Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb used by Ayurvedic physicians of India for thousands of years. Today, it’s often taken as an adaptogenic supplement, which can help the body cope with different stressors. We’ve curated this list of the best ashwagandha brands to help you make an informed decision.
Farther down, we lay out the research-backed benefits of ashwagandha, as well as its recommended dosage. This ancient herb has been long purported to help with anxiety, depression, immune system health, weight loss, and more. Modern research has finally put these claims to the test.
|Best Overall: Physician’s Choice – Ashwagandha Powder Capsules||$15.59 Buy on Amazon|
|Best Organic: True Veda – Organic Ashwagandha Capsules||$19.97 Buy on Amazon|
|Best Tincture: Fresh Ashwagandha Adaptogenic Liquid Tincture||$19.88 Buy on Amazon|
|Best Powder: Feel Good Organics – Ashwagandha Root Powder||$14.99 Buy on Amazon|
|Best Value: Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder & Black Pepper Extract||$15.95 Buy on Amazon|
|Most Potent: Himalaya Organic Ashwagandha Caplets||$15.95 Buy on Amazon|
|Best Blend: Organic Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, and Turmeric Capsules||$16.98 Buy on Amazon|
Top 7 Best Ashwagandha Brands
Best Ashwagandha Brand Overall
This is all around one of the best ashwagandha supplements, and one of the most popular on Amazon. Each capsule contains 650 milligrams of pure ashwagandha root powder and 5 milligrams of black pepper extract for enhanced absorption. If you’re wanting to test the purported mental and physical health benefits of ashwagandha, this is a great pick.
Best Organic Ashwagandha Brand
This is one of the most natural, holistic ashwagandha brands available. It’s organic, vegan, and non-GMO, sourced directly from India. This is a KSM-66 ashwagandha supplement, which mean it’s a full-spectrum root extract with no missing compounds. This is a great choice for anyone looking for the best organic ashwagandha supplement.
Best Ashwagandha Tincture
The liquid ashwagandha extract is concentrated into distilled water and organic cane alcohol,which makes it true tincture. This allows the ashwagandha compounds to be absorbed more easily. Mix a quarter of the dropper volume into a glass of water and you have an easily-absorbed dose of ashwagandha.
Best Ashwagandha Powder
This ashwagandha brand keeps it simple with this pure, organic ashwagandha root powder. It’s a great pick for anyone who wants to take the powder directly or make their own capsules.
A capsule filling machine and empty gelatin capsules are a great way to make your own inexpensive ashwagandha supplement. We’ve linked size 0 capsules, as they’re the perfect size for 400 to 500 milligrams of ashwagandha powder.
Best Value Ashwagandha Brand
When it comes to ashwagandha capsules, this is the most economical option. Each capsule contains an ideal serving of 650 milligrams of pure ashwagandha root powder and 5 grams of black pepper extract for enhanced absorption. This is a great pick for anyone who wants the best bang for their buck without the hassle of making their own capsules from scratch.
Most Potent Ashwagandha Brand
Himalaya ashwagandha is popular for its high potency. This brand uses a variety of extraction methods from different parts of the ashwagandha plant (primarily the roots) to deliver a concentrated, full-spectrum dose of ancient herbal goodness. This is a great option for anyone looking for the strongest ashwagandha brand.
Best Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Blend
*This is the total mass of ashwagandha, rhodiola, turmeric, and black pepper extract combined.
Many people who take ashwagandha also take rhodiola for its complementary adaptogenic effects. Zeal Nautrals’ herbal supplement combines the benefits of ashwagandha, rhodiola, and turmeric extracts into one standardized pill for maximal impact.
Farther down, we compare the effects of ashwagandha vs. rhodiola.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha boasts a long history of medicinal uses, particularly within the ancient Indian medicinal school of Ayurveda. The various claims of ashwagandha’s health benefits range from boosting the immune system to suppressing anxiety.
Under scrutiny of modern research, many of these benefits of ashwagandha have been supported. Below, we’ve listed the most prominent research-backed benefits of ashwagandha.
