A Guide to the Best Vegan Ashwagandha Supplements + Use, Benefits, and Side Effects
Ashwagandha is a plant that has been utilized by the people of India for over millennia. It is a type of small evergreen shrub that is native to India, some parts of the Middle East, and Africa.
Both the root and berry of the Ashwagandha plant are used for medicinal purposes. Ashwagandha is most commonly used to help people relieve stress and anxiety. As stress and anxiety continue to become a 21st-century epidemic, the use of Ashwagandha has become very popular among other natural stress relievers.
In the article, I want to explore the world of Ashwagandha and the new age of Ashwagandha supplements now available in health stores. Do they work? What is the science behind Ashwagandha? And is it worth the money?
First, let’s take a look at the best Ashwagandha supplements on the market.
10 Best Vegan Ashwagandha Supplements on the Market
Below are the best Ashwagandha supplements currently available on the market.
Nuzena is a new supplement brand that is focused on quality and transparency. This product offers a powerful 1300mg of Ashwagandha per serving. It is a 100% natural and organic supplement made to a high quality in an FDA Registered Facility.
Organic Ashwagandha + by Nuzen has been specially designed for reducing stress, feelings of anxiety, and improving focus and memory. This product is currently only available on the Nuzena website.
NaturalLabs brings a potent 2100mg serving to the table. It has a unique high absorbability formula so that the benefits can be felt much quicker. This is probably the most potent Ashwagandha product on the market.
It is certified organic and uses no filler or other nasty ingredients like binders or stearate. It’s also third-party tested for quality and purity.
Essential Elements provide just under 2000mg of organic Ashwagandha per serving combined with 15mg of black pepper, which has been shown to improve absorbability.
This product is entirely organic, uses 100% natural ingredients, is preservative-free, and non-GMO. Currently, this product is only available on the Essential Elements website.
Organic India offers a more subtle but effective 800mg of organic Ashwagandha per serving. It is USDA-Organic Certified and LEED Platinum Certified, the top standard of excellence and commitment to the wellbeing of the community, the environment, employees, and farmer partners in India.
This high-quality pure organic Ashwagandha product is perfect for those who want the right dose to fight off stress and reduce feelings of anxiety.
Himalaya Ashwagandha offers something a little different. It uses a mix of root powder and root extract to deliver a superior Ashwagandha supplement. It is USDA-Organic, non-GMO, and provides 660mg of Ashwagandha overall.
Using a modern processing technique, Himalaya has created a unique Ashwagandha product with a higher dose of extract ingredients. So while the mg amount is lower, the content is more potent.
NutraHerbals is a simple but potent Ashwagandha supplement that is 100% natural and vegan-friendly. Each capsule delivers 600mg of Ashwagandha and is specially formulated to help reduce stress and feelings of anxiety.
It’s also got some great reviews with many people claiming it significantly helped improve their focus and memory.
Made in the USA, third-party tested, 100% vegan, and produced in a GMP-Certified facility. Ebysu Max Strength Ashwagandha is a potent supplement that delivers 1300mg per serving (two pills).
There are hundreds of reviews from customers claiming this is the best Ashwagandha supplement for those looking to relax and improve their focus. Many reviews also claim it helps them achieve a better night’s sleep and even fight off insomnia.
Now Foods is one of the best supplement brands for quality and price. They are a very reputable brand among the vegan community. Its Ashwagandha supplement is GMP Quality Assured, non-GMO, and very highly rated by customers.
Customers report that this product gave them a significant boost in energy, improved their cognitive function, and aided in better sleep if taken before bed. One capsule contains 450mg of Ashwagandha extract.
Sun Potion Ashwagandha is the perfect supplement if you’re looking to mix the powder with other drinks or foods. It comes in a powder form that is produced in the USA via GMP and FDA guidelines.
This is a high-quality product with great reviews claiming it has seriously helped individuals reduce their anxiety and even assist with various symptoms of depression.
Pure Encapsulations are a reputable and innovative brand that offers no-nonsense supplements. This Ashwagandha product provides a subtle 500mg per serving and is designed to reduce stress and enhance memory.
It doesn’t appear to have any organic certification, but it is 100% non-GMO and vegan-friendly. Customer reviews claim that they have realized significant benefits, including reduced feelings of anxiety and much better sleep.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is considered one of the most potent herbs that are used in traditional Ayurvedic healing. Those who use and medicate with Ashwagandha report significant improvement in stress levels, fatigue, anxiety, and focus.
It is also thought Ashwagandha is generally very good for health, helping individuals to stay energized, rejuvenating the body, and improving general wellbeing.
Ashwagandha has become very popular in recent years through word of mouth from those who have experienced the powerful benefits of this ancient herbal medicine.
Ancient Indians believed that Ashwagandhawas were capable of giving them mighty strength, endurance, and courage. In fact, they thought that Ashwagandha contained the essence of horses passing onto them the physical abilities of the animal.
Historically, Ashwagandha has been used for over 6,000 years to treat a host of ailments, including arthritis, anxiety, tumors, and respiratory issues.
Alternative medical professionals consider Ashwagandha as a nootropic or “smart drug.” Modern medicine is much more interested in Ashwagandha to treat issues like stress and improve memory and brain cognition.
