Ashwagandha, the medicinal shrub that grows in Asia and Africa is known to be beneficial to fertility, sleep and more. As such, the market is now flooded with various brands of this herbal supplement. But which one is the best ashwagandha supplement? Read on for more helpful information.
What to look for
Not all supplements are created equal, and there are various options when it comes to deciding which one meets your needs. Here’s what to look out for:
1. Ingredient mix
Identifying why you want to take an ashwagandha supplement is the first step in deciding what you look for in an ingredient mix.
Many supplements do not contain pure ashwagandha root powder or extract and are mixed with other herbal supplements, which is fine, depending on what you’re looking for. But always check the label and ingredients list first, and don’t be swayed by marketing and packaging.
2. Percentage of withanolides
One of the most important aspects of choosing an ashwagandha supplement is finding one that contains five to eight percent withanolides, which is one of the primary active ingredients in ashwagandha root.
This can be difficult as only the best supplements provide the percentages of withanolides with their product information or labels.
3. Ashwagandha dosage
In terms of dosage, it’s recommended to take at least 300 mg twice a day for at least eight weeks to receive the full benefits. Amounts up to 1,000 mg per day are generally considered safe.
4. Absorption aids
You also need to check if there are ingredients that can help your body to optimally absorb the nutrients of ashwagandha. Here are some of them:
Black pepper extract
Black Pepper extract contains an active ingredient called “Piperine,” which can modify supplement metabolization in the liver. Supplements that contain Black pepper extract may assist in the absorption and activation of ashwagandha root extract, but there have not been any in-depth studies to support this.
Artichoke Leaf Extract
Artichoke leaf extract is also sometimes included in many ashwagandha supplements and is believed to help in metabolizing the ashwagandha in the liver for better absorption. There have not been any in-depth studies to prove this to date.
However, whether the artichoke leaf leads to better absorption or not, it still has numerous other potential benefits, such as reducing IBS symptoms, balancing gut bacteria, and reducing inflammation.
5. Type of ashwagandha
There are two patented versions of ashwagandha known as KSM-66 and Sensoril; these are specific formulas developed to provide optimal efficacy of the active ingredient, withanolides. The best supplements usually contain one of these forms of ashwagandha.
- KSM 66 contains 5% withanolides, created solely from ashwagandha root extract.
- Sensoril contains 10% withanolides; made from ashwagandha root extract and leaves.
Our list contains 3 KSM-66 products but no Sensoril products due to difficulty locating a positive peer-reviewed product.
6. Third-Party Testing
As the FDA doesn’t monitor nutritional supplements, top brands like to engage third-party brands to test their products to ensure the accuracy of the label and make sure there are no contaminants or heavy metals present. This helps to maintain trust with consumers.
Overall Best Ashwagandha Supplement
These organic ashwagandha capsules feature KSM-66, an organic ashwagandha root extract. This supplement is our overall best pick as it only contains pure organic ashwagandha with each serving packing 600mg, and it doesn’t have any artificial additives. This means you receive the benefits of pure ashwagandha extract.
Why we like the Tribe Organics KSM-66
- It contains 5% Withanolides, the active ingredient that provides stress relief and all the other ashwagandha benefits.
- Utilizes the KSM-66 formula, providing optimal efficiency.
- Provides the recommended dose of 600mg of ashwagandha per serving.
- It’s gluten-free, non- GMO, organic, Kosher, and vegan friendly.
- Made with easy to swallow capsules
It’s our favorite supplement as it doesn’t contain any of the nasties or fillers sometimes found in other supplements. Tribe Organics is also a trusted brand name in the supplement industry, and they produce quality products. Overall this is the best supplement, in our opinion.
Best for Stress and Anxiety
With a focus on traceability and organic ingredients, mykind is transparent on what goes into their ashwagandha supplement. They also have numerous third-party certifications to support their claims.
Why we like the Garden of Life mykind’s supplement:
- It contains 5% Withanolides.
- Each serving is a single 654mg capsule; not needing multiple pills is an excellent benefit for those who take several supplements.
- It’s also organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and Vegan.
- It contains only organic ashwagandha extracted from the roots, no leaves. (more of the good stuff!)
- It also contains 0rganic fermented ginger root and a probiotic blend.
We like mykind Organics Ashwagandha Stress Mood Support for stress and anxiety as it also contains fermented ginger root and a probiotic blend to aid in digestion. This is good for those who are experiencing stress or anxiety because when you are stressed and anxious, you can also develop digestion issues.
Best for Vegans
It can be difficult to find good-quality vegan supplements. That’s why we were thrilled to discover the Gaia Herbs.
Why we like the Gaia Herbs’ supplement:
- This supplement is vegan, right down to the capsule.
- It contains both Ashwagandha Root (Withania somnifera) and Ashwagandha root extract. No leaves, meaning a more potent ashwagandha extract.
