Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine culture for thousands of years now and with the backing of modern science, many contemporary people are turning to it to help improve their mental and physical health, improve their quality of life, and slow the ageing process.
There are now many different ashwagandha supplements on the market to cater for this increased demand, however, they are not all created equally and there are a number of things to consider before choosing a brand in our opinion.
In all honesty, many brands are ethically questionable in their sourcing and production principles - at best producing supplements that are of little potency and at worst producing products that can be downright dangerous.
This article will take you through our top picks for the best ashwagandha supplements of 2023 that we've personally researched, used, and trust.
1. SuperFeast Ashwagandha
SuperFeast, a candidate for the best ashwagandha supplement, takes a spiritual approach to natural nutritional supplements rooted in the Taoist conception of DI Dao (literally "the way of the earth"), which involves a deeper understanding of the growing conditions that create powerful natural ingredients.
SuperFeast is an Australian brand of ashwagandha water extract designed for use in a manner consistent with the Ayurvedic medical tradition in India. It sells ashwagandha in bags ranging from 50g to 250g. You can also get capsules in bottles of 120 and 360 capsules.
- Provides transparent information about the sourcing of their ashwagandha root for their supplements
- Grounds its formulation of ashwagandha root products in the Ayurvedic tradition and Taoist philosophy
- The full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha contains a variety of beneficial chemicals
- No fillers or colours
- Not exposed to radiation
- Free shipping for orders over $75
- The SuperFeast ashwagandha whole-herb extracts do not contain a standardized concentration of withanolides
- No third-party testing of the ashwagandha extract composition
- May be pricier than some other options
2.) Goli® Ashwa Gummies
Goli® Ashwa Gummies contain KSM-66 ashwagandha extract produced by the reputable company Ixoreal Biomed. The safety and efficacy of KSM-66 for conditions ranging from respiratory endurance to sexual function. Each gummy contains 150 g KSM-66® Ashwagandha Root Extract.
- The simple ingredients list makes it easier for customers to know what they are buying and eating.
- Not genetically modified
- Gluten- and gelatin-free
- Added vitamin D
- Goli® plants trees and donates vitamins to children in need
- Some customers do not like the sweeter taste of the gummies
- Not all customers report immediate effects after taking the gummies
3. Teelixir Ashwagandha Root
Teelixir is a provider of quality superfoods and adaptogens that provide demonstrable health benefits. Since founding Teelixir nearly a decade ago, founders Julze Serendipity and Daniel Whitechurch have been continuing their mission to expand access to potent supplements. They use hot water extraction techniques to concentrate withanolides and other active chemicals from ashwagandha roots from India.
- More economical than some of the other choices
- Available in larger sizes up to 1kg
- Gluten-free and sugar-free
- Vegan and paleo
- Third-party quality testing to verify withanolide concentration over 2.5%
- Carbon-neutral shopping with CarbonClick
- Not available in capsule form
4. Life Extension Ashwagandha
Life Extension is more than a supplement company. Its team of doctors, nurses, nutrition experts, and other health professionals offer a comprehensive toolkit for extending life and improving quality of life. Its ashwagandha supplements include 125 mg of Sensoril® Ashwagandha Extract by Natreon, which contains oligosaccharides and withanolide glycoside conjugates.
As a result of the more expansive mission of Life Extension, the company offers ashwagandha along with other sleep aids, a sleep quiz, and resources for getting additional help in falling asleep.
- Convenient capsules
- Free shipping
- Low price for a 30-day supply
- Marketed as a sleep aid, but keep in mind the potential side effects of ashwagandha
- Not everyone who takes Life Extension ashwagandha experiences sleepiness
- Capsules might not be ideal for customers who prefer to use ashwagandha in cooking and teas
5. Tribe Organics KSM-66 Organic Ashwagandha
Like Goli® Ashwa Gummies, Tribe Organics KSM-66 Organic Ashwagandha contains the clinically studied and verified KSM-66 Ashwagandha extract. The pricing of Tribe Organics is similar to the Life Extension Ashwagandha, charging more per capsule but including more ashwagandha in each capsule.
Tribe Organics's CEO, Eduardo Oliver, created the company to offer an escape to the natural world for city dwellers. Its natural products include plant roots, mushrooms, and herb blends, such as ashwagandha. A focus on quality, service, and integrity are the main selling points of the Tribe Organics brand.
Naturally, Tribe Organics uses organic ingredients for its supplements. That and the following benefits make it possibly the best ashwagandha supplement.
- Standardized high level of withanolides (5%)
- Fortified with milk to enhance the function of ashwagandha
- Made from organic ashwagandha root extract (KSM-66)
- Free shipping on some orders
- Contains large 300 mg capsules
- Transparent sourcing
- Milk fortified version is not vegan, but a vegan version is available
- Only sell optimized ashwagandha in capsule form
So, what Is Ashwagandha?
