positive impact on overall wellbeing – and who knows, it might even enhance some of the more obscure health benefits associated with ashwagandha that are yet to be discovered!


[1] Chandrasekhar K., Kapoor J., Anishetty S. (2012) A prospective, randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults: Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
[2] Choudhary B, Shetty A et al (2015). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions: Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medical Journal.
[3] Pratte MA^1 , Nanavati KB (2014). An alternative treatment for anxiety: ayurvedic medicine-A systematic review–J Altern Complement Medi1cine
[4] Gomes AC^1 , Costa Silva RA (2020). Anticoagulant Effect Of Plants And Their Constituents Used In Traditional Medicine-Molecules
[5] Andrade C ^1,B Patel V.^2.Thick blood consistency not likely related to occult clotting disorder – Cutis – University Scholarly Activity Showcase at USF Research Day 22nd Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium-Tampa FL
[6] Ramanathan RP^13,Jain N^27,Gauba VK,Sharma AK.(2019). Influence Of Dietary Supplements On Oral Anticoagulants-ResearchGate/p>
7 Mishra LC ^1,Singh BB,Densely Bassuke SB(2000) Scientific Basis For The Therapeutic Use Of Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha):A Review -Alzheimer Disease and Associative Disorders