When purchasing botanical ingredients, it’s critical to be aware of issues around sourcing, quality control, testing protocols and more. In many cases, this means using publicly available and reviewed monographs that have been developed by expert organizations.
AHP’s monograph, “Ashwagandha Root (Withania somnifera): Analytical, Quality Control and Therapeutic Monograph,” was originally published in 2000. The 28-page monograph includes full nomenclature and history; botanical, macroscopic and microscopic identification; commercial sources and cultivation; and analytical guidance and information on constituents. The section on therapeutic applications has a focus on studies related to ashwagandha’s adaptogenic effects, with additional insight into its antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and cardioactive effects. This monograph also includes a section focused on its traditional Ayurvedic indications and preparations. AHP (herbal-ahp.org) is seeking industry support to conduct an update of the monograph.
ABC’s herb profile, “Ashwagandha,” was published in HerbalGram in 2013 (99:1-7). The monograph has an extensive section on the history and cultural significance of ashwagandha; insight around the regulatory status and authorized uses in cosmetics, foods, medicines and supplements; and a focus on the research around ashwagandha’s health effects, including immune support, endurance and men’s health. It concludes with a section around future outlook, noting the challenges the herb has faced due to the EU’s regulatory framework but the potential it holds for growth around the world.