The extract, which maker Arjuna Natural Ltd. calls ‘highly bioactive,’ is standardized to contain more than 35% glycowithanolides—the most active components of the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha.
Arjuna says has invested in several ongoing clinical studies of Shoden at top research institutes. Results of the first study will be published in a few months, according to a press release from the company.
The launch comes at a time of increased demand from food and beverage formulators to include adaptogens like ashwagandha, rhodiola, or maca into their products. Sales of herbal supplements containing ashwagandha posted an increase of 55.2% year-over-year in the US, according to the latest HerbalGram Herb Market Report.
Globally, Innova Market Insights, a food and beverage market research firm, reported 18% average annual growth for new product launches featuring ashwagandha as an ingredient between the years 2013 and 2017.
In 2017, 59% of all new product launches tracked with ashwagandha as an ingredient are supplements, while 13% of all new product launches tracked with ashwagandha are soft drinks, compared to just 4% in 2013. In 2017, 49% of all new product launches reported with ashwagandha as an ingredient featured an energy claim.
A proprietary purification method
Ashwagandha extract contains alkaloids, some of which are toxic, “and it is technically challenging to remove them and keep the product safe to use,” according to the company.
It developed a new, proprietary method of purification, based on traditional Indian processes, that targets and removes only toxic alkaloids, while retaining the beneficial bioactive ones.
“Results following tests of Shoden in multiple trials at Arjuna’s R&D lab proved the ability of this gentle process to ensure a pure, safe-to-use ashwagandha,” said Benny Antony, PhD, Joint Managing Director for Arjuna.
“We identified specific locations [and] farms in India for the cultivation of ashwagandha under our