Shopping around for ashwagandha but still not quite sure what it can do for you? Well, to explain, Ashwagandha somnifera is a plant from the nightshade family, which includes the humble potato and tomato as well as other plants with ornamental or medicinal properties, such as Sorcerer's Trees, Angel Trumpets, and Magic Bells. Ashwagandha goes by many names, such as winter cherry, sleep berry, and Indian ginseng.
A Source of Withanolides
The part of the plant that most commonly appears as a component in dietary supplements is the root. Ashwagandha root contains chemicals known as withanolides, which are steroidal lactones and flavonoids that resemble the ginsenosides found in ginseng. Ashwagandha has other alkaloids and other plant chemicals that have medicinal effects.
Levels of Withanolides
The best ashwagandha supplements contain high levels of withanolides. Many consumers of ashwagandha prefer to have a standard dose of these chemicals and other plant chemicals so that they can better regulate and manage their intake. Some people who take ashwagandha do not mind a lack of standardization on the grounds that the natural world lacks standardization.
What are the Health Benefits of Ashwagandha?
The best ashwagandha supplements have high levels of biologically active compounds, which makes them more likely to have significant effects, including various health benefits. You might not experience each of the benefits listed here as everyone responds differently, however, each could be a reason to consider ashwagandha.
Many people use ashwagandha to help manage stress levels. Double-blind clinical studies found that ashwagandha can reduce anxiety and feelings of stress compared to a placebo. Dr Andrew Huberman notes the ability of ashwagandha root to lower cortisol, a prominent stress hormone.
Ashwagandha, like turmeric and other supplements, can reduce inflammation throughout the body, which can have many beneficial health effects, such as:
- Pain relief
- Reducing symptoms of arthritis
- Potentially reducing inflammation associated with COVID-19 infection
In some people who are allergic to ashwagandha, the supplement can cause an inflammatory response.
The withanolides, phenols, and alkaloids in ashwagandha have a substantial anti-microbial effect. Studies suggest that it can inhibit the growth of pathogens that are resistant to conventional antibiotics, such as MRSA.
Part of ashwagandha's anti-microbial and revitalizing effects come from the powerful antioxidants found in ashwagandha root. Antioxidants minimize cellular damage from normal metabolic processes, reducing cancer risks, improving health, and extending life in many cases.
Some evidence suggests that ashwagandha root can reduce the activity level in cancer cells, which could affect the growth and spread of cancer in many parts of the body. Clinical studies involving ashwagandha extracts show promise for the use of ashwagandha as part of chemotherapy treatments due to their ability to selectively kill cancer cells.
In part because of its immune-boosting effects and anti-inflammatory effects, many people find that they have more energy and can live more active lives when they take ashwagandha supplements.
Reduced Signs of Aging
Inflammatory responses and the constant struggle to fight off infections and potential cancer cells can cause your body to show its age. Ashwagandha can restore youth and vitality. By increasing your endurance and stamina, the best ashwagandha supplements can help you live a more active lifestyle, which promotes a healthy cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of disability as you get older.
Reduced Blood Pressure
In higher doses of around 1,000 mg per day, ashwagandha could lead to a reduction in blood pressure in the long term. If you have hypertension, ashwagandha could contribute significantly to your cardiovascular health.
Improved Mental Health
Several of ashwagandha's effects, including better sleep, increased energy, and a more efficient immune system, can substantially improve your mood and enhance your mental well-being. Studies suggest that ashwagandha helps with reducing stress and anxiety. When you are deciding whether to add ashwagandha to your list of supplements, do not overlook its potential impact on your overall mental health,
Is Ashwagandha Right For Me?
When it comes to choosing the best ashwagandha supplement, it's important to keep in mind that what works for you may not work for someone else. To find a high-quality ashwagandha supplement that meets your needs, take the time to evaluate different supplement brands and products available in the market.
Different Forms of Ashwagandha and How to Take Them
Although ashwagandha root is the most popular form of ashwagandha for consumption, you can ingest ashwagandha in other ways. The many forms of ashwagandha make it easier to find convenient ways to incorporate ashwagandha into your daily routine,
Ashwagandha Root Powder
A traditional way to prepare ashwagandha root is to grind it into a powder. You can use ashwagandha powder in several ways, including:
- As an ingredient in recipes
- In hot water, with lemon and honey
- With milk
Organic ashwagandha root powder is also convenient if you want to combine it with other herbal ingredients to create your own blend.
If you don't like the taste or odour of ashwagandha root, consider taking ashwagandha capsules instead. They are convenient to carry with you and have a shelf life of about one year.
You can find products such as ghee and chocolate infused with ashwagandha root. These could be an option for people who would like to use ashwagandha in cooking but do not want to work with the powder itself.
Ashwagandha Tea Leaves
Many herbal teas contain ashwagandha, sometimes together with other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplements such as turmeric. People do not use the leaves as often as the root for medicinal purposes because they tend to be very bitter.
People do not consume the plant's red berries as often as the roots and leaves. The berries are not toxic, although they can cause stomach upset.
Gummies are a convenient and tasty way to consume this adaptogenic herb. They provide a measured dosage of the extract of ashwagandha in a chewy, flavoured form. Simply pop a gummy into your mouth and enjoy the benefits of this traditional Ayurvedic herb.
