If you’re looking for the best ashwagandha supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Ashwagandha Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Ashwagandha Supplements
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|#1||Organic India Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
|#2||Nature’s Way Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
|#3||Pure Encapsulations Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
|#4||NOW Foods Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
|#5||Solaray Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
|#6||Nutrigold Ashwagandha Gold||Get it on Amazon|
|#7||Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
|#8||Ayush Herbs Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
|#9||Himalaya Herbal Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
|#10||Planetary Ayurvedics Full Spectrum Ashwagandha||Get it on Amazon|
One of the most important plants used in herbal medicine today is ashwagandha. But it is far from a new discovery. Its use is said to have originated in India many centuries ago as part of the healing treatments of Ayurvedic medicine, which are designed to balance all of the chakras and equalize the temperature of the body since, according to ancient beliefs, being internally too cool or too hot can lead to sickness.
Recent research has found that it has the potential to do much more than this though so, it is now sold in over-the-counter supplements that are easy to find in most health food stores.
If you have shopped for or even purchased natural supplements in the past, chances are that you have seen the name Ashwagandha printed out as an ingredient on a package’s Supplement Facts list. But what exactly is an Ashwagandha supplement?
What kind of benefits do this plant-based natural supplement have, and who reaps these benefits? We will take a look at those questions in addition to addressing the side effects of Ashwagandha supplements, how to take them, and what to look for if you are considering buying these supplements.
Read on to find out more about what ashwagandha is, where it comes from, and some other important information you need to know about its health benefits.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a small shrub that reaches only a maximum of a couple of feet in height. At first glance, it looks rather unremarkable since the leaves that cover its woody stems are a dull, muted green that doesn’t stand out in appearance to passersby.
But in the spring, pretty bell-shaped flowers cover the plant. And once they bloom, a small, round berry can be found inside each of the flowers, which is a sallow shade of red. This berry is the main reason that ashwagandha is also called winter cherry. Once dried, the berries can be used for medicinal purposes, but the roots of Ashwagandha contain the most properties.
What Are Ashwagandha Supplements?
Ashwagandha supplements are becoming increasingly popular in the United States supplements market, and for some pretty good reasons. Ashwagandha is actually a plant from which the berries and roots can be removed.
The word Ashwagandha (which has the botanical name Withania somnifera) has an interesting etymology. It is a Sanskrit word that means “horse” (“ashva”) and “smell” (“gandha”). This might bring out a chuckle in some readers while repulsing others, but do not worry – Ashwagandha supplements generally do not have a horse-like smell. Ashwagandha is so named because its root has a horse-like smell.
It has been in use for at least 3,000 years, but it is only recently that the U.S. herbal remedies and supplements market has really picked it up as a beneficial supplement.
Where Does Ashwaganda Come From?
Ashwagandha prefers to grow in dry, hot climates of the world. So it is mainly harvested and grown in India. However, it can sometimes be found in the mountainous regions of Nepal and China too. It is generally not found in the United States.
Things to Know About Potential Ashwagandha Benefits
This herbal supplement has some important health benefits that have made it get a lot of attention in the health industry.
The first of which is its ability to act as an adaptogen for stress. Biologically speaking, the body is only designed to handle stress for short periods of time. But because of the current modern diet, busy work schedules, and hectic lifestyle, people are having to endure stress for much longer than they would normally have to, which is causing some serious health problems from the high level of cortisol that the stress is inducing.
So, by taking an adaptogen, like ashwagandha, they can help regulate the physical and emotional effects that the stress is having on their body.
Another potential benefit of taking supplements that contain ashwagandha is an increase in endurance. Soldiers and those who are training for marathons often find that it is especially useful for this purpose because it helps them to not get tired as easily as they normally would while they are running, marching, or swimming for long distances.
Ashwagandha may help boost the immune system too. It works by stimulating the body’s own defense system, which is often depleted from undergoing long-term stress. However, some experts say that it also decreases the inflammation that has been caused by an overactive immune system response because of an injury or chronic disease.
The symptoms of diseases that impact cognitive abilities and memory, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, may also be improved when ashwagandha is taken on a daily basis. More research is needed to confirm this, but one study done by the National Brain Research Centre found that it took just 20 days for ashwagandha to improve the memory problems that were induced in rats.
Ashwagandha has some known side effects and might not be a good supplement for people with certain disorders to take. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement, and if you experience negative side effects, you should consider removing the supplement from your daily regimen.
Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding should avoid taking Ashwagandha since its effects on babies and children are unknown. Also, those with autoimmune disorders (such as Lupus and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) should consult their doctors first before taking this supplement since it aggravates already-present symptoms. Those on thyroid medications should proceed with caution since Ashwagandha might cause thyroid hormone levels to spike above the optimal range.
Those with diabetes should stay away from using this supplement since it might lower blood sugar levels too much. Also, those with high or low blood pressure should avoid it since Ashwagandha supplements are known to decrease blood pressure in those with low blood pressure and negatively mix with medications those with high blood pressure take.
Ashwagandha should not be used two weeks prior to surgery and should be avoided for a few weeks after surgery since it is known to interfere with medications and slow down the Central Nervous System.
Ashwagandha negatively interacts with corticosteroids and other medications that decrease the immune system and sedatives.
Always speak with a medical professional or doctor before taking any supplements. Always read the product label for instructions and directions.
Taking Ashwagandha Supplements
It is generally a good idea to consult with your doctor before taking Ashwagandha supplements. They might be able to recommend a particular brand that is well-regarded and contains pure ingredients.
What to Look for in a Good Ashwagandha Supplement
If you are looking for a good Ashwagandha supplement, you will want to consider a few key factors before making your final selection. Of course, always listen to your doctor’s recommendations, if they make any. If not, it does not hurt to shop around and do some research on which brands have the most high-quality, pure, and well-tested products.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, avoid gel capsules that contain gelatin and instead opt for capsules made from hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), as it is a synthetic vegan product. Also, try to avoid additives, fillers, and dyes, since they are known to cause and/or complicate some health problems.