Ashwagandha is a plant native to India that has been used in traditional Indian medicine and Ayurveda for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs used in Ayurvedic healing, and is thought to help alleviate difficulty concentrating, fatigue, lack of energy, and stress.
It is also recommended as it provides a sense of wellbeing, rejuvenates the body, and also provides a lot of energy as well.
This Ayurvedic is becoming increasingly popular today due to the many health benefits it has to offer people today. It’s believed that this herb grants energy, strength,and stamina; ancient Indians thought it contained the essence of horses.
If you want to feel more energized, vigorous, and boost your immune system, Ashwagandha is an option to consider. We’ve gone in-depth and ranked the ten best Ashwagandha supplements on the market.
1. Organic Ashwagandha + by Nuzena
Nuzena is a new, premium brand known for its potent formulas.
For those who are serious about their health, Organic Ashwagandha + by Nuzena is at the top of our list.
Nuzena offers a high strength 1300mg dosage of organic Ashwagandha powder per serving, making it the most potent on the list.
Organic Ashwagandha + also includes 10mg of organic black pepper per serving for further bioavailability and maximum absorption — something we’d like to see more companies doing.
Where Nuzena really stands out for us though is the quality of the ingredients inside the formula. The formula is non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan friendly, 100% organic, and sustainably sourced — quite an impressive list.
Organic Ashwagandha + is made inside an FDA registered facility within the United States and is GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified, which ticks even more boxes for us.
This is our clear pick as the #1 Ashwhagandha supplement. No-brainer.
2. Essential Elements Organic Ashwagandha
Essential elements offers a mega dose of stress-relieving ashwagandha, at 1950mg per serving. Combined with black pepper extract to improve absorption, you can be certain every capsule provides a sledgehammer to crush cortisol levels and help level you out.
Completely organic and free of any GMOs, preservatives, gluten, soy, and dairy, this supplement is as pure as it gets.
3. NutraHerbals Ashwagandha
NutraHerbals offers a high strength Ashwagandha supplement with 600 mg of Ashwagandha root powder per capsule, alongside black pepper extract to boost absorption.
With the only other ingredients being a vegan-friendly capsule made with vegetable cellulose and non-GMO rice concentrate, this supplement is a great choice.
4. Organic India Ashwagandha
Organic India’s Ashwagandha supplement has 400 mg of Ashwagandha root per capsule, which isn’t the highest on the market, but its big selling point is the fact that it is USDA-certified organic, meaning that the Ashwagandha plants were grown without synthetic pesticides and herbicides. If you care about the purity of what you are putting into your body, this is a big plus.
5. Himalaya Ashwagandha
Himalaya Ashwagandha has a modern take on this ancient herbal extract. Most companies create a root powder from the Ashwagandha plant, put it in a capsule, and call it a day.
Himalaya, on the other hand, uses modern processing technology like supercritical carbon dioxide extraction to deliver a higher dose of the active ingredients in the plant. Depending on your perspective, this could be good or bad.
The end result is that the Ashwagandha content per capsule is 670 mg, and much of this is at a higher concentration than a standard supplement. It’s not traditional, but it definitely is potent.
6. Sun Potion Ashwagandha
If you want to integrate Ashwagandha into other blends, mixtures, or drink it with tea (as some Indians do), Sun Potion is the way to go.
It offers loose powdered Ashwagandha root extract, from an organic source no less. While this makes measuring out quantities very difficult without a precision scale, the versatility of loose powder is unparalleled.
7. NaturaLife Labs Organic Ashwagandha
NaturaLife Labs makes a Ashwagandha supplement that includes equal proportions of Ashwagandha root extract and whole Ashwagandha plant powder.
The total Ashwagandha content per capsule is still 650 mg, but this is split between the two plant sources. Its organic certification is a boon to purity enthusiasts, though.
8. Havasu Nutrition Ashwagandha Premium Stress Response
Havasu Nutrition puts their own twist on Ashwagandha supplements by including artichoke extract as well. Each capsule has 500 mg of Ashwagandha and 50 mg of artichoke leaf, together in a gelatin capsule.
While the product is fairly well-reviewed, strict Ayurveda adherents might want to keep their herbs separate so they can be used with as much versatility as possible. It also isn’t vegan-compatible, thanks to the gelatin capsule, though that will only be important to a small minority of people.
9. NOW Ashwagandha
NOW supplements often end up being the economy option, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but can sometimes lead to cutting corners.
This may be the case with NOW’s Ashwagandha supplement—the dosage, at 450 mg per capsule, is pretty middle of the road, but it’s got a lot of stabilizers and preservative agents added to the capsule, likely to extend its shelf life.