Choosing the Right Ashwagandha Supplement
Once you have all the details about the different types of ashwagandha products on hand, it can be a challenge to decide which product features are most important to you and evaluate the most important product features. Ask yourself how the ashwagandha supplement fits into your lifestyle:
- Are you taking ashwagandha on hikes or when travelling, where capsules are more convenient for transport?
- Do you want to blend your own herbal supplements for use in meals, smoothies, and other creations?
- Are you tracking the contents of your nutritional supplements?
- Have you considered your budget for nutritional supplements?
FAQs About Ashwagandha
If you want to learn more about ashwagandha, take a look at our list of frequently asked questions. Consult an expert in Ayurvedic medicine, alternative medicine, or nutrition for more information if you do not find your question answered here.
What Does Ashwagandha Mean?
The name ashwagandha comes from a Sanskrit word meaning "horse smell" because the plants have a characteristic horse-like odour. However, many people describe ashwagandha as having an earthy taste, and it features prominently in many healthful recipes.
What is KSM-66 Ashwagandha?
KSM-66 Ashwagandha is a special and patented form of ashwagandha. It's made from only the roots of the plant, which have a higher concentration of active ingredients than the leaves. This means it's more potent than other supplements that contain both ashwagandha root and leaf extracts.
KSM-66 Ashwagandha is standardized to have the highest concentration of root-only extracts on the market, making it effective at a lower dose than other brands. It contains a high amount of withanolides, which are naturally found in ashwagandha roots, to help manage stress and promote relaxation.
Does Ashwagandha Affect Testosterone Levels?
Ashwagandha supplement may increase testosterone levels, which can be beneficial for men with low testosterone or who want more energy. Men with certain types of prostate cancer might further the progression of the disease by taking ashwagandha because of its effect on testosterone. This effect is another reason why women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid ashwagandha temporarily.
What Is a Recommended Dosage for Ashwagandha?
The precise dosage of ashwagandha supplementation that produces the most beneficial effect varies from person to person. Many people take between 250 and 500 mg of ashwagandha per day, while others take as much as 1,000 mg. Your decision to take a higher or lower amount of ashwagandha might depend on your experience of side effects (see below)
Consult a nutritionist, your doctor, or other medical professionals who know your medical history and current medical condition for more information about the best dosage for you.
Does Ashwagandha Have Any Side Effects?
Ashwagandha supplements do sometimes cause side effects, but they are usually mild.
Side effects can include stomach irritation, nausea and diarrhoea. Due to ashwagandha's sedative effect, it can make users sleepy.
For some people, ashwagandha can affect the levels of certain thyroid hormones, increasing T3 and T4 but decreasing TSH. If you have a thyroid condition or if your blood work indicates abnormal thyroid levels talk to your doctor about whether to start or discontinue taking ashwagandha.
Does Ashwagandha Interact with Any Prescription Medications?
Even the best ashwagandha supplement can do more harm than good if you have certain medical conditions or take certain prescription medications.
According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, ashwagandha has a sedative effect, so you should not combine it with drugs such as anticonvulsants, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.
If you have an auto-immune disease or transplant and are receiving immunosuppressants as part of the treatment, be aware that the immune-boosting effects of ashwagandha could counteract your treatments.
Ashwagandha lowers blood pressure and blood sugar. While these effects can be beneficial in some situations, they can counteract medical treatments that raise blood pressure or blood sugar. Avoid taking ashwagandha without medical supervision if you have hypotension or hypoglycemia.
Are There Reports of Liver Injury in People Taking Ashwagandha?
Some case studies have found evidence of liver toxicity, such as jaundice and elevated liver enzymes in people who took ashwagandha supplements. However, there are no known reports of liver failure linked to taking ashwagandha. Some people recommend quality ashwagandha for the treatment of hepatitis due to its effect on the immune system.
Is It Alright to Use Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding or Pregnant?
Do not take ashwagandha if you are nursing or pregnant, as it could increase the likelihood of a miscarriage. There is little research on the effect of ashwagandha on infant development, but the ability of the supplement to alter hormonal levels could cause unpredictable and lasting side effects for the child.
Are You Ready To Introduce Ashwagandha Into Your Diet?
As with any dietary supplement, it is crucial to consider your holistic medical condition and your personal goals for mental and physical fitness before taking ashwagandha. The side effects, while mild, are not negligible. The taste and odour of ashwagandha are attractive to some people and a turn-off to others.
Setting aside the individual differences and perspectives on ashwagandha, the overall effect of ashwagandha on our health and wellness is beneficial, including adaptogenic (stress-fighting), cancer-fighting, and anti-inflammatory properties. You won't know whether ashwagandha will work for you unless you give it a try.
Whichever form and dosage you choose, be sure to acquire your supplements from a reputable company that clearly indicates the ingredients of its supplements and uses independent third-party testing to confirm the accuracy of their ingredients list. If the company does not offer third-party verification of their supplement's ingredients, do some research into the company's track record and ask your supplier for advice about the best ashwagandha supplements.