BCCT plans to write a summary on ashwagandha. While our summary is in development, you can visit About Herbs: Ashwagandha

Before using this therapy, consult your oncology team about interactions with other treatments and therapies. Also make sure this therapy is safe for use with any other medical conditions you may have.


Ashwagandha may interfere with some chemotherapy drugs and may also enhance the effects of sedative drugs.1

Although some research suggests its usefulness in breast cancer, Neil McKinney, ND, says he avoids use in breast cancer as it can elevate DHEA. Dr. Mckinney also does not recommend using this herb in prostate cancer, as it may increase testosterone. He further notes that ashwagandha is contraindicated in hemochromatosis patients.2

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s About Herbs site cautions:3

  • Avoid in pregnancy, as use may induce abortions
  • Other possible reversible adverse reactions and herb-drug interactions
  • May affect certain lab tests that measure thyroid functioning and digoxin levels


BCCT does not recommend therapies or doses, but only provides information for patients and providers to consider as part of a complete treatment plan. Patients should discuss therapies with their physicians, as contraindications, interactions and side effects must be evaluated.

Dosage recommendations are available from these sources:

Integrative Programs, Protocols and Medical Systems

For more information about programs and protocols, see our Integrative Programs and Protocols page.

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