Know Your Supplements


With so many herbal supplements in the market, one can get overwhelmed. Know how to read the label for a supplement – choose wisely to get the desired results. 


KNOW THE BASICS: What is a Powder vs Extract?

In any supplement, it is most important that you get the correct dosage for results to show. Most of the traditional dosages for herbal ingredients are in grams which means that to get results you need to have SPOONFULS of the ingredient.

In modern dosage formats like piles medicine, we make use of extracts to meet the dosage of powders. To know the extract ratio is the first step to knowing if you’re receiving the correct dose.

Ashwagandha requires a 5gm/ day powder dose for stress. To get this dose in a pill or powder the extract ratio would be established as such:

  • 500mg of a 5:1 extract would require you to take 2 pills a day to meet the precise dose.
  • 2500 mg of a 10:1 extract would require you take 1 pill a day to meet the precise dose.

If there is no use of extracts and you have powder in a capsule be aware that you will require almost 10 capsules a day to meet the required dosage!



KNOW YOUR DOSAGE FORMATS: Powders, Pills or Capsules?

Different dosage formats have their advantages and disadvantages. Powders today are recommended especially for herbs which either have many or none established active ingredients. Or when the dosage is so high that it is more prudent to make use of powders rather than the inconvenience of pills and capsules.

Capsules are more important when the disintegration time of the ingredient needs to be largely controlled. Look for the amount of active in your supplements.

A tablet can have almost 800 mg of active ingredient vs 400-500 mg in a capsule. This means half the dosage, higher efficacy and more patient compliance.



KNOW THE FACTS: What is an Active Ingredient AND Standardized Extract?

If you consume an egg, the protein largely will be received from the egg white – not the whole egg. Similarly, when you consume a herb the activity that you desire is received from the active ingredient. Similarly, in a herb called Ashwagandha. This herb which is used in stress tablets, the stress suppressing activity is from the active ingredient called withanlides. You might eat an endless amount of ashwagandha but if the quality of the ingredient is not established you will end up receiving insufficient amounts of withanalides and no noticeable results.

Today the active ingredient for several herbs is researched and established. A standardized extract is one which clearly states what percentage of active ingredient is contained in the herb. 


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Ayurveda Specialist


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