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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.*

How We Choose Our Top 5 Supplements (View our Site Disclaimer)

We recommend any of the five products listed below equally and so present our choices in alphabetical order by brand. We do not receive any compensation in exchange for our recommendations. Read more about how we make our selections.

Doctor's Best Ashwagandha

Doctor's Best® Ashwagandha with Sensoril®

Stress support with 125mg of Sensoril® per capsule, 60 capsules per bottle.

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Each capsule contains 125mg of Sensoril® Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera root and leaf extract) minimum 10% withanolide glycosides. The recommended serving is 2 caps a day, so this product is a 30-day supply.

  • • Certified organic and non-GMO
  • • Patented, proprietary blend has been studied in more than 12 human clinical trials
  • • Benefits observed with as little as 125mg a day in 60 days

Sensoril® Ashwagandha Withania somnifera extract root/leaf. Patented standardized process containing Withanolide glycosides, minimum 8% - key glycosides Withanolide aglycone, maximum 2% - immunomodulator Oligosaccharides, minimum 32% - enhances bioactivity

See “Adaptogens” white paper detailing published benefits of Sensoril® starting on page 5: https://natreoninc.com/benefits/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-05-21-Natreon-Adaptogen-Whitepaper.pdf

Himalaya Ashwagandha

Himalaya® Ashwagandha—Anti-Stress

Three-forms-in-one organic ashwagandha in a 60-day supply.

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Although Himalaya® does not contain a branded form of ashwagandha, each caplet is rich in three forms of guaranteed potency active ingredients.

  • • The most unusual ingredient is 10mg — Organic ashwagandha supercritical CO2 extract root Withania somnifera 8% Withanolides, 0.8 mg
  • • 380mg — Organic Ashwagandha Powder Root 0.2% Withanolides 0.76mg
  • • 280mg — Organic Ashwagandha Extract Root 0.5% Withanolides 1.4mg

Himalaya’s website adds some details on their ashwagandha: https://himalayausa.com/products/organic-ashwagandha

  • • Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project verified and Vegan, with no Wheat, Corn, Soy or Dairy
  • • “Himalaya Organic Ashwagandha is not just a simple crushed Ashwagandha powder, but an actual clinically-studied extract that provides stress relief by supporting your adrenals and balancing cortisol, so you can help sustain your daily energy levels without caffeine and without feeling jittery.”*
  • • Himalaya’s “Our Story”: https://himalayausa.com/pages/about

Natural Factors Ashwagandha

Natural Factors® Stress-Relax® Ashwagandha Sensoril®

Stress support with 250mg per capsule of pure Sensoril® ashwagandha, 60 capsules per bottle. Recommended by Dr. Michael Murray, one of the world's leading experts on natural medicine.

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Serving size is stated at 1 capsule, 60 servings per container.

60 capsules could last for 60 days. However, Sensoril® studies show better results starting with 250mg taken twice a day for 30 days as a loading dose and then try coasting on 250mg a day.*

  • • Certified organic and non-GMO
  • • Patented, proprietary blend has been studied in more than 12 human clinical trials
  • • Benefits observed with as little as 125mg a day in 60 days.*

Sensoril® Ashwagandha Withania somnifera extract root/leaf. Patented standardized process containing Withanolide glycosides, minimum 8% - key glycosides Withanolide aglycone, maximum 2% - immunomodulator Oligosaccharides, minimum 32% - enhances bioactivity

See “Adaptogens” white paper detailing published benefits of Sensoril® starting on page 5: https://natreoninc.com/benefits/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-05-21-Natreon-Adaptogen-Whitepaper.pdf

Solgar Stress and Anxiety Relief

Solgar® Stress and Anxiety Relief

Here’s a “two-fer”—two clinically studied ingredients for stress and anxiety support. KM-66® ashwagandha plus affron® saffron extract, in a 30-day supply.

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This Solgar® product delivers two full-strength extracts at serving sizes that match published human clinical studies. KM-66® benefits are described in the above “How to choose the best ashwagandha supplements”. Solgar delivers the full 600mg as found in those studies plus a lesser-known ingredient: saffron extract. Using the proprietary extract called affron® (not a misspelling) this saffron extract has been tested at 28mg doses that have several published human clinical studies showing beneficial support for emotional wellbeing.*

  • • Ashwagandha Extract, KSM-66® Withania somnifera root Standardized to contain 5% Withanolides, 30 mg
  • • Saffron Extract, affron® Crocus sativus stigma
  • • Superior filler ingredients compared to other brands: Cellulose, Organic Rice Extract Blend, Silica, Organic Rice Hulls, Sunflower Oil
  • • Does Not Contain: Gluten, Wheat, Soy, Yeast, Sugar, Artificial Flavors, Artificial Sweeteners.

affron® saffron extract studies: affron® a novel saffron extract (Crocus sativus L.) improves mood in healthy adults over 4 weeks in a double-blind, parallel, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28735826/ (other study links shown on page).

Youtheory Ashwagandha

Youtheory® Ashwagandha

Patented plus plain. KSM-66® patented Ashwagandha extract plus standard ashwagandha root powder in 60 capsules

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The recommended dosage is “two capsules per day. But for more personalized results, start with one capsule per day and slowly ramp up adding an additional capsule per day as needed until you feel the effects are right for you.” Serving size is 2 capsules containing:

  • • 600mg Organic Ashwagandha root extract KSM-66®
  • • 400mg Organic Ashwagandha root extract KSM-66®
  • • 20mg Ginger root extract

  • • Certified Organic and Non-GMO
  • • Patented, proprietary blend has been studied in 22 human clinical trials
  • • Benefits observed with as little as 600mg a day in 60 days.

KM-66® benefits are described in the above “How to choose the best ashwagandha supplements”.

How We Choose Our Top 5 Supplements

Ingredients with measurable efficacy: Some supplement ingredients have had decades of scientific study and thousands of published studies describing their measurable efficacy and benefits to human nutrition. But some are only recently showing up on the market and have little science to explain their properties. Since you can't buy or try everything, we recommend products with studied ingredients.

Added value/complementary nutrients: Much of the cost of supplements is in their packaging, so if a product contains several complementary ingredients for its intended benefit, then we usually recommend that product over a single ingredient product. The exception is a single ingredient product that has special recognition as superior to similar but less effective products.

Different forms (tablets, powders, etc.): Some people just hate to take pills of any kind. So, when there’s a chewable, liquid, powder or gummy option that’s effective, we may also recommend those products.

Good manufacturing practices and reputation: There has been an explosion of supplement brands in the last 10 years. Many of these brands live only online and have ownership outside of USA regulations or ownership whose identity is sometimes hard to determine. We recommend companies that have made and marketed supplements for many decades in the USA and have earned good reputations for closely following FDA, GMP, and FTC guidelines, submitting to protocols that verify purity and potency and refraining from misleading product claims.

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