The stressors of the past few years have prompted many people to search for remedies that relieve stress and anxiety. Those who prefer natural alternatives to over-the-counter or prescription medications have been touting the benefits of ashwagandha for its stress-reducing properties. 

Derived from an evergreen shrub grown in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in India to treat various conditions, including stress. When taken as directed, results may be notable. However, the herb comes with some concerns.

As with many other stress support supplements, the evidence of ashwagandha’s effectiveness for some conditions requires further study. There are also several precautions and potential side effects to consider before taking the supplement. Nonetheless, many users swear by Ashwagandha’s ability to ease anxiety and provide other health benefits when taken as directed. 

What is ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is an herb harvested from the plant’s roots, leaves and fruit. A longtime staple of traditional Indian medicine, it has been used recently in supplement form for numerous purposes, including calming the mind and relieving stress. Supplements are available in tablets, liquid, capsules, gummies and powder, and come in various strengths typically measured in milligrams. 

What are the benefits of taking ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha has adaptogenic properties that potentially protect against stressors that affect the mind and body. Although the National Library of Medicine notes that there is minimal evidence to support that it works as an adaptogenic, the organization also points to several conditions that ashwagandha might help to relieve, including: 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Mildly impaired memory
  • Inflammation 

Precautions to consider before taking ashwagandha

There are several precautions to follow before adding ashwagandha to your diet. It’s crucial to check with a doctor or other healthcare provider before taking it and follow the package instructions. Side effects may include digestive upset, diarrhea and skin irritations, especially if taken in large amounts. 

Ashwagandha may interact with medications for mood issues, high blood pressure, immune disorders and diabetes and should not be taken for at least two weeks before undergoing anesthesia. It can also worsen certain thyroid and digestive issues. 

Just like many other supplements and medications, ashwagandha should not be taken by anyone who is pregnant or nursing. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters year three, some people seek natural or homeopathic preventatives and treatments. However, the National Library of Medicine advises that evidence does not support ashwagandha use for the virus. 

Product list

Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Ashwagandha Tablets

Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Ashwagandha Tablets

These tablets are made of ashwagandha root extract and whole root powder for optimal results and are available at an affordable price point. 

Sold by iHerb

NOW Supplements Organic Ashwagandha Liquid Extract

NOW Supplements Organic Ashwagandha Liquid Extract

Because it’s in liquid form, this supplement is a good choice for consumers that have difficulties swallowing pills. It’s easy to mix with food or beverages too. 

Sold by Amazon

Himalaya Ashwagandha Caplets

Himalaya Ashwagandha Caplets

Himalaya’s ashwagandha caplets are made without ingredients that could aggravate allergies. They are formulated with ashwagandha that’s certified USDA organic and GMO-free. 

Sold by Amazon and iHerb

Organic India Ashwagandha Root Powder

Organic India Ashwagandha Root Powder

This organic ashwagandha supplement is in powdered form and is easy to mix with various drinks or food. It’s also suitable for consumers who follow a halal diet.

Sold by Amazon and iHerb

Life Extension Optimized Ashwagandha Extract Capsules

Life Extension Optimized Ashwagandha Extract Capsules

A clinically-studied supplement that combines ashwagandha leaf and root extracts for the best results. It comes in capsule form that’s easy to take. 

Sold by Amazon and iHerb

California Gold Nutrition Ashwagandha Veggie Capsules

California Gold Nutrition Ashwagandha Veggie Capsules

In addition to being made with quality ingredients and being suitable for vegetarians, this ashwagandha supplement comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee by the company. 

Sold by iHerb

Goli Nutrition Ashwagandha Mixed Berry Gummies

Goli Nutrition Ashwagandha Mixed Berry Gummies

Consumers who don’t like to take pills will appreciate the pleasant, fruity flavor of these ashwagandha gummies. They are vegan and non-GMO too.

Sold by iHerb

Nature’s Bounty Anxiety Stress Relief Ashwagandha Tablets

Nature’s Bounty Anxiety & Stress Relief Ashwagandha Tablets

Nature’s Bounty ashwagandha supplement contains L-Theanine for an extra calming effect. The laboratory-tested tablets are made without harsh additives or animal products. 

Sold by Amazon and iHerb

 

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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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