10. Pure Encapsulations Ashwagandha
The Ashwagandha supplement from Pure Encapsulations comes in a pretty standard format—vegan cellulose capsule, 500 mg of Ashwagandha root extract, and cellulose as a binder. With a lower than usual dosage, it doesn’t make it very high in the rankings.
Best ashwagandha overall: Organic Ashwagandha + by Nuzena
Nuzena takes care to provide a high dosage, high purity, and highly absorbable form of ashwagandha, making it the most versatile and best overall pick.
Best ashwagandha for sleep: NutraHerbals Ashwagandha
For better sleep, you want a moderate dose of ashwagandha that’s easily absorbed and highly bioavailable. NutraHerbals delivers on both fronts, making it a great option for use as a sleep aid.
Best ashwagandha for stress: Essential Elements Organic Ashwagandha
Essential Elements stands out for its incredible purity and simple supplement design, which is great for dealing with stress—with fewer ingredients, you don’t have to worry about a negative psychophysiological reaction to ingredients like binders, stabilizers, and preservatives.
Best ashwagandha for anxiety: Organic Ashwagandha + by Nuzena
The same properties that make Nuzena our overall winner serve it well when it comes to using ashwagandha to deal with anxiety. You get a strong dosage and a guarantee of pure, high-quality ingredients.
Best ashwagandha for hair: Essential Elements Organic Ashwagandha
If you’re interested in the increasingly popular trend of using ashwagandha for improving the quality of your hair, we again recommend Essential Elements Organic Ashwagandha. At nearly two grams per serving, the incredibly potent dose is best-situated to improve the texture, shine, and fullness of your hair.
Best ashwagandha for ashwagandha tea: Sun Potion Ashwagandha
For making ashwagandha tea, the story is a little different: you want pure ashwagandha powder, preferably sourced organically. Sun Potion hits the mark on both fronts, making it the perfect option for making ashwagandha tea.
Who should buy ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an herbal remedy that’s popular for increasing libido, boosting testosterone, and reducing stress. For all three of these reasons, it’s popular among older men in the midst of their careers: these men live a high-stress life and are simultaneously trying to deal with the age-related reduction in testosterone levels.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that ashwagandha is only for men, though. It’s also been used to boost libido in women, as well as reduce anxiety and depression in both genders.
Though the precise mechanism is not fully understood, ashwagandha has been demonstrated to have anti-anxiety effects, which may be related to its ability to reduce cortisol levels, which is a reliable biomarker of stress.
Ashwagandha may also hold promise for people with stress and inflammation-related health problems. The cortisol-lowering effects of ashwagandha, combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, make it popular for both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Its anti-inflammatory effects tie in closely with the mental well-being effects described earlier, perhaps because of the link between stress and systemic inflammation.
Lastly, some people seek out ashwagandha for its potential cognitive benefits. As with many herbal compounds with antioxidant effects, ashwagandha has been investigated as a neuroprotective agent to slow or prevent the onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
While most of the research has focused on the therapeutic uses of ashwagandha for brain health, it’s actually become more popular for its potential as a nootropic agent: some people find that ashwagandha can sharpen their thinking, calm their mood, and hone their focus.
Given what we already know about the popularity of using ashwagandha as an herbal treatment for depression and anxiety, it shouldn’t be surprising that some people report these mood-enhancing effects from the herb.
How we ranked
In formulating our ashwagandha rankings, we started with all of the top of the line products currently on the market. Since we were specifically looking for sources of ashwagandha, and not general herbal blends, we eliminated products that had blended ashwagandha with other herbs and ingredients.
You’ll find ashwagandha as part of the blend of many different supplements, but in these rankings, the focus is on the exclusive benefits of ashwagandha.
The only exceptions we made were for products that included small amounts of black pepper extract, as this herb has been found to increase the bioavailability of other herbs, and isn’t known to have any strong independent biological effects.
From here, we narrowed the field by cutting products whose ashwagandha dosage was too low or too high. Many commercially available ashwagandha teas don’t provide the kind of dosage chosen for clinical research studies on ashwagandha, so we ended up cutting all of these.
A few of our remaining products came in loose-powder tubs, so incorporating ashwagandha into your tea is still possible with a powder-based supplement. Since most research uses ashwagandha taken either once or twice per day, we looked for capsules in the range of 400 to 650 mg, since this would correspond to the lower end of the recommended dosage for this herbal compound, and could be doubled up or tripled up to deliver the higher doses used in some research studies.
Because of challenges getting an appropriate dose, there weren’t any ashwagandha tinctures that made our list. Tinctures also pose a problem because it’s not known which of the biologically active compounds included in dried ashwagandha root powder are responsible for which biological effects.
