What is Ashwagandha?
The herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used to improve health in India as part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine for 3,000 to 4,000 years and India remains the primary source of ashwagandha today. Herbal researchers classify this herb as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are not stimulants, but instead are valuable in producing balance in body systems. A great article in the American Botanical Council's journal, HerbalGram, states regarding herbal adaptogens: “Adaptogenic substances are stated to have the capacity to normalize body functions and strengthen systems compromised by stress. They are reported to have a protective effect on health against a wide variety of environmental assaults and emotional conditions.”1*
How can ashwagandha help us?
Stressful modern lifestyles can take their toll on our health. Prolonged exposure to stresses from our environment, from our work etc. can sap our energy and suppress our sleep. That’s because prolonged stress can trigger excessive “fight-or-flight” responses from our bodies and excessive production of cortisol (an adrenal secretion). The good news is that best quality ashwagandha supplements can safely help us. “Dr. Lin M.D. points out that research has shown that ashwagandha can help normalize cortisol levels, thus reducing the stress response.2 In addition, ashwagandha has also been associated with reduced inflammation3, reduced cancer risks, improved memory, improved immune function and anti-aging properties. This is why people who are stressed or anxious4, or people with chronic conditions might turn to ashwagandha to help ease their conditions.”—ClevelandClinic.org5 Dr. Lin also cautions to discuss with your physician before taking ashwagandha if you have hyperthyroid or autoimmune conditions (it can stimulate thyroid function) or are pregnant or breast feeding.*
How to choose the best ashwagandha supplements
The best ashwagandha extracts are standardized and have known percentages of the key known active constituents (withanolides). We primarily recommend supplements using standardized extracts made by Sensoril® Ashwagandha and KSM-66 Ashwagandha®. These are two of the best documented sources of standardized ashwagandha, demonstrated by several double-blind, placebo controlled human clinical studies. Both are USDA certified organically grown and are patented, proprietary extracts.
KSM-66® features root-only extracts with withanolide content measured by HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography) to be of >5% concentration.6 500mg capsules taken twice a day have shown benefits including increased quality and quantity of sleep, lower cortisol and improved healthy stress response* (studies described with citations).7
Sensoril® features patented leaf and root composition, standardized to 3 bioactives (Withanolide glycosides, Withaferin A, Oligosaccharides), provides the highest level of bioactive on the market with >10% Withanolide glyocsides, 12 clinical studies, and lower dose (beginning at 125mg / day).8 Sensoril® clinical studies show health benefits such as: manages and reduces stress, boosts energy levels, improves focus and reaction time, improves sleep quality, improves mental cognitive health, mood, fatigue, and vitality.*