- Immune System Boost
Ashwagandha has been shown to help support the body’s immune system. One notable study found that ashwagandha increased rats’ immune system defense against aspergillosis, a fungus-induced infection of lungs.1Therapeutic Efficacy of Ashwagandha Against Experimental Aspergillosis in Mice In another notable study, ashwagandha was shown to kill salmonella bacteria.2Antibacterial efficacy of Withania somnifera(ashwagandha) an indigenous medicinal plant against experimental murine salmonellosis Others have found that ashwagandha is linked with an increase in immune system function markers, such as increased red and white blood cell counts.3Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Ashwagandha4Studies on immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) extracts in experimental immune inflammation
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Several studies have noted that ashwagandha has strong anti-inflammatory properties.5Studies on immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) extracts in experimental immune inflammation A few studies have found specifically that ashwagandha can have anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, particularly noted in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.6An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda
- Antioxidant Effects
Several studies have demonstrated that ashwagandha can be a powerful antioxidant.7Evidence for free radical scavenging activity of Ashwagandha root powder in mice.8Ashwagandha leaf extract: A potential agent in treating oxidative damage and physiological abnormalities seen in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease It’s important to note that these antioxidant effects have only been observed in the roots of ashwagandha. One study of ashwagandha leaf extract found no antioxidant properties.9Evaluation of the anti-proliferative and anti-oxidative activities of leaf extract from in vivo and in vitro raised Ashwagandha
- Hormonal Balance
Early research has shown that ashwagandha may support and stimulate thyroid function.10Subtle changes in thyroid indices during a placebo-controlled study of an extract of Withania somnifera in persons with bipolar disorder11Changes in thyroid hormone concentrations after administration of ashwagandha root extract to adult male mice.12Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea in the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations in female mice Further research is needed, but early results in humans and mice are promising.
The thyroid is an organ that sits in the base of the neck and is responsible for the regulation of many hormones, including testosterone. An underperforming thyroid can lead to symptoms like depression, fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, and more. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce many such symptoms, further suggesting througBh deductive reasoning that the supplement may indeed support healthy thyroid function.
- Lower Cholesterol
Several studies have found that supplementing ashwagandha may reduce LDL cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol levels. The level of reduction in cholesterol varies among studies, from a slight reduction to a significant reduction. However, most studies have indeed noted a significant reduction.13Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root.14Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers.15A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study
LDL cholesterol stands for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and is often called “bad” cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol levels can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, which increases the risk of heart disease. As such, supplements that can lower LDL levels can reduce risk of heart disease.
- Anti-Cancer Potential
Research has shown that ashwagandha may possess a number of anti-carcinogenic effects. These benefits of ashwagandha range from slowing tumor growth to making the tumors more susceptible to treatments like chemotherapy. 16Withania somnifera Dunal (Ashwagandha): potential plant source of a promising drug for cancer chemotherapy and radiosensitization.17Antitumor and radiosensitizing effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on a transplantable mouse tumor, Sarcoma-180.18In vivo growth inhibitory effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on a transplantable mouse tumor, Sarcoma 180. Other research has shown that components of ashwagandha can aid in directly killing cancer cells.19Selective Killing of Cancer Cells by Leaf Extract of Ashwagandha: Identification of a Tumor-Inhibitory Factor and the First Molecular Insights to Its Effect20Selective Killing of Cancer Cells by Ashwagandha Leaf Extract and Its Component Withanone Involves ROS Signaling
Ashwagandha’s Effects on the Brain
Many studies have looked into the effects of ashwagandha on the brain itself. These findings range from the herb’s effects on depression and anxiety to its ability to stimulate brain growth. We’ve summarized the key findings below.
- Reduced Symptoms of Depression
A six-week study of ashwagandha supplementation resulted in significantly reduced anxiety and depression.21A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. Although these effects are notable, there are more studies linking ashwagandha and reduced stress and anxiety than there are for depression.
- Reduced Stress and Anxiety
One notable study found that compared to a placebo group, subjects who took ashwagandha experienced significantly less stress and anxiety. In addition, their cortisol levels were significantly lower than the placebo group.22A 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 Holf 23Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha), a Rejuvenating Herbal Drug Which Enhances Survival During Stress (an Adaptogen) Several other studies have similarly found ashwagandha to reduce stress.24A 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.25A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera.26Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974.