For example, Herb Pharm uses an alcohol solution to deliver its ashwagandha tincture, but not all of the biologically active compounds are necessarily alcohol soluble. Triethylene glycol, which helps with the sleep-promoting effects of ashwagandha, is water-soluble, but not very soluble in alcohol. Because of concerns like this, we stuck with solid powder-based or capsule-based ashwagandha supplements.
Finally, as always, we cut out anything that had too much in the way of unnecessary fillers, additives, and bulking agents, so our top-ranked ashwagandha supplements would have the cleanest ingredient design possible.
Ashwagandha is regarded as one of the most powerful powerful herbs used in Ayurvedic healing. It’s been around since ancient times, and is renowned for its restorative benefits.
The meaning of ashwagandha in Sanskrit is literally “the smell of a horse”, which indicates that this herb offers the strength and vigor of a stallion. The herb has been commonly prescribed for helping strengthen the immune system of a person suffering from an illness. It is also known as the “Indian ginseng” primarily because of the rejuvenating properties it provides.
Ashwagandha hails from the tomato family, and is fleshy shrub with yellow flowers and oval leaves. The shrub also bears red colored fruit that are as big as a raisin. It grows in the dry regions of the Middle East, northern Africa, and India. However, it is also available in milder climates today, such as the U.S.
Ashwagandha contains several biologically active compounds. Ashwagandha offers a whole lot of health benefits, helped by the fact that it has useful medicinal chemicals such as Withanolides (steroidal lactones), amino acids, fatty acids, choline, alkaloids, and lots of different sugars.
The best part is that the fruit and leaves also have therapeutic properties, while the root of the ashwagandha plant is used in a lot of Western herbal remedies as well.
There are over 200 different studies conducted surrounding the healing benefits of ashwagandha. Medical researchers have been fascinated by its effects, and how this botanical herb offers the following: improves sexual potential for men and women, helps stabilize blood sugar, reduces depression and anxiety, improves thyroid function and treats adrenal fatigue.
There are numerous studies that have shown the beneficial properties of ashwagandha in helping improve stamina and endurance. It sharpens brain function, and also reduces pain in the body. The energizing, and calming effects of the extract helps bring down stress levels in the body, and improves motivation, concentration and stamina as well.
A study conducted on lab rats found that, when given ashwagandha, the rats swam twice the distance in a faster time than rats that were given a placebo (4).
Researchers therefore concluded that the extract would have the same effect on humans, since it balances adrenal hormones that are responsible for physical activity.
Ashwagandha doesn’t have a lot of serious side effects to report about, and there isn’t much scientific research available on its possible complications.
However, when taken in large doses the extract may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach. It is also not recommended to apply the herb directly on your skin.
Doctors have advised people to be cautious when taking ashwagandha, especially those that are undergoing the following conditions: pregnancy or breastfeeding, diabetes, high or low blood pressure, stomach ulcers, autoimmune diseases, and thyroid disorders.
Ashwagandha may make the immune system more active, which could increase the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. It may also slow down the central nervous system, making it unsafe to take before or immediately after surgery.
Ashwagandha offers a lot of special benefits to people but there are certain precautions that people suffering from specific medical conditions should take.
You should also remember to always discuss taking Ayurvedic healing herbs with your doctor before you go ahead and take them. This is because certain people may experience complications or an increased risk of suffering from complications.
Studies vary widely when it comes to the dosages that have been used with success. Dosages ranging from 500 to 2000 mg per day of ashwagandha root extract have been reported.
Generally, smaller doses have been used in research on relatively healthy subjects for exercise performance and recovery and for libido and sexual health (5), and higher doses in this range have been used in studies on diseased populations, for example, in people with high blood pressure (6).
Extrapolating dosages from animal studies is trickier—these are usually expressed in a dosage per kilogram of body weight, but often, these doses are far higher than might be reasonable in a human.
As such, the only helpful takeaway from animal research when it comes to ashwagandha is that larger people may need a higher dosage, since the effects might be proportional to dose per unit body weight.
Q: Can ashwagandha treat anxiety?
A: There is a substantial amount of scientific research, albeit mostly confined to herbal medicine journals and studies in animals, that suggests that ashwagandha may be able to quell anxiety.
One article published in the Alternative Medicine Review, which examined the substantial literature in animals such as rats and mice, noted improvements in experimentally-designed measures of stress levels in animals treated with ashwagandha (7).
In humans, a paper published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine looked at five different studies that examined ashwagandha and anxiety compared to placebo pills, and concluded that all of them showed improvements on the ratings scales used by the studies to assess anxiety (8).
