Is my favorite supplement okay to take with my birth control pills?
Hello, I was wondering if the supplement I am taking has any effects on prescription birth control. I take the MoonJuice SuperYou which contains the following; shatavari root, ashwagandha root, amla fruit and rhodiola.
Hello May and thank you for your question!
The herbs in the supplement you are taking are all classified as adaptogens—they help your body adapt to stress. I took a look at the SuperYou formula and the two herbs that are contained in the largest quantity are shatavari and ashwagandha, so let's start with those.
Shatavari root is a well known herb in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of Southeast Asia. Translated to “the woman with 100 husbands”, it is commonly used to help support the female reproductive system, especially when it comes to fertility. Usual dosage of this herb (alone) is 3-6 grams/day. The amount contained in the Moon Juice SuperYou is only 450 mg (aka .45 grams) for the whole day’s dose.
Ashwagandha is a well-known herb in Ayurvedic medicine that has gained much popularity in modern herbal medicine. It’s commonly marketed as either ashwagandha, or withania (its scientific name), for its use in inducing calmness, helping with anxiety or easing insomnia. As an adaptogenic herb, it may help with anxiety or sleeplessness through its action on the adrenal cortex, which can over function with stress. The daily dose of this herb is 3-6 grams and only 250 mg (aka .25 grams) is contained in Moon Juice SuperYou.
The other two herbs are included at 150 mg each, far below the usual recommended doses. Doses this small would not likely have any impact on your birth control medication.
As with all supplements and medications, however, there is limited research and information of drug-herb interactions for all herbs and medications. I would therefore suggest a window of at least 2 hours between taking your supplements and your prescriptions. This would also ensure that any vitamins and minerals would not interact with your medication and would have time to be absorbed.
As for anyone on oral contraceptives, please be sure to take your pills at the same time every day and be sure your supplement contains Vitamin C, selenium, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins, as these are known to be depleted by birth control pills.
Thanks for writing in to AskTheHerbalists and I hope this helped.
Amani Elsawah lives and works in Dallas, TX. She is a pharmacist, PharmD Rutgers, has her MS Herbal Medicine from the Maryland University of Integrative Health and most recently has been a student of Arabic and Islamic Studies.
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