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KSM66: The Best Ashwagandha?

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Last modified on November 24th, 2022

KSM66 ashwagandha, also written as KSM-66 ashwagandha, is a specific type of this incredibly popular herbal supplement. KSM66 ashwagandha is often marketed as being the most effective ashwagandha. It’s a branded, full-spectrum extract. The extract comes only from the major roots, and a proprietary extraction process is used to make it. There is no alcohol or chemical solvent used in the production of KSM66. Since the only root is used in the product with no leaves, the makers claim it’s the highest concentration available.

What is Ashwagandha?

Before going into more specifics about KSM66 (KSM-66 ashwagandha), what is general? Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, is an evergreen shrub. The shrub is grown in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and India. Withania somnifera is also known as ashwagandha supplements.

The herbal remedy has a long history of use in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurveda, ashwagandha reduces inflammation, pain and anxiety, increases energy, and boosts overall health. Ayurveda is the traditional medicine system found in India. Ayurveda is a healing form of medicine that balances the mind, body, spirit, and environment.

When you’re experiencing stress, the cortisol levels in your body rise, your heart might pump faster in response, your breathing speeds up, and your body generates glucose, giving you a burst of energy to deal with the stress. Your body and mind are in fight or flight mode. After a stressful event passes, most people’s cortisol levels normalize, and the symptoms get better. Unfortunately, your response is also chronic if you’re experiencing ongoing stress.

Long-term, chronic stress leads to inflammation, raises the risk of developing chronic conditions like obesity, and impacts mental health. Ashwagandha can help lower cortisol levels and reduce your stress response. This is one of the main reasons people take ashwagandha, but there are others.

Benefits of ashwagandha include:

  • Improves athletic performance
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Reduces depression symptoms
  • Boosts testosterone and fertility in men
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Lowers inflammatory markers
  • May help brain function, including memory
  • Boosts mood
  • Better sleep quality

Ashwagandha is also considered a safe herbal supplement for most people, with minimal side effects. Of course, you should speak to your healthcare provider because while it’s safe for most people, ashwagandha might not be safe for everyone.

What is KSM66 Ashwagandha?

Features of KSM66 ashwagandha that make it unique include:

  • KSM66 is branded full-spectrum extract
  • The highest concentrations of major root-only extracts are available
  • Made without alcohol or any chemical solvent
  • The proprietary extraction process is based on Green Chemistry principles
  • No leaves are used—based on research, the root is the most powerful part of the plant for health benefits. The root of the plant has more scientific evidence to back up its benefits

KSM66 is full spectrum, meaning that it has a balance of constituents of the original herb, without over-representation of any one constituent. The effectiveness of ashwagandha for mental and physical health is thought to come from its complex blend of active constituents.

All of these need to be present in natural proportions for the full effects to occur, but it’s hard to produce a high-concentration full-spectrum extract. Only the Ixoreal company has been able to create a process to overcome the challenges other ashwagandha manufacturers face.

The Green Chemistry processing approach used to make KSM-66 allows for a holistic extraction of all the root essence and can still maintain its natural healing strength.

What is the Difference Between KSM66 and Ashwagandha?

Key differences between KSM-66 and ashwagandha include:

  • Most ashwagandha extracts range from 1.5-3% active compounds. KSM-66 has concentrations of around 5%.
  • KSM-66 is the highest concentration of full-spectrum root extract.
  • Since KSM-66 is full-spectrum, it doesn’t lose the balance of natural constituents occurring when making other types of ashwagandha.
  • Many types of ashwagandha are made with chemical solvents or alcohol as part of the extraction process, but KSM-66 is made with milk. This is true to Ayurvedic tradition and neutralizes bitterness that can come with regular ashwagandha.
  • More studies are backing up the particular benefits of KSM-66 than other types of ashwagandha. For example, studies suggest it may help reduce stress and anxiety, improve thyroid regulation and have anti-cancer properties. Research indicates it could also increase cognitive abilities and memory.

KSM66 Ashwagandha Benefits

The benefits of KSM-66 ashwagandha can include:

  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Lowers cortisol
  • Combats food cravings
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Boosts memory
  • Helps with endurance and strength
  • Maca root
  • May raise testosterone levels in men

Is KSM-66 Ashwagandha Better?

