The popularity of ashwagandha has skyrocketed along with other natural remedies with the potential to ease stress caused by the pandemic and recent developments in the world. Although this herb has not been used in the Western world for a relatively short time, it has played an important role in traditional Indian medicine for several thousand years. Let’s take a look at its health benefits, market developments and why including it in your product portfolio if you have your own supplement private label might be a good idea.
What is ashwagandha
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and Africa. In Sanskrit, the name means “smell of the horse”, which refers to the scent of the herb’s root and its potential ability to increase strength. It is also known as “Indian Winter cherry” or “Indian Ginseng”.
Its root and berries have a long history of use in Ayurveda to increase energy, improve health and reduce inflammation, pain and anxiety. Ayurveda is a traditional medicine system in India that developed roughly 3,000 years ago.
The biologically active constituents of the plant include alkaloids (isopelletierine, anaferine, anahygrine), steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins), and saponins.
What are the benefits of ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is available in the form of capsules and powder. Often, it is one of the ingredients in dietary supplements used to treat stress. There are also other areas where this herb can potentially help. However, further studies are needed to prove all claimed benefits of ashwagandha, especially over the long term.
1. Stress relief
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, a natural substance that improves the responses to stress and helps the body adapt to it. A 2019 study with 60 participants found that a daily dose of 240 mg of ashwagandha significantly reduced participants’ stress levels in comparison with the placebo. The intake included reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Another study from the same year also confirmed that ashwagandha supplementation was associated with a significant reduction of stress levels and improvement in the overall quality of life.
2. Enhancement of brain function
Ashwagandha may help improve cognition and memory. A systematic review of studies focusing on the relation between ashwagandha and the management of cognitive dysfunction found that there is some clinical evidence supporting the cognitive benefits of this herb.
A 2017 study conducted in 50 adults revealed that ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ both immediate and general memory across a variety of tests.
3. Improvement of male fertility and testosterone levels
In Indian folk medicine, ashwagandha is considered a natural sexual enhancer. Research in this area has promising results too.
According to a 2013 study, ashwagandha treatment has been shown to improve sperm quality of infertile men significantly by rebalancing reproductive hormone levels.
A review of four studies discovered that ashwagandha treatment led to a significant increase in sperm concentration, semen volume, and sperm motility in men with low sperm count. However, the authors noted that more high-quality studies are needed to confirm the potential benefits of ashwagandha for male fertility.
4. Physical performance boost
Research shows that ashwagandha may positively affect heart health and performance. One analysis of 12 studies in healthy men and women who took ashwagandha suggests it may enhance physical performance, including strength and oxygen use during exercise.
Another analysis of studies found that taking the herb significantly enhanced maximum oxygen consumption, i.e. VO2 max, in healthy adults and athletes. VO2 max means the maximum amount of oxygen a body can use during exercise.
5. Promotion of sleep
Many people take ashwagandha to improve their sleep, and some evidence suggests it may be helpful.
According to the 2019 study we already mentioned in relation to stress relief, ashwagandha had a positive impact on participants’ sleep quality. Participants who received a dose of ashwagandha of 600 mg showed a statistically significant improvement in sleep quality.
The Ashwagandha market in Europe is projected to grow with a CAGR of 11.3% in the period between 2022 and 2029, according to Data Bridge Market Research. Predictions indicate that its value will reach USD 21.4 million by 2029. The two main market drivers are busier lifestyle and increasing demand in the pharmaceutical sector. In terms of form, ashwagandha powder dominated the market in 2022.
The data by Allied Market Research shows that the global market had a value of $864.3 million in 2021. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% from 2022 to 2031.
The powder form dominated the global market in 2021 and is estimated to reach $841.4 million by 2031, at a CAGR of 12.6%. The food and beverage as well as pharmaceutical industries and sports nutrition have seen an increase in the usage of ashwagandha powder, which is linked to the fact that it has a long shelf life and is naturally extremely soluble.
Dietary supplements were the highest contributor to the market, and the segment is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% during the forecast period. The increase in consumer awareness regarding health and well-being is expected to be a key factor contributing to market growth.
Why to sell Ashwagandha
According to Euromonitor, stress and anxiety have globally been the second most important health concern for consumers in 2021, followed by sleeping problems. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people focused more on their mental well-being as well as coping with stress and anxiety, which led to increased interest in food and beverage products that help to manage mood, relieve stress and promote sleep.
Interestingly, the number 1 long-term health concern was memory issues, which is linked to the ageing of the population. According to predictions, the population aged 65+ will reach 1.3 billion by 2040. The segment for products targeting senior consumers, therefore, offers huge potential.
As ashwagandha can possibly improve stress management as well as brain function, there is a potential for your brand on the market. If you are looking for a reliable supplier of ashwagandha products or simply would like to learn more about it, feel free to contact us. Our team will be happy to answer your questions.