Q. Is it true that Ashwagandha has bad interaction with anesthesia?

Answered by
Dr. Sukhdev Garg
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 05, 2016 and last reviewed on: Aug 22, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am due to have a surgery cone biopsy for CIN 3. I am stopping all my supplements a week before, as requested by the hospital. However, I ordered an herbal medicine last week, Ashwagandha, to try for insomnia and nerves. It was dumb to try without consulting a doctor. I think I have only taken it three to four times in total, about half teaspoons of the stuff for each dose over the last week. I had almost a half teaspoon with water. I just looked online that they advised to stop taking Ashwagandha at least two weeks before surgery as it may have a bad interaction with anesthesia and also may cause bleeding. I have never had general anesthesia before and I am somewhat terrified of not waking up from it already. Another doctor advised to stop taking the stuff one week prior, which puts me in the clear. I wanted to have your opinion on it. The last dose was 48 hours ago. Do you know about this herb and its dangers with surgery? Do I need to reschedule my surgery?



Welcome to

Regarding your query, it seems you have already searched a lot on the social networks.

  • You are absolutely right that Ashwagandha should be stopped for 1 week prior to surgery. But, there are certain facts you need to know.
  • First, you are not having a surgery and it is only a biopsy, which is a day care procedure. It will be done under sedation.
  • Secondly, Ashwagandha potentiate the effect of other anticoagulants and it does not cause bleeding issues. So, if I were your anesthetist, then I would proceed with certain precautions.
  • You need not to worry as you have already stopped it. It is not going to give you any trouble. So, cheer up. Everything will be alright.

For further doubts consult an anesthesiologist online -->

Thank you very much doctor,

I also took a high dose of Vitamin C 3000-4000 mg for about 10 days before and quitting cold turkey today without tapering. Same thing with fish oil. Is that fine? I am 46, but have never had general anesthesia before. I am very much concerned about it. Is that the same as sedation?



Welcome back to

  • You need not worry about vitamin C or fish oil. It does not matter whether you are taking it or not before anesthesia.
  • General anesthesia is the next stage of sedation where you will be paralyzed too. It is absolutely safe. So, stop worrying.

For further doubts consult an anesthesiologist online -->

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