After reading our reviews, you must have realized how fast the supplement market is coming up with new and more advanced formulas. Now, how about expanding our knowledge for more informed decision-making?
Read on to discover the best type of ashwagandha and learn so much more!
What Is Ashwagandha?
In a nutshell, ashwagandha (also known as Withania somnifera) is a plant native to India used in Ayurvedic medicine (or Ayurveda) for possibly thousands of years.
The plant helps alleviate fatigue, stress, lack of energy, as well as tackle focus issues. It is also a herb used to rejuvenate the body and increase energy levels. Nowadays, you can find it in various dietary supplements, including blends of ashwagandha and vitamins.
“Winter cherry” is a common name for ashwagandha in English. Besides “winter cherry,” ashwagandha is also referred to as “Indian ginseng” due to their similarities. Although contemporary herbal medicine still uses ashwagandha root powder, many supplements on the market switched to a more concentrated form instead.
Both ashwagandha and ginseng are adaptogens. To put it simply, they support mental and physical health by enhancing the overall resilience to anxiety and stress. What’s more, adaptogens can help with many health problems, such as chronic pain, insomnia, digestive issues, and many more.
Benefits of the Best Ashwagandha Supplement
Nowadays, ashwagandha is mostly used as a natural remedy to combat stress. However, there are many other benefits of taking ashwagandha in a supplement form. Some of these science-supported benefits include:
- Lowering blood sugar levels
- Keeping cortisol levels down
- Alleviating anxiety and stress
- Relieving symptoms of depression
- Boosting testosterone and fertility in men
- Building up strength and muscle mass in men
- Reducing inflammation
- Decreasing triglycerides and cholesterol levels
- Improving brain function and memory
- Displaying potential anti-cancer properties
- Delaying the aging
Negative Effects of the Ashwagandha Herbal Supplement
Overall, ashwagandha is safe when taken orally for a maximum of three months. The long term safety of the supplement is unknown. Note that large doses of an ashwagandha supplement may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and digestive issues.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take an ashwagandha supplement. Some evidence suggests that even the best ashwagandha products may cause miscarriages. Even though there is no substantial evidence, we strongly recommend avoiding the supplement to stay safe.
What’s more, some medications may interact with ashwagandha, so you should always consult a doctor before adding the supplement to your regimen. For instance, ashwagandha interacts with immunosuppressants (cyclosporine and azathioprine) and sedatives (clonazepam and diazepam).
By and large, we highly recommend checking in with a healthcare professional to determine if an ashwagandha supplement is the right choice for you.
Now, let’s take a look at the medically approved guidelines for the ashwagandha powder dosage, as well as look into the dosage for other forms of the supplement.
Typically, the recommended dosage for these supplements is between 300–500 mg a day. Individuals who take an ashwagandha root extract supplement for stress should aim for 500–600 mg per day for at least a month.
Again, we urge you to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best dose and dosage for you.
Other Factors for Selecting the Best Form of Ashwagandha
There are a few more factors to consider when shopping for the perfect ashwagandha supplement.
Type of the Ashwagandha Supplement
For starters, you need to choose the supplement’s type — tablets, capsules, tinctures, raw powder, and different beverages or infused foods.
Since the ancient herb has a distinctly earthy, bitter taste and a relatively strong scent, it can be difficult to disguise it by mixing it with, for instance, milk. Hence, many consumers prefer pills, as those are a quick and convenient way to get in your daily recommended dose of ashwagandha without dealing with the unpleasant taste or smell.
Overall, we recommend checking the supplement facts on the best ashwagandha supplements to see whether the herb’s amount per serving is listed.
Another thing to take into consideration is the organic certification. Plants that are organically grown are deemed healthier and safer because they are toxic residue-free. That means that they do not contain synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, preservatives, artificial additives, and GMOs.
Furthermore, organic farming methods are typically much better for the environment.
Hence, we strongly recommend looking for USDA-certified organic products. Naturally, the ashwagandha that is organic will be of the highest quality, making it worth every penny.
Whole Herbs vs. Standardized Extracts
Another thing to remember is the difference between whole herbs and standardized extracts. Countless products use whole herb preparation. It features the entirety of ashwagandha with unknown concentrations of all of its bioactive components. Typically, meds that use whole herbs are lower in potency and require higher doses for noticeable results. Furthermore, these are not the most effective ashwagandha supplements, and they also have a limited shelf life.
On the other hand, standardized herbal extracts are more potent, and they will keep their potency for years to come. However, not all ashwagandha herbal extracts are standardized. To choose the best product, we recommend looking for branded ashwagandha extracts such as Sensoril and KSM-66. These are standardized, full-spectrum, highly potent, and certified organic.