As there is a huge choice of products on the market containing “Ashwagandha”. An average consumer takes into account the price and the number of capsules in the packaging. Looking deeper into the topic may verify the amount of the substance in one capsule and finally will lead you to something called vitanolid.
Vitanolids are organic steroid compounds, characterized with high biological activity: cytostatic, antibacterial and anticancer effects, which we can find in ashwagandha root and ashwagandha extract.
But let’s go back to the description of the product. Actually, where Ashwagandha was found?
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a herb, which gained its popularity as early as a few thousand years ago, constituting a basic plant used in the Indian system of natural medicine (Ayurveda). Ashwagandha is also called „Indian ginseng”.
Ashwagandha owes its properties to the content of many active components, the most important of which are vitanolids and alkaloids (anapherine, anahygrine, somniferine, tropine). Ayurvedic experts and doctors highlight that therapeutic effect of this plant stems from a far richer content. Among other ingredients occurring in ashwagandha extracts there are: flavonoids, saponins, glycosides, coumarins, phytosterols, minerals, iron, choline and etheric oils.
Vitanolids are the most important bioactive ingredients of ashwagandha root. Currently, more than 140 vitanolids of this plant have been isolated and analyzed. They are attributed anticancer, antibacterial, cytostatic, calming effects and they lower blood pressure. The best known is vitaferin A, the proven anticancer effect of which is the inhibition of Sp1 factor. The factor Sp1 supports maintaining telomerase activity in cancer cells, contributing to their immortality.
Therefore, vitanolids are the most important „ingredients” of Ashwagandha extract. At this moment it is worth mentioning about percentage amount or standardization.
Why Ashwagandha is used?
-First things first - Ashwagandha is good to supplement for many reasons.
Here you go!
Ashwagandha for sleep - ashwagandha can be appropriate for improving sleep quality just as some of the normal drugs (to be exact - diazepam or more known valium, probably the best known benzodiazepine), due to being high-potent GABAA receptors. You have to have in mind, that ashwagadha dose is the key here. Low dose, can improve libido, while higher one affects your sleep.
Ashwagandha for anxiety; Ashwagandha and anxiety correlations - Ashwagandha is adaptogen compound - it means that it helps you in adapting to your current (probably stressful) situation. Why ashwagandha is so important in that matter? Well, that is due to its effectivness in reducing NADPH diaphosphorase, which is one of the main factors behind your stress perception.
Ashwagandha for depression - Ashwagandha effectively finds usage in depression treatment. Its effectiveness is comparable to Imipramine - another well known antidepressive drug. Also, researches finds its usage in improving Diazepam and fluoxetine (SSRI) actions. Be aware though - if you want to take ashwagandha with SSRI, or other antidepressants, consult professional physician first! Initial researches show that ashwagandha alone can be useful in treating depression.
Ashwagandha for men - Ashwagandha increases testosterone level, but only if you are undergoing medical condition, which can downregulate its proper level. So, the more proper statement is, that ashwagandha regulate testosterone level. Also, it can help in regulating other hormones levels, for example FSH, LH, corticosteroids etc.
Ashwagandha for women - Ashwagandha can help in proper hormonal homeostasis, we know that. But, what are benefits of supplementing it for women? Well, for example, ashwagandha can be used for hairs conditioning, to maintain beautiful color (it helps in preservation of melanin content in hairs), or for skin condition - it restrains depigmentation.
Ashwagandha for weight loss - Ashwagandha is studied initially for its usages in obesity treatment. Firstly, it can induce death of fat cells (it can literally destroy your fat!), and in combination with proper training, you could lose some more percentages of your body fat mass. Also, it can help in stabilizing diabetes-related parameters in body (blood glucose, LH, FSH, insulin sensitivity).
Clinical studies regading Ashwagandha
Recent clinical studies regarding ashwagandha root, shows its usage has high correlation in lowering cortisol. In mentioned study ("A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults"), ashwagandha dose of 300mg, taken in period of 60 days, shows that it is wiseful to use ashwagandha to lower cortisol
Cortisol levels can be significantly lowered when using Ashwagandha (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/)
Commonly used standardized extract is KSM-66. Ashwagandha root powder vs Ashwagandha extract.
What is KSM 66®? Is the extract from ashwagandha created by the company Ixoreal Biomed, standardized for the content of bioactive substances, i.e. vitanolids. It was devised in 14-year process based on the development and research, the aim of which was perfection. It is a product with the highest concentration on the World market, which was prepared only with the use of Withania Somnifera roots, produced in the process of extraction, on the basis of the “green chemistry” rule, without the use of alcohols or other chemical solvents. The content of vitanolids is minimum 5%.
