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Health & Nutrition
Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD

Your Guide To Ashwagandha Root Powder Vs. Extract: Benefits, Differences, Pros & Cons


Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a renowned adaptogenic herb that has been used in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda for thousands of years. The herb comes in many forms, with root powder and extract being the most common. While both forms offer similar health benefits, like stress relief and improved sleep, focus, and vitality, they differ in concentration, dosage, and usage. 




What is Ashwagandha?



Ashwagandha, also known by the Latin name Withania Somnifera or Winter Cherry, is an evergreen shrub within the nightshade family and is native to India, Africa, and the Middle East.

The Ashwagandha plant has been used in Ayurveda, a traditional Indian medicine paradigm, for thousands of years to offer a natural solution for chronic stress and anxiety, low mood, fatigue, fertility issues, and overall vitality. Its primary bioactive components are withanolides, particularly withaferin A and withanolide D.

The part of the plant that is usually used for internal consumption is the root, while Ashwagandha leaf extract or powder may be applied topically in the form of a cream or balm to aid with skin conditions. 



What is Ashwagandha Root Powder?


Ashwagandha root powder is made from the dried whole roots of the Ashwagandha plant, which are ground into a fine consistency. It maintains all of the constituents of the root in their natural ratios, but it's less concentrated than an extract. The powder can be mixed into food or beverages, encapsulated, or used in the preparation of herbal teas and tonics. 



What is Ashwagandha Root Extract?


Ashwagandha root extract is a concentrated form of Ashwagandha produced by processing the raw root. The result is greater potency and efficacy in smaller doses due to a higher concentration of withanolides (the bioactive compounds in Ashwagandha which provide health benefits), which are usually standardized to a certain percentage. Ashwagandha extract is usually found in the form of capsules, tablets, or gummies. 



What Are The Benefits Of Ashwagandha?


Ashwagandha offers health benefits such as:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Enhances physical performance
  • Improves sleep quality and duration
  • Increases thyroid hormones 
  • Boosts vitality and libido
  • Supports fertility in men

Scientific research has backed these benefits in multiple studies, which show the effects of Ashwagandha can lower cortisol levels, improve brain function, enhance muscle health and growth, and even boost testosterone levels. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Learn more about the health benefits of Ashwagandha here.




What Are The Differences Between Ashwagandha Root Powder and Ashwagandha Root Extract?


The primary differences between Ashwagandha root powder and root extract lie in their concentration, dosage, and usage. While Ashwagandha root powder provides a more "whole-plant" experience, Ashwagandha root extract delivers a more concentrated dose of the active ingredients. Your choice between the two depends on your individual health needs and how your body responds to each form. 



1. Concentration and Potency Differences Between Ashwagandha Root Powder Vs. Root Extract


Ashwagandha root powder contains a lower concentration of withanolides compared to the root extract, as the powder is a more direct representation of the raw plant. On the other hand, the root extract is more concentrated, providing a higher dose of active compounds in a smaller quantity.



2. Dosage Differences Between Ashwagandha Root Powder Vs. Root Extract


Due to the higher concentration of active compounds in the root extract, the recommended dosage is typically lower than that of the root powder. For instance, the usual dosage of Ashwagandha root extract might range from 500-1900 mg per day, while the recommended dosage for the root powder might be anywhere between 3-6 grams per day.



3. Usage Differences Between Ashwagandha Root Powder Vs. Root Extract


Ashwagandha root powder is versatile and can be incorporated into a variety of foods and beverages, such as smoothies or teas. However, the taste and smell can be too strong for some people. 

The root extract, on the other hand, is typically found in capsule, tablet, or gummy form and is usually taken as a dietary supplement.




Overall Pros and Cons When Comparing Ashwagandha Root Powder Vs. Root Extract


Ashwagandha root powder and root extract both offer valuable health benefits, but each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

The root powder, while less potent, offers flexibility in how it can be consumed and is often less expensive. However, it may have a strong taste that some people find unpleasant.

The root extract is more potent, offering greater health benefits, and is easier to consume, especially for those who dislike the taste of the powder. However, it may be more expensive.

While adverse effects are unlikely when consuming Ashwagandha, both types of Ashwagandha may cause mild digestive side effects at high doses, such as indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea.



Why is Ashwagandha Root Extract Superior To Ashwagandha Root Powder?


