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Does Ashwagandha have a role in cancer treatment or prevention?

Ashwagandha is a popular herb used in traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda for stress relief and to improve general health. Some lab studies show that it can slow the growth of cancer cells, but this effect has not been observed in humans. Talk with your doctor if you have hormone-sensitive prostate cancer because ashwagandha may increase testosterone levels. In this case, Ashwagandha can interfere with your treatments. One important thing about Ashwagandha is that there is a compound called Withaferin A which can improve oxaliplatin effects in human pancreatic cancer cells (oxaliplatin is one type of chemo). In a small study of breast cancer patients, ashwagandha improved chemotherapy-induced fatigue and improved quality of life. Larger trials are needed to confirm these observations about Ashwagandha.

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