Best for: Fighting everyday stress and maintaining optimal energy levels
We’re starting in the middle ground between ashwagandha-only extracts and more complex formulations with Ancient Nutrition Organic Ashwagandha, which contains an “Organic Fermented Botanical Blend” of these ingredients:
Organic Fermented Ashwagandha Root
Organic Ashwagandha Root and Leaf Extract
Organic Fermented Black Pepper Fruit
The black pepper fruit—along with the fermentation—is to help the ashwagandha absorb more efficiently upon consumption.
Best for: Potent and well-rounded defense against stress, especially as related to work tasks.
We won’t call it a footnote, but ashwagandha certainly isn’t the only trusty herb adorning the ingredient list of Qualia Resilience, one of the best adaptogen blends we’ve reviewed.
Here are just a few of the adaptogens included in the formulation:
Ginger Root Extract
Eleuthero Root Extract
The ashwagandha—225 mg of it per serving—is set apart by its liposomal delivery system.
Liposomes are cell-like vesicles made from fats (lipids) that enhance a substance’s absorption into the body by ferrying it within the vesicle to places it otherwise could not reach.
Between the highly absorbable form of ashwagandha and the well-researched cast of supporting nootropics enhancing its benefits, we couldn’t help but throw Qualia Resilience in the mix for the best ashwagandha supplement out there.
Best Ashwagandha Gummies: Goli Ashwagandha Gummies
KSM-66 is the true gold standard of the ashwagandha supplement market, as this extract contains the highest and most readily absorbable concentration of ashwagandha while retaining the proportionality of the naturally occurring compounds within the herb.
If we can be honest, the other reason we like Goli ashwagandha is because—come on. Gummies are fun.
Speaking of, Goli’s gummies are sweetened and colored with the good stuff: organic tapioca syrup, organic cane sugar, natural flavors, and organic fruit and vegetable juice.
Best for: Anyone looking for an easy-to-use stress and immunity support supplement.
Having personally spoken with the VP of Global Sales and Marketing for our NOW Foods review, we know that NOW follows industry-leading standards of quality, R&D, testing, and more throughout their 1,400-strong catalog of health and wellness products.
Hence, we recommend this simple, but potent ashwagandha extract for anyone looking for a reliable and highly affordable way to use high-quality ashwagandha every day.
Each non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free capsule delivers an above-average 450 mg of ashwagandha, but if you’re accustomed to ashwagandha, you can take between 2-3 servings a day.
And here’s an important detail that many supplements miss: NOW Ashwagandha contains a minimum withanolide concentration of 2.5%.
Withanolides are the active ingredient in ashwagandha, and concentrations above 2% are more likely to impart discomfort- and stress-relieving benefits.
Best Combination Formula: Garden of Life Mykind Organics Adrenal Daily Balance
To get this done, Garden of Life uses an Organic Adrenal Blend—that’s where the ashwagandha is—in addition to a probiotic blend, a B complex blend, and several other micronutrients.
All of this is wrapped up in a USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified herbal supplement that stays away from artificial ingredients and/or harsh preservatives.
Clearly, this is a more nuanced case of ashwagandha use, but if you’re looking for a natural way to improve your mood and/or digestion while still targeting stress, this supplement does everything right on the formulation front.
Best Ashwagandha + Probiotic: Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Mood Probiotics
16 probiotic strains, 50 billion CFU
Fortified with multiple botanicals (bilberry, blueberry, etc.)
Ashwagandha concentration not known (proprietary blend)
“What’s with the probiotics, man? Isn’t this an ashwagandha article?”
Here’s the deal: the distance between the gut and the brain is much closer than you think.
As scientists are still uncovering, the gut-brain axis is a two-way highway between the central nervous system and the “gut microbiota,” or the billions of bacteria that live in your stomach.
The condition of the bacteria in your gut actually signals key changes in the brain, often relating to anxiety, depression, and other central nervous system disorders.
Long story short, by keeping your micro-colony of intestinal bacteria healthy and happy with probiotics, you can significantly impact your mental health, and Dr. Formulated Mood Probiotics is perfectly situated to do that with a hefty helping of probiotics and ashwagandha for added support.
First and foremost, if you have any questions or concerns, consult with your physician.
As for what to look for in a product, the above article and this guide to ashwagandha can help you narrow down your criteria.
What strength of ashwagandha is best?
Ashwagandha does not have an official recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Concentrations used in studies vary widely, from as low as around 200 mg to upwards of 1,500 mg a day.
If you’ve never used it before, starting towards the lower end of this spectrum and adjusting as appropriate will reduce the risk of adverse effects.
Do I take ashwagandha in the morning or night?
Ashwagandha generally does not create a heavily stimulating or sedating effect, meaning you can take it whenever it is most appropriate for your preferences and/or plans.
Some take it in the morning to manage stress at work, others take it at night to wind down peacefully.
How long do you have to take ashwagandha before it works?
Some research says within a week, some says 2-3 weeks, and some says as much as 10 weeks.
It also depends on what you’re measuring.
Some markers (cortisol levels, blood sugar, etc.) take longer to respond to herbal supplements than others.
We wish we could be less vague!
Who should not take ashwagandha?
Most sources recommend that people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, affected by a serious illness, or on any medication that can affect the immune system should avoid taking ashwagandha and/or consult a physician on the matter.
Ashwagandha is generally tolerable, but may interact with certain drugs, especially those that regulate immune functions.
Remember, not all ashwagandha is created equal. The form (e.g., KSM-66 ashwagandha), preparation, and delivery method can all influence results.
Though they seem unrelated, probiotics and ashwagandha are the perfect pairing, since the condition of gut flora has been shown to influence stress, anxiety, and more.
Food is for physical wellness, and pharmaceutical products are for mental health conditions—that’s where most of us land when it comes to nutrition psychiatry.
Nutrition is understandably not priority one in the chaotic moments immediately following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), but as soon as the patient is stable, nutrition therapy shares center stage with other key tenets of TBI rehabilitation.
Normally, we’re content to bounce around new and/or controversial theories on nutritional concepts all day, but every so often, we have the luxury of seeing in black and white.
This may seem like a fun-killing exercise at first, but we’re not interested in coddling or pandering to our readers, so let’s get the harsh reality out of the way: most of us haven’t earned the right to binge on vacation.