A company called Arjuna Natural Ltd. (Kerala, India) is launching a new, all-natural, “high-potency” ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract. According to the company, the Shoden ashwagandha extract is standardized to contain more than 35% glycowithanolides, which the firm said are the most active components in ashwagandha.
Shoden ashwagandha is extracted using Arjuna’s proprietary purification method that the firm describes as being “based on traditional Indian processes.” While all ashwagandha extracts contain alkaloids, the company said, some of those alkaloids are toxic. Arjuna said its purification technology enables it to target and remove the toxic alkaloids found in ashwagandha, leaving only the beneficial bioactive alkaloids present in the extract and resulting in a highly potent ashwagandha extract.
“Results following tests of Shoden in multiple trials at Arjuna’s R&D lab proved the ability of this gentle [purification] process to ensure a pure, safe-to-use ashwagandha,” said Benny Antony, PhD, joint managing director, Arjuna, in a press statement from the company.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used in the Indian Ayurvedic healing tradition for more than 3,000 years to help relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety. In the press statement, the company cited data from market researcher Innova Market Insights showing that that interest in ashwagandha as an ingredient for both supplements and beverages is growing steadily. Per Innova data, global new product launches featuring ashwagandha increased by roughly 18% between 2013-2017. In 2017, 59% of all new product launches with ashwagandha as an ingredient were dietary supplements. Ashwagandha as an ingredient in beverages has also increased, the market researcher said. In 2017, 13% of all new product launches tracked with ashwagandha were soft drinks, up from just 4% of new product soft drink launches featuring ashwagandha in 2013.
Arjuna stated that it is able to meet the growing demand for ashwagandha ingredients and provide its customers with a consistent supply of ashwagandha extract because of the “transparency and traceability” of its harvesting and cultivation practices.
“We identified specific locations [and] farms in India for the cultivation of ashwagandha under our supervision and [harvest] once the crop reaches optimal growth [levels, which allows] us to provide supplement manufacturers a consistent, potent ingredient,” said Antony.
According to the company, its production processes and products meet market-specific regulations worldwide. In addition, it said, it has achieved international certifications including ISO 22000, a food safety management system from the International Organization for Standardization, as well as kosher and halal certifications.