Sensoril® is another patented extract from Withania Somnifera. It is used, among others, by the company Life Extension standardized for the content of min. 8% of vitanolids.
Many products contain simply dried roots of this plant, without standardization, e.g. “dry extract 4:1 from the root of Indian ginseng”, nothing about the content of vitanolids has been added. Most often, such a measure aims at hiding their low concentration, i.e. 1,5-2,5% of vitanolids.
In terms of comparing powder to capsule - it doesn't really matter. Powder versions could be more economical, when capsules one can be more convenient to take and dose properly.
Frequently asked question about Ashwagandha:
1. Are ashwagandha and ginseng the same?
Nope, they definitely not. They are two different botanical groups. But they can be used both in supplementation, and ginseng alone has very interesting usages on it own too!
2. When to take Ashwagandha?
It mainly depends on your needs. Taken in the morning, it can alleviate your stress throughout the day, when taken before sleep it can improve your sleep longness and quality.
3. Who can use Ashwagandha?
Nearly everyone! There is really no concrete restrictions. We could mention only two situation. Firstly - if you are pregnant woman you should consult every kind of supplementation with your main doctor. Secondly, if you are in any kind of condition, you should make an appointment with your doctor before starting supplementation.
4. Ashwagandha and pregnancy?
Consult. Your. Doctor. Better safe than sorry, especially that you are responsible for two people.
5. Which Ashwagandha is the best, proper, apporiate, which I should buy etc. etc.
Look one paragraph below!
6. Where I should buy Ashwagandha?
At MZ Store, surely!
7. Can Ashwagandha cause Insomnia?
It shouldn't. It rather promotes weariness than excitation.
8. Can Ashwagandha be used with SSRI? Or antidepressants withdrawal.
Ashwagandha find its usages in improving SSRI actions, and helps in SSRI withdrawal. But if you want to take it, you should contact your main doctor firstly!
9. Should I take Ashwagandha with food?
It is personal thing. If you don't feel any nausea-related symptoms, then it shouldn't be problem to take it at the empty stomach!
But wait, there is more about Ashwagandha to know! Check our other articles to check other interesting properties of this life-improving herb!
For example did you know:
Which Ashwagandha powder is the best one? Which Ashwagandha brand is the best one? Which Ashwagandha to buy? Let us answer those questions!
#5 Now Foods – Ashwagandha (2,5% vitanolids) – 0,017 $ for 1 mg of vitanolids
#4 Swanson – Aswagandha KSM-66 (5% vitanolids) – 0,015 $ for 1 mg of vitanolids
We calculated the price of each product, taking into consideration the number of capsules in the packaging, the amount of the substance in a capsule and the amount of vitanolids.
For the product by the company Olimp, the price for 1mg of vitanolids is 0,013 $.
In its composition we have the standardized KSM-66 extract, so we don’t need to worry about the quality of the product.
It is a dietary supplement containing the most appreciated extract from Withania Somnifera – KSM-66, which is obtained in the process compliant with the rules of “green chemistry”. It positively influences energy balance in the organism and building immunity to stress factors.
The company Jarrow Formulas, for many years has been focusing on the high quality of their products, and this is also the case in the product Ashwagandha.
The certified extract KSM-66 was used for production, which informs the users of the product about the content of vitanolids of min. 5%.
In the preparation by Jarrow Formulas, the cost of 1mg of vitanolids amounts to 0,012 $, which gives a slight, marginal difference in comparison to the Olimp’s product.
Jarrow Formulas encourages with its more solid packaging and larger amount of product in one packaging. On the other hand, the product by the company Olimp can be found in every shop with supplements for sportsmen.
Ashwagandha is a natural dietary supplement, the formula of which is based on the high quality certified and organic extract from the root of Withania somnifera, standardized for the presence of min. 7% of vitanolids.
The preparation by the company Apollo’s Hegemony turned out to be unbeatable in comparison to other companies available on the market, with the price 0,005 $ for 1mg of vitanolids!
- Ashwagandha is a safe an natural dietary supplement, which is especially recommended to people exposed to long-lasting stress. This preparation improves vitality and supports regeneration of the organism after a long disease.
Summing up, the dietary supplements presented in our comparison are the preparations of high quality. We skipped budget proposals, the extracts of which are not standardized. Thanks to this we have only “premium” class products here, which are the best out of the preparations available on the market.