- Each serving is one 350mg capsule which is the equivalent of 2,700mg of dried herb.
- In addition to being vegan friendly, it doesn’t contain gluten or soy.
Although some supplements are vegan, we prefer this one as it mentions that it doesn’t contain soy. As any vegan knows, soy is in many products, and although soy has its benefits, like anything, too much of a good thing is not good. So being soy-free on top of being completely vegan is why Gaia Herbs has our vote for the best vegan supplement.
Best Organic Option
Many products claim to be organic these days, but not many companies have gone through the strict requirements to become certified organic. That’s where Organic India is different; they are certified organic by the USDA, so you can be assured they meet the strictest requirements for their supplements.
Why we like Organic India’s supplement:
- They use organic ashwagandha powder in their capsules, and even the capsules themselves are organic.
- They are also gluten-free and vegan.
- Made from Organic Ashwagandha root powder (Withania somnifera), again, the good stuff.
- A high dosage of ashwagandha root powder per serving, at 800mg per 2 capsules.
Being certified organic by the USDA is the gold standard for organic certifications, and this is where Organic India exceeds most other brands. Even though different brands contain ‘organic’ ingredients, there is no standard to measure an ingredient being organic, so being certified by the USDA assures that the ingredients meet the highest organic standards.
Best for Sleep
Here is another Gaia Herbs supplement we like because this formula is specifically geared towards assisting with sleep.
Why we like the Gaia Herbs SleepThru supplement:
- It’s vegan friendly
- In addition to the stress and anxiety releasing properties, it contains ingredients to assist with better sleep.
- It contains a proprietary blend of Organic Ashwagandha root powder, Magnolia bark, Jujube date seed, and Passionflower.
We all know that getting restful sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our self-care. So it’s no surprise that we like this supplement. You get the stress and anxiety fighting benefits of ashwagandha, and you get the double benefit of improved sleep which also helps relieve stress and boosts your immune system.
Honorable Mention – Liquid Ashwagandha
Sometimes you don’t want to take another pill; that’s when it’s nice to take a supplement that provides the benefits of pure ashwagandha powder without being a capsule.
Why we like Nature’s Answer:
- A liquid form is an excellent alternative to capsules for those tired of pills or who struggle to swallow them.
- It’s vegan and gluten-free
- It contains a minimal amount of ingredients besides Ashwagandha root extract.
Although it’s great to have an alternative to capsules for some supplements, this may be a time where it’s better to choose a pill over the alternative. The reason being is that each serving is 1-2ml which is 28-56 drops, and for us, counting out 56 drops each time we take a serving is a bit inconvenient and time-consuming. It’s much easier to pop one or two capsules. Though we think it’s worth considering, for us, the convenience factor makes this supplement a runner-up to any capsule version.
Who should take Ashwagandha?
Anyone who currently has or is prone to elevated stress and anxiety levels will benefit from incorporating an ashwagandha supplement into their daily routine. It is generally considered a safe supplement for most people.
Those who should avoid ashwagandha supplementation are women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
While ashwagandha products help people who have conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis, or other conditions, those who have an autoimmune disease should avoid ashwagandha or consult their healthcare provider before consume ashwagandha.
Additionally, those taking medication for thyroid disease should be cautious, as it may increase thyroid hormone levels.
Taking an Ashwagandha supplement can have adverse effects because it may also decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels; please consult a healthcare professional to learn if it’s right for you.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an ancient herb native to India and North Africa, where it’s been used since ancient times in natural healing and Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha has many different benefits for both men and women.
It is promoted as an “adaptogen,” which means something used to help the body adapt to stress, making it valuable for being a proven and natural way to reduce the stress hormone.
It is also commonly used in various supplements for its physical and mental benefits. In addition to helping reduce stress levels and anxiety, there are also other potential benefits for those with arthritis, diabetes, infertility, adrenal fatigue, and those wanting to improve cognitive performance and sleep quality.
Ashwagandha can also be used topically for muscle or backaches, but these products are not considered supplements but still offer therapeutic benefits.
It also has other benefits such as reducing cortisol levels, reducing blood sugar levels, improving concentration and brain function. It also contains a high amount of withanolides, which are known to fight inflammation.
In addition, there are other studies that suggest the benefits of taking ashwagandha supplements which include:
- lowering cholesterol and triglycerides
- increasing muscle mass and strength
- boosting testosterone and increase fertility in men
- reducing symptoms of depression
When looking for the best ashwagandha supplement, there are many variations and options, but we prefer dietary supplements which contain only pure ashwagandha like the Tribe Organics Ashwagandha. But whichever ashwagandha supplement brands you choose, it is worth adding to your wellness regime, particularly if you need to manage stress, anxiety, or have trouble sleeping.