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Ashwagandha is a plant—sometimes known as Indian ginseng—that is commonly used in ayurvedic medicine (a holistic, whole-body approach to healing). It’s considered an adaptogen, which is an herb that helps the body adapt to stress. When it comes to utilizing this herb for therapeutic purposes, the root and berry are used to create different forms, like powders, tinctures, capsules, and more. When ingested, the popular herb provides a variety of benefits, including stress relief, strengthening the immune system, memory retrieval, managing depression and anxiety, and improving the quality of sleep. Yes, yes, and more yes. No wonder people everywhere can't get enough of ashwagandha supplements, including Meghan Markle who apparently is a big fan herself.
You'll find USDA-certified organic ashwagandha, as well as whole herb options for maximum benefit. Sourcing makes a difference in how effective ashwagandha is, so you should consider how and where it was grown—while this information may not be listed on the label, you can do some quick research or reach out to the company for specifics.
Read on for the key features to look for when shopping for an ashwagandha supplement, according to celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder.
Meet the Expert
What to Look For in an Ashwagandha Supplement
When it comes to choosing an ashwagandha supplement, Snyder says that, first and foremost, you want to make sure it has the USDA organic stamp. Brands can pretty freely include the words “natural” and “organic” on product packaging, regardless of whether or not the formulas are fully organic, but the USDA stamp will ensure that the supplement is made from at least 95% organic ingredients.
Whole Herb Formulas
Snyder also recommends looking for supplements that contain the whole herb rather than herb extractions. This way, you can ensure you receive the maximum amount of benefits from the plant.
Properly Grown and Sourced
Where and how ashwagandha is grown will affect how efficacious it will be. “While ashwagandha can grow all around the world, traditionally black soil is considered the most ideal condition for this plant, which is where nature can concentrate its active compounds,” she says. “One such place is the Nagori region of central India, where the high altitude, black soil, and limited rain and fertilizer allow the plant to flourish to its fullest potential.”
In addition to being grown in black soil, Snyder stresses the importance of going with a brand that understands that harvesting time is to be respected. “The fruits of the ashwagandha plant should be mature but not dried out, which is when the active principles are the highest.”
Of course, not all of this information may be listed on a product label, so be sure to do your research or reach out to a brand directly before making a purchase.
Ready to give ashwagandha supplements a try? Scroll to discover some of our favorite stress-busters.
Best Overall: Sun Potion Ashwagandha (Wildcrafted)
Type: Powder | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 0.5 tsp daily | Certified: Natural
What we like about this powder is how versatile it is. Add half a teaspoon to almost anything—tea, coffee, your morning smoothie, and even raw chocolate. Because it’s an adaptogen, ashwagandha is known to help the body resist stress. This particular powder is especially potent as it’s harvested straight from the plant’s root.
Best Vegan: Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha Root Liquid Capsules
Type: Liquid-gel capsule | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 capsule, twice daily | Certified: B corporation, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
The laboratory at Gaia Herbs is totally legit—they pride themselves on keeping their products clean thanks to rigorous testing, complete ingredient transparency, and innovating with their potent Liquid Phyto-Caps technology. What makes this technology effective is that it supports the absorption and delivery of plant extracts into the body. So with this optimal delivery plus high-quality ashwagandha root, your mind and body are getting the best of both worlds.
Best for Sleep Support: Organic India Ashwagandha Herbal Supplement
Type: Capsules | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 2 capsules daily | Certified: B Corporation, organic, non-GMO, vegan
Sleep support is the all-star benefit when it comes to this supplement. Users report falling asleep faster, sleeping deeply, and also feeling well-rested upon waking. And we all know that better sleep means more energy the next day. Ashwagandha is organically grown and processed in the purest form, making this extremely potent and natural. It's suggested to take two capsules daily or as directed by your physician.