- Improved Mental Performance: Focus, Processing Speed, & Decision-Making
One notable double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study linked ashwagandha supplementation with significantly improved cognitive abilities.27Effect of standardized aqueous extract of Withania somnifera on tests of cognitive and psychomotor performance in healthy human participants. In particular, subjects demonstrated improved reaction time, recognition, item sorting, and more. Put simply, they demonstrated increased mental speed and dexterity.
Another study noted significant improvements in sustained focus, information-processing speed, and decision making in subjects taking ashwagandha.28Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions These benefits were noted after eight weeks of two 300-milligram doses of ashwagandha root extract daily. However, these effects likely occur earlier than eight weeks into supplementation, as no tests were performed during the eight-week trial.
- Improved Memory
One notable study found significantly improved memory capabilities in adults taking ashwagandha root extract.29Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions After eight weeks of taking 300 milligrams of ashwagandha twice daily, subjects demonstrated significant improvements in short-term and long-term memory.
Although further human research is needed, some animal-based studies have further supported the memory-improving findings of ashwagandha.30Protective Role of Ashwagandha Leaf Extract and Its Component Withanone on Scopolamine-Induced Changes in the Brain and Brain-Derived Cells31Scientific basis for the anti-dementia drugs of constituents from Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
- Boosted Brain Growth
One of the ways ashwagandha may improve cognitive function is by promoting neurological growth. Several human studies have shown that ashwagandha supplementation may promote axon and dendrite outgrowth.32Axon- or dendrite-predominant outgrowth induced by constituents from Ashwagandha33Dendrite extension by methanol extract of Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera) in SK-N-SH cells Furthermore, several animal studies have similarly demonstrated increased axon and dendrite growth as a result of ashwagandha supplementation.34Protective Role of Ashwagandha Leaf Extract and Its Component Withanone on Scopolamine-Induced Changes in the Brain and Brain-Derived Cells35Scientific basis for the anti-dementia drugs of constituents from Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Axons and dendrites are components of the neuron structure responsible for the transport of signals. When axons and dendrites are able to grow more quickly, neurological pathways are established at a greater rate. In simple terms, the brain is able to grow faster—not in size, but in internal communicative connections.
Research on the amino acid l-serine has found that it may support transmitting signals across neurons.36Glia-Derived d-Serine Controls NMDA Receptor Activity and Synaptic Memory As such, it may be considered as a complementary nootropic supplement to ashwagandha. Read our l-serine guide for more information.
Ashwagandha and Fertility
For men, ashwagandha has potential to help with fertility problems. Several studies have found found that supplementing this ancient Indian root can lead to increased sperm count and quality.37Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males.38Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility. One notable study found a significant increase in sperm quality in infertile men following three months of ashwagandha supplementation.39Efficacy of Withania somnifera on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males: a proton NMR study at 800 MHz.40Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study.
Ashwagandha Sleep Benefits
If you’re wanting to get some better sleep, ashwagandha may be able to help, though research is limited. A few notable studies have shown that ashwagandha does have some sedative effect.41A RANDOMIZED DOUBLE BLIND PLACEBO CONTROLLED STUDY OF ASHWAGANDHA ON GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER42A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study In those studies, the subjects showed significantly reduced restlessness and sleep disturbance, though there was no mention of the time it took to fall asleep.
As previously discussed, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. As these symptoms can inhibit proper sleep, ashwagandha may help some stress- and anxiety-prone people get higher-quality sleep.
Ashwagandha Benefits for Weight Loss
Several studies have shown that ashwagandha supplementation may help with weight loss.
One study found examined the effects of ashwagandha in stress-prone adults.43Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. While taking 300 milligrams of ashwagandha twice daily, subjects were assessed at four and eight weeks. At both four and eight weeks, the ashwagandha group demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in bodyweight compared to the control group.
It’s important to note that these weight loss effects have only been observed in stressed and/or overweight individuals. For example, a study of the effects of ashwagandha on healthy, non-overweight volunteers did result in a slight reduction in fat content, but not enough to be statistically significant.44Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers
Ashwagandha and Bodybuilding
Several studies have demonstrated effects of ashwagandha that can be beneficial for weightlifting and bodybuilding. Here’s a brief overview.
