a picture of the Ashwagandha plant, used with modafinil

A Checklist for Buying the Best Ashwagandha.

As explained in our first article; and our most recent post Ashwagandha is excellent for getting you relaxed and promoting creative thinking. Ashwagandha is well documented for treating anxiety, stress, pain and fatigue. The combined effects of ashwagandha are a top choice!

Most who use Modafinil and Ashwagandha say how it relaxes them without reducing the effectiveness of the modafinil. Our staff are convinced enough of its effectiveness to be selling it soon.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR!

At the end of this article we summarise with the supplements that we would recommend for our most significant customer base US and UK, however, we do outline what to look for everyone else. Once we have developed a product that can surpass all the desirable characteristics, we will be launching our line of Ashwagandha. But for now, we will happily point you in the right direction!

A Checklist for Buying the Best Ashwagandha.

a picture of the Ashwagandha plant, used with modafinil
Ashwagandha Plant

Is It 3rd-Party Tested for Purity?

Every supplement should be 3rd party tested for purity and quality. Because unbalanced ratios of active ingredients and contaminants carry the risk of toxicity, 3rd party testing is critical!

Bottom line:
There is a notable conflict of interest for any company to do its testing on their product, this should be obvious to anyone. So, for this reason, I would put this as my first safeguard to check with any supplement that I was to take. When looking to buy any supplement, make sure it explicitly states there has been 3rd-party lab testing carried out.

Does It Have at Least 5% Withanolides?

Withanolides are natural steroids found within supplements like Ashwagandha. Collectively, withanolides drive the overall results of Ashwagandha, such as lowering anxiety and stress reduction.

However, the choice production process of Ashwagandha root has a dramatic impact on the final consistency and symmetry of these withanolides. Ideally, you want to be looking for 5% and above Withanolides (We will be looking to have above 10% for our product).

Is It GMO-Free?

Genetically modified goods are about as phoney as you can get. Since this method of farming is relatively late, we still don’t know the long-term side-effects of consuming GMO products.

There are plenty of reasons why evading GMO products is a smart move in which I won’t go into within this article. If you have watched documentaries such as Food Inc., then you will probably agree on this.

Does It Contain Fillers and Harmful Additives?

Fillers and Artificial additives are found in numerous supplements. Some are worse than others; but here are the worst five that you want to avoid at all costs:
1.) Artificial colours
2.) Hydrogenated oils
3.) Lead, mercury, and PCBs
4.) Talc or magnesium silicate
5.) Titanium dioxide

It is wise to look for these on the label and better still if you can rule them out from a 3rd part lab test as well!

Is It KSM–66 Ashwagandha?

This is an indication of superiority, but not the great indicator that many would have you believe.

Does it Possess Black Pepper Extract for Better Absorption?
Just taking the ingredient doesn’t always indicate your body is going to absorb and make use of it all. Black Pepper extract or piperine is where the point of bioavailability comes in, and can make the supplement a LOT more effective so make sure there is at least 10mg of piperine in each capsule!

What Is the Price Per Dose?

The price is important for obvious reasons; I haven’t put it as the most important thing to check for as it is relative and will ultimately have to be decided by you what is an acceptable price. Although once the other filters have been made, it will be a lot easier to determine what is a reasonable price.

One thing I do know is that price is not a reflection of quality. Bear in mind. However, anything under 500mg per dose is considered the lowest effective treatment. An optimal dose is 6000mg per day taken as three doses of 2000mg.

Divide the cost by the quantity of doses in the bottle. Find a cost that you’re content with, then look for the kind that has the best potency.

Is It Certified Organic?

Organic certification dictates a strict manner for documenting the whole process from seed to purchase. This level of regulation benefits you, as the consumer, because it presents an objective approach to assess the safety and quality of the product you’re purchasing.

To summarise:
Ashwagandha supplements that are Certified Organic are going to be better than ones which are not, but I would not put them above ones which superseded them in other areas.

Is It Vegan?

Although low on my list of priorities personally; however, if you follow the vegan diet or have to regulate the number of animal products that you consume, then you will want to look for the Vegan mark on the packaging.

Our Recommendations

For people in the UK I would recommend:

Organic Ashwagandha KSM-66 by LLS | High Strength 500mg On Amazon UK. As you will see it is as close to ticking all the boxes on the checklist as possible, it may seem a little pricey but when you compare it to others as the price per mg of withanolides it is offering exceptional value for money!

For people in the USA I would recommend:

KSM-66 by Fresh HealthCare On Amazon US. This is the one to go with if you are in the states! It is by far the best quality and ticks all of the boxes on our checklist!

Powder or Extract?null

What is the difference between root extract and root powder? and Is it important?

When picking a herbal supplement, you should be led by clinical studies confirming a benefit to using a particular type of plant extract — something you must to be clear about first; the name of the flower and its species and secondly, the part of the plant, e.g. the leaf, root, flower or bark.
The third thing to consider is whether the product was made of the whole plant; such as root powder, (which is roots dried and made into a powder); or merely essential compounds extracted from one section of the plant such as root “extract”, these are typically produced as a liquid or dried powder.

In most situations, you will be looking for an extract, in which event you will need to identify the percentage of the specific compounds to which the extract should be “standardised” because there are countless varieties and concentrations of extracts. Supplements made the whole plant, similar to root-powder, are typically not standardised like extracts.

Because of how effective we have found this to be we are looking to produce our own Ashwagandha very soon. We will not release it though unless we can make either the best product out there, however, for the moment, we have no problems pointing you in the right direction. We will recommend the best ones for the UK and USA which is where most of our customers are from, but for everyone else, we will outline what to look for when selecting a product. One thing is for sure, the cheapest is not always best, but neither is the most expensive.

Quality Concerns and the Things We Tested for:
In 2014, only a quarter of Ashwagandha supplements we reviewed were fit for purpose, indicating a significant predicament with the quality in this class. In the USA for example, not the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or any separate federal or state agency routinely examines Ashwagandha supplements for quality before selling.

To help buyers distinguish products of real quality, we bought and tested Ashwagandha supplements to conclude whether they contained the claimed and presumed amounts of withanolides and did not pass contamination limits for lead, arsenic and cadmium.
We also determined whether the label recommended dose provided at least 6 mg of withanolides.

What We Found:
Only four of the eight ashwagandha supplements we reviewed would have been worth taking. Among all the products, the number of withanolides per daily serving (which should be 6 mg or more) ranged from just 0.57 mg to 95.3 mg. All products made with root powder were checked for heavy metals and passed that testing and all tablets were able to disintegrate appropriately.

Like explained earlier we have listed the ones we feel are best for the UK and US market, but feel free to do your own research and providing you can tick most of the boxes within the checklist we made you won’t go far wrong!

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