Best for Stress Support: Moon Juice SuperYou Daily Stress Management Supplement
Type: Capsules | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 2 capsules daily | Certified: Vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free
We’ve raved about this daily supplement for not only its ease of use (we’re talking a blend of adaptogens condensed into a small capsule) but for its effectiveness in reducing stress and bringing in a sense of calm. It can help reduce cortisol levels (translation: decrease physical stress in the body), which can totally come in handy during an especially stressful week at work or at home. Users love how quickly the product worked—some found it improved their mood and energy after only a few days.
Best Powder: Four Sigma Foods Four Sigmatic Adaptogen Blend
Type: Powder | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 tsp daily | Certified: Organic, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free
Look no further—you’ll find eight powerful adaptogenic herbs in this powder, no mixing or matching needed. Whether you need an energy pick-me-up or a bring-me-back-down calm, this blend has all you need to add some zen into your life. Stir into your favorite tea, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Best Energy Booster: HUM Nutrition Uber Energy Adaptogen Supplement
Type: Capsules | Age Range: Adults 18+ | Dosage: 2 capsules daily | Certified: Non-GMO, vegetarian, gluten-free
Users find that these capsules help tremendously with their fatigue, even working better than daily morning coffee for some. Three key ingredients, like amino acids, adaptogenic herbs (like ashwagandha and Rhodiola), and vitamin C all come together to not provide a great source of energy but also work alongside your body to better handle stress. It’s also worth noting that the capsules are gluten-free and also sustainably sourced—which is a total win in our book.
Best All Natural: Gem Daily Vitamin
Type: Bites | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 bite daily | Certified: Soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free
The cool thing about this vitamin is its form—a small, bite-sized cube made up of good-for-you ingredients, sans synthetic fillers or colorants. Basically, it’s real food in the palm of your hand. It consists of 13 plant-based ingredients and 15+ vitamins and minerals per bite, including the ashwagandha herb, chickpeas, mushroom, vitamin D, and iron. Like the other supplements in this story, this one can boost and balance your mood, help your body manage stress appropriately, and also soften your skin. What makes this one different is that instead of swallowing a pill, you can almost treat this as a little snack.
While all of the above will provide you with your daily dose of ashwagandha’s mood-boosting benefits, our top choice would have to be the Sun Potion Ashwagandha Powder (view at The Detox Market) for its versatility. It’s in powder form, so it can be added to practically any food or drink you wish to help your body resist stress. If swallowing a pill is more your thing, we recommend the Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha Root Liquid Capsules (view at Amazon). Due to the brand’s rigorous testing and transparency, you can trust that you’re ingesting only the cleanest ingredients. It also uses a special liquid technology that supports better absorption. If you’re looking for a daily supplement in snack form, we recommend the Gem Daily Vitamin (view at Gem), a tiny bite of real food sans fillers or colorants. It contains 13 plant-based ingredients and 15+ vitamins and minerals per bite—including ashwagandha, vitamin D, and iron—to help you balance your mood, manage stress, and soften your skin.
Can you take ashwagandha supplements with other supplements?
According to Snyder, you can take ashwagandha with other supplements. “To date, there are no major studies I’m aware of that show ashwagandha to have any interactions with other drugs or supplements,” she says. “However, if you’re concerned or on prescription drugs, you should always ask your doctor about taking any herbs.”
When should you take ashwagandha supplements?
You can take ashwagandha at different times of the day, depending on your health goals. “If you’re looking to consume ashwagandha for general health promotion, it’s recommended to take it on an empty stomach in the morning,” says Snyder. “If you’re looking to gain bulk and strength, it’s recommended to consume ashwagandha after meals.”
How often should you take ashwagandha supplements?
Snyder explains that in Ayurveda, ashwagandha is considered a “Rasayana herb,” which means it’s used for general rejuvenation. “Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, so it can be consumed regularly, even daily,” she says. “Of course, everyone’s body is different, so I recommend consulting with an Ayurvedic practitioner as well.”
Note that when using these products, or any type of supplement, it’s important to consult your doctor for proper dosing information, especially if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding or have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.