In sum, while more and larger clinical studies are needed, preliminary evidence does suggest that ashwagandha may help improve symptoms of anxiety.
Q: Can ashwagandha make you lose weight?
A: The scientific research on ashwagandha and weight loss indicates that the best results come when you leverage its well-documented anti-stress and antioxidant properties.
It seems that ashwagandha is particularly effective as a weight loss aid when it is used among overweight and obese adults who have chronic stress—one randomized controlled trial demonstrated a reduction in both weight and in measures of stress among overweight adults in eight-week study (9).
Furthermore, ashwagandha may be able to ameliorate some of the negative effects of being overweight, such as the increase in lipid oxidation (10). These results make sense in the context of obesity as an inflammatory condition—the antioxidant properties of ashwagandha may help counter this inflammation.
Q: Can ashwagandha help you sleep?
A: Ashwagandha is found in several sleep aids, and appears to induce sleep thanks to a specific biologically active compound called triethylene glycol.
Since ashwagandha has been used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries as a calming and grounding agent, it should not be surprising that it exerts a sleep-inducing effect.
Research published in 2017 used some clever experimental methods on mice to determine that there is a specific active compound found in ashwagandha, called triethylene glycol, which can induce sleep in mice, even when isolated from the rest of the ashwagandha plant.
Notably, this compound is soluble in water, which may explain why ashwagandha tea is a popular sleep aid.
Q: Is ashwagandha good for thyroid problems?
A: The effects of ashwagandha on thyroid hormones is supported by some research in animals, which suggests that ashwagandha can increase the level of circulating thyroid hormones in your blood.
This topic has not been explored in much detail in humans, but two potentially promising findings do support the idea that these effects apply to humans.
One is a secondary analysis of a study that was originally designed to study the effects of ashwagandha on bipolar disorder—during the course of the study, the researchers noted a small but noticeable increase in thyroid hormone levels over the course of the eight-week study among those people in the experimental group (i.e. the one receiving ashwagandha) who had lower than normal thyroid levels at the study’s outset (11).
The other piece of evidence that ashwagandha can affect thyroid levels actually comes from a case report on a woman treated for excess thyroid hormone levels that resulted after taking an ashwagandha supplement for several weeks, then increasing the dosage (12).
So, while some evidence indicates that ashwagandha exerts an effect on circulating levels of thyroid hormones, they also underscore the fact that you should be careful and consult your doctor before taking an ashwagandha supplement for thyroid problems.
Q: What is ashwagandha tea?
A: Ashwagandha tea is made by steeping the dried root of the ashwagandha plant in boiling water for approximately fifteen minutes, then is served hot like any other tea.
Unlike green tea and matcha tea, ashwagandha tea does not have any caffeine in it, but still boasts some pretty good antioxidant properties.
As such, it’s great to drink for its health benefits at night, since it won’t keep you up. It’s quite popular for its calming effects, and can even be used as a sleep aid at night thanks to the sleep inducing effects described earlier.
Q: How long does it take for ashwagandha to work?
A: Most research on ashwagandha is conducted in the context of six or eight week studies. Some of these studies have conducted interim analyses at four weeks into the study, which sometimes show significant results.
Based on this research, one could infer that good results may take up to two months, but you may start to see benefits after as little as a month on an ashwagandha supplement. One thing is clear, though, which is that this is not a quick-fix supplement for acute problems.
Q: Which is better, ashwagandha or rhodiola?
A: Ashwagandha versus rhodiola is an interesting comparison: they are both herbal extracts with potential antioxidant, neuroprotective, and anti-anxiety effects.
No studies have directly compared rhodiola to ashwagandha when it comes to anxiety, so it’s unclear which supplement is better in this case.
Rhodiola boasts more robust evidence for a potential neuroprotective effect, but on the other hand, ashwagandha has ben used as a sleep aid, testosterone booster, and aid for libido and sexual health in both men and women—the range of effects of rhodiola is somewhat more narrow.
So, the relative advantages and disadvantages of ashwagandha and rhodiola depend on the application you’re planning to use them for; both have strengths and weaknesses.
Ashwagandha is a powerful herbal supplements whose roots in ayurvedic medicine go back hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
It has potent antioxidant and anti-stress effects, though the health problems that have been studied the most are anxiety, depression, libido and sexual health, and (among men) boosting testosterone levels.
It’s typically used in doses ranging from 500 to 2000 mg per day, and is fairly well-tolerated, though in high doses it may cause an increase in thyroid hormone levels.
While the research on the range of possible health benefits from ashwagandha is still emerging, it holds quite a lot of promise on several fronts. This should be no surprise given how long it’s been used in herbal medicine in India.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 ashwagandha recommendation, click here.