There are several reasons why Ashwagandha root extract is considered superior to the root powder:

  • Potency: Due to its concentrated nature, the root extract provides a higher dose of active compounds like withanolides in a smaller quantity, potentially offering more potent effects for stress relief, anxiety, sleep, hormonal health, and more.

  • Dosage: The extract requires a smaller dosage, which may be more convenient for some users.

  • Taste: The extract, often in capsule or tablet form, bypasses the strong taste and smell that can be associated with the root powder.




How To Use Ashwagandha Root Powder and Ashwagandha Root Extract



Ashwagandha Root Powder: The recommended dosage for Ashwagandha powder ranges from 3-6 grams per day, usually mixed into food or drinks. It can be taken at any time of day, with or without food.

Ashwagandha Root Extract: The recommended dosage ranges from 500-1900 mg per day, often split into two doses. It is typically found in capsule or tablet form and can be taken with or without food at any time of the day.

As always, it is crucial to speak with a healthcare provider before starting an Ashwagandha supplement regimen, particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking other medications, or have pre-existing health conditions. 




NutriRise Ashwagandha: The Superior Choice



NutriRise is a health and wellness brand providing dietary supplements to support the health of your mind, body, and spirit, including our top-selling Organic Ashwagandha, used by over 1 million happy customers.

Co-founders Basim & Ramsha Mirza started NutriRise in 2016, fuelled by the desire to transform their own health through the power of nutrition and ancient wisdom. NutriRise is now backed by a world-class team of researchers, chemists, biologists, doctors, and nutritionists. Every supplement we provide is produced in the USA in a CGMP-certified facility for unparalleled safety, purity, and quality.

At NutriRise, we ensure the quality and effectiveness of our Organic Ashwagandha Capsules and Ashwagandha Gummies by rigorous third-party testing. This stringent protocol helps us guarantee that the full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha we offer is of the highest standard. 

We also ensure you're getting the most potent and effective form of Ashwagandha by only using the root extract of the ashwagandha plant. This delivers the perfect, safe amount of bioactive withanolides for optimal thyroid support, stress relief, sleep and mood, hormonal balance, and overall vitality, making it the superior choice. 

Finally, we go beyond just creating and selling products; at NutriRise, we care deeply about the customer experience too. Through our efficient delivery system, we ensure your Ashwagandha reaches you in perfect condition. By choosing NutriRise, you can trust in the quality and potency of each product, from our meticulous production processes to its arrival at your doorstep. 




Key Points


  • Ashwagandha root powder and extract both come from the same plant, Withania Somnifera, and offer health benefits like stress relief, improved sleep, focus, and vitality.

  • Ashwagandha root powder is created by drying and grinding the whole roots, maintaining their natural components, but it's less concentrated than an extract.

  • Ashwagandha root extract is a concentrated form, offering higher potency and efficacy in smaller doses due to a greater concentration of the bioactive compounds withanolides.

  • Differences between Ashwagandha root extract and powder include concentration and potency, dosage, and usage.

  • The powder is less concentrated but versatile, can be mixed into food or beverages, and is usually cheaper. However, its taste might be unpleasant to some.

  • The extract is more potent and can be easier to consume, especially for those who dislike the taste of the powder. It may be more expensive and not as readily available.

  • Ashwagandha root extract is often considered superior due to its potency, smaller required dosage, and bypass of the strong taste associated with the powder.

  • Both forms should be taken with the advice of a healthcare provider, particularly for those pregnant, breastfeeding, taking other medications, or with pre-existing health conditions.


Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before partaking in the use of Ashwagandha. 



Do you want to learn more about using Ashwagandha with other supplements or herbs? Read more here:


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Ashwagandha & L-Theanine: The Perfect Combo For Stress Relief And A Good Night’s Sleep
Unlock The Power Of Ashwagandha And Coffee: Increase Energy, Reduce Stress & Enhance Health!
The Powerful Benefits Of Magnesium & Ashwagandha: How To Take Them Together For Maximum Effect


Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD
As a qualified Nutritional Therapist (BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD), Zaheera Swing has a deep passion for restoring balance and harmony to the body through the modalities of nutritional science, herbalism, and holistic lifestyle practices. Using the functional medicine model coupled with wisdom from ancient paradigms, she aims to provide insight into the underlying root causes of poor health and the holistic tools we can harness to enhance the well-being of mind, body, and spirit.
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