How does Ashwagandha work?
Ashwagandha is a powerful herb that has a significant effect on our body, more specifically an effect that promotes the removal of excess cortisol, which has a knock-on effect with multiple benefits.
Ashwagandha reduces excess cortisol and balances cortisol levels. This helps to promote feelings of relaxation and reduces stress. Ashwagandha also boosts the neurotransmitter GABA and soothes the central nervous system.
Ashwagandha sharpens cognitive function by stimulating the regeneration of nerve connections. This helps to clear your mind and keep you focused.
Because Ashwagandha reduces excess cortisol levels, this helps enhance testosterone levels, which helps with muscle strength, muscle size, and can even aid in losing weight.
For Blood Sugar Regulation
Ashwagandha promotes insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. This helps to reduce blood sugar levels effectively. Because Ashwagandha is effective at reducing excess cortisol levels, this also helps to lower glucose levels.
6 Evidence-Based Benefits of Ashwagandha Supplements
Ashwagandha is often touted as being useful for anything from reducing stress to helping prevent various cancers. Below are the benefits that have some scientific weight to them.
Reduces Cortisol Levels
As we continue to research Ashwagandha, it’s becoming clear that it is an effective way to reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone released when you are feeling stressed and when your blood sugar levels drop.
Those with high cortisol levels are susceptible to high blood sugar levels and increased fat stored on their belly.
Several studies have found that Ashwagandha is useful for reducing cortisol levels. Further studies have shown that those suffering from chronic stress effectively reduce cortisol levels as much as 30%.
Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Several human studies have shown that Ashwagandha can reduce blood sugar levels in healthy people and those with diabetes. A further study with participants with schizophrenia found they also benefited from reduced blood sugar levels when supplemented with Ashwagandha.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Thanks to Ashwagandha’s ability to reduce cortisol and blood sugar levels, it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
There have been several controlled human studies where they found Ashwagandha useful for reducing stress and anxiety. In one study, those who supplemented with Ashwagandha reported a 69% decrease in anxiety and insomnia.
May Help Those With Depression
The benefits listed above are thought to be able to help those with depression. Reducing blood sugar levels, cortisol, stress, and anxiety are all integral to treating those with depression.
While more research is still needed, some studies have shown that Ashwagandha can help those suffering from depression.
Boosts Testosterone in Men
Good news for the guys reading this, Ashwagandha can help boost testosterone and reproductive health in general. Several studies have concluded to support this theory.
Other studies have also shown that Ashwagandha can increase sperm count and health after three months of supplementation.
Increased Muscle Mass and Strength
Some research has shown that supplementing Ashwagandha can increase strength and improve overall body composition.
There have been multiple studies that found men supplementing Ashwangandha benefited from increased muscle strength and muscle size. One study found that men also decreased body fat by double compared to those taking a placebo.
How Much Ashwagandha Should You Take?
When it comes to research on Ashwagandha, low doses have been used around 500-1000mg per day. However, others report anything up to 5000mg a day is safe and beneficial.
It’s thought that with Ashwagandha, the bigger you are, the bigger the dose you will require. The dosage also depends on your reason for using it and the benefits you wish to realize:
- Reducing stress and anxiety: 500-600mg per day for 6-12 weeks.
- Lower blood sugar levels: 250mg to 3g per day for 30 days.
- Boost testosterone (for men only): 5g per day for three months.
- Increase muscle strength: 600mg per day for two months.
- Boost focus and memory: 300mg per day for two months.
When Should You Take Ashwagandha?
The time of day you take Ashwagandha is incredibly essential as its primary effect is on your cortisol levels, which are most active in the morning when waking up and at night before you go to sleep.
In the Morning
Taking Ashwagandha in the morning as soon as you wake up is optimal as your body can process the herb more efficiently. Taking Ashwagandha in the morning is useful as it boosts energy levels and can improve your start to the day.
Those who supplement with Ashwagandha in the morning report increased energy levels, improved focus, and better quality days.
Taking Ashwagandha at night can also be hugely beneficial. In fact, it’s often recommended to people who struggle with sleep or have developed insomnia. It’s especially useful for light sleepers struggling to get a good night’s sleep because small sounds wake them up throughout the night.
Ashwagandha is useful at night because it effectively reduces cortisol levels. This makes it easier to sleep at night.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha Supplement
There aren’t any known severe side effects when supplementing Ashwagandha. This is based on user experience, but not much research has ever looked at Ashwagandha’s side effects.
It’s thought that large doses of Ashwagandha can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. The following groups of people should seek medical advice before supplementing Ashwagandha:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
- Those with high or low blood pressure.
- People with stomach ulcers, autoimmune diseases, and thyroid disorders.
Ashwagandha may result in a more active immune system. This may be potentially dangerous for those with autoimmune diseases.
If you wish to start supplementing Ashwagandha, it’s best to first seek advice from your doctor or medical professional.
If you’re looking for a natural solution to stress and anxiety or want to improve focus and memory, Ashwagandha could be an excellent choice. Millions of people benefit from regular supplementation of Ashwagandha, and it is one of the safest supplements on the market.
Always buy quality, always buy organic where possible, and do your research before taking any supplement. It’s always advisable to speak to your doctor or a medical professional before taking any supplements.