Overall, when comparing types of ashwagandha, there is evidence that KSM-66 is better than other types. Reasons KSM-66 ashwagandha is better include:

  • No leaf components: This particular type of ashwagandha is made only with roots, and no leaves are added for maximum clinical effectiveness. Most human studies are only done on ashwagandha made with the root, not leaf extracts.
  • Negligible levels of withaferin A: Not all withanolides, the medicinal compounds in ashwagandha, are beneficial for human consumption. Withaferin A is potentially cytotoxic, and KSM-66 leaves this withanolide out of the formulation. Some ashwagandha products will have high levels of Withaferin A because leaves from the ashwagandha plants are used. This isn’t an optimal formulation for human health.
  • Optimal withanolide content: When someone chooses an ashwagandha extract, the content of withanolide needs to be too high or too low. When the percentage of withanolides is more than 25%, it can make the extract more like a pharmaceutical drug. If the percentage is too low, which would be less than 2.5%, you need a higher dose for benefits. The unique extraction process of KSM-66 allows for the optimum percentage of withanolides. The bioactive of the plant are retained for efficacy.
  • Full-spectrum: Plant-based supplements are complex, with many constituents. Modern research doesn’t always identify which of these constituents is most beneficial for human health. Many herbalists and scientists think there isn’t one constituent in ashwagandha that makes it so beneficial. Instead, they think it’s the synergistic combination of many. That’s why it’s so critical to use a full-spectrum extract. KSM-66 is a full-spectrum extract, so all the constituents are included in a balanced way.

Is KSM-Ashwagandha Safe?

KSM-66 ashwagandha and most other ashwagandha extracts are considered exceptionally safe. They aren’t FDA-regulated products, though, since they are supplements, which means you have to research brands and quality. Ashwagandha is considered safe when taken orally, but large doses could lead to some side effects. Taking ashwagandha when pregnant is considered unsafe because it can raise the risk of miscarriage.

Ashwagandha can also be unsafe for people with thyroid health, and people with certain autoimmune diseases might want to talk to their doctor before taking KSM66 or any other ashwagandha extract.

Medications that could interact with KSM-66 ashwagandha include:

  • Immunosuppressants
  • Sedatives like benzodiazepines
  • Thyroid hormone pills
  • Diabetes medications
  • High blood pressure medicines

Ashwagandha KSM-66 Side Effects

Ashwagandha KSM-66 side effects are rare and typically only occur in people who take very large doses. Large doses can lead to:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset
  • Excessive immune system activity
  • May slow down the central nervous system
  • Could increase thyroid hormone levels

What’s the Best KSM-66 Ashwagandha?

The following are our choices for the best KSM-66 ashwagandha products:

  • Nootropics Depot KSM-66: This product is good for giving a lift in mood and energy while also promoting a general sense of calm. It lowers cortisol over time and can help with clarity and alertness, despite its calming effect.
  • Goli Ashwagandha Gummies: These gummies have been trending on TikTok, and they do contain KSM-66 as well as vitamin D. The flavor is good, and this option is relatively inexpensive.
  • DailyNutra KSM-66: We like this ashwagandha because it is high potency. The DailyNutra product has 600 mg of organic root extract with 5% withanolides. You can buy bottles with 60 or 90 capsules.

Final Thoughts

KSM-66 is a branded ashwagandha made in a proprietary way that gives it many benefits over other extracts. KSM66 is worth trying whether or not you have experience with other ashwagandha extracts.


KSM-66 Ashwagandha. “What is KSM-66.” Accessed September 5, 2022.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Ashwagandha: Purported Benefits, Side Effects & More.” March 8, 2022. Accessed September 5, 2022.

Lopresti, Adrian L. Ph.D., et al. “An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Medicine, September 2019. Accessed September 5, 2022.

Singh, Narendra, et al. “An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda.” African Journal of Traditional, Complimentary and Alternative Medicines, July 2011. Accessed September 5, 2022.

Fish, Tom. “Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men: 6 Reasons to Try the Adaptogen.” Newsweek, April 1, 2022. Accessed September 5, 2022.

Gans, Keri MS, RDN, CDN. “5 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha.” US News & World Report, April 25, 2022. Accessed September 5, 2022.

Chandrasekhar, K. et al. “A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Results.” Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, September 2012. Accessed September 5, 2022.

NIH National Library of Medicine. “Ashwagandha.” May 2, 2019. Accessed September 5, 2022.

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