- Boosted Strength and Muscle Mass
A study performed on 57 male subjects with little weightlifting experience looked into the effects of ashwagandha supplementation.45Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Subjects underwent eight weeks of taking 300 milligrams of ashwagandha twice daily in conjunction with a weightlifting program. At the end of the trial, subjects taking ashwagandha demonstrated significantly increased bench press and leg extension strength compared to the control group. They also demonstrated significantly increased muscle mass measured in the arms and chest.
Another study examined the effects of ashwagandha on recreationally active men.46Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Withania somnifera on Strength Training Adaptations and Recovery: The STAR Trial. After twelve weeks of taking a liquid ashwagandha extract in conjunction with a resistance training program, subjects demonstrated several significantly increased measures over the control group. One-rep-max squat and bench press weight were both significantly greater. They also demonstrated a more favorable muscle-to-fat body composition ratio.
Research has also shown that ashwagandha can improve not only strength, but also power (force exerted over time).47Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. The quicker weight is moved, the more power is required, though the amount of weight moved does not change. The cited study found that after eight weeks of taking 500 milligrams of ashwagandha daily, healthy subjects demonstrated significantly increased lower body velocity and power compared to a control group. Simply put, their jogging and sprinting capabilities were increased.
- Increased Testosterone Levels
Several over the above-cited studies on strength and muscle mas have also linked ashwagandha supplementation with significantly increased levels of testosterone.48Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial.49Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Withania somnifera on Strength Training Adaptations and Recovery: The STAR Trial.50Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. These effects are most notable when combined with a resistance training program, such as weightlifting or sprinting.
And these effects aren’t limited to athletic men. For example, one notable study found that aging, overweight males possessed significantly higher levels of testosterone compared to a control group after taking an ashwagandha extract for eight to sixteen weeks.51A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males. This study did not involve any resistance training programs.
How to Take Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha Powder Dosage
The most common ashwagandha powder dosage is 250 to 600 milligrams per day. Although there is currently no official recommended dosage, most studies on this supplement have stayed within that 250 to 600 milligram daily range.
Note that even at this dosage, ashwagandha supplementation will likely not result in any immediately-noticeable effect. Most studies have noted benefits of ashwagandha after at least a few weeks of supplementation. The majority of the beneficial effects are long-term, and not acute results of the ashwagandha compounds entering the body.
Best Time of Day to Take Ashwagandha
There is currently no official recommendation as to the best time of the day to take ashwagandha.
Many people recommend taking ashwagandha at night due to its calming and stress-reducing effects. However, research has only noted these effects after prolonged periods of use, such as three or more weeks. Research has not found that ashwagandha has any acute, short-term effects, but rather prolonged, long-term effects.
All of this indicates that it doesn’t matter what time of day you take ashwagandha.
No studies have noted any significant withdrawal effects after discontinuing ashwagandha supplementation. Since this herb demonstrates anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and hormonal balance effects, those ceasing ashwagandha supplementation may experience some emotional distress.
As discussed above, ashwagandha has also been shown to improve cognitive performance, including memory, processing speed, focus, and more. Similarly, discontinuing ashwagandha supplementation may result in foggy-headed symptoms.
Ashwagandha vs. Rhodiola
Many people like to supplement ashwagandha alongside rhodiola, an ancient medicinal herb from arctic, mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. Here’s a quick rundown on the difference between ashwagandha and rhodiola, giving an overview of how they complement each other.
This information is summarized from this guide and our complete rhodiola guide.
|–||Immune system boost|
|Reduced stress||Reduced stress|
|Reduced anxiety||Reduced anxiety|
|Reduced depression||Reduced depression|
|Improved brain growth||Improved brain growth|
|Improved memory||Improved memory|
|Improved reaction time||Improved reaction time|
|–||Boosted fat loss|
|–||Lower bad cholesterol|
|–||Boosted muscle mass|
This rhodiola brand is the go-to for anyone wanting to try this fatigue-reducing herb.
Research has shown that supplementing ashwagandha can be a great strategy for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as improving hormonal balance and mental performance. It’s an excellent adaptogen and nootropic supplement that pairs well with rhodiola, which you can read about here.
This is top-notch adaptogenic supplement is one of the best ashwagandha brands for any goal.