Which is the Better, Ashwagandha Powder or Capsule?

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In Brief: Which is the Better, Ashwagandha Powder or Capsule?

The clinical studies indicating the superiority of one form of consuming ashwagandha over another cannot be found. Ashwagandha in powder form has been studied widely for its effectiveness. However, it has a unique, pungent smell that is not preferred by many users. So, it is best to consult a medical professional to determine which form is best for an individual.

Aswagandha enhances the function of the brain, the body’s resilience to stress, and improves the cell-mediated immunity. There are different ways to consume ashwagandha, including pills, powder, creams, oils, tinctures, and tonics.

Ashwagandha powder has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. Ashwagandha capsules are now marketed and are gaining wide popularity.

The clinical studies supporting the effectiveness of powder over a capsule or vice versa is not found.

Ashwagandha powder can be customized to make different products. It could be mixed with water, ghee, or honey and is still used in herbal medicine. A review paper reported that maximum benefit was observed when ashwagandha was used in the powder form.[1]

Ashwagandha powder was able to reduce blood sugar levels. A study showed that six mild hypercholesterolemic subjects were treated with ashwagandha root powder. They showed a significant decrease in serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and VLDL.[2]

Preliminary studies suggest that ashwagandha powder may reduce inflammation and thereby may help in treating rheumatoid arthritis. In a study, patients with RA who took 5g of ashwagandha powder twice a day for three weeks with lukewarm water or milk showed a significant decrease in the rheumatoid arthritis factor.[3]

Ashwagandha herbal powder increased sperm count and motility in infertile men by reducing the oxidative stress. The study also reported that ashwagandha powder might increase serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels.[4]

Another study showed that ashwagandha root powder at a rate of 5g/day for three months decreased stress, improved the level of antioxidants, and semen quality in infertile men. The ashwagandha powder treatment resulted in pregnancy in 14% of the patients.[5]

Ashwagandha powder, in Sanskrit, means ‘smell of the horse.’   It has a strong taste and smell. Therefore, some individuals may prefer ashwagandha tablets over powder. Also, a capsule is a convenient way to consume compared to the powder. Most studies used ashwagandha tablets in the average dose range of 300-500mg daily.[6]

In a study, the supplementation of 300mg ashwagandha capsule twice a day for 60 days showed improvement in the individual’s resistance to stress and thereby improved their quality of life.[7]

In a randomized controlled trial, ashwagandha capsule (KSM-66) containing 300mg of root extract improved sleep quality and sleep onset latency in patients with insomnia.[8]

Although ashwagandha powder is widely researched, studies show that both powder and capsule form is effective in combating stress, inflammation, insomnia, and infertility.

Therefore, it is advisable to consult a healthcare practitioner to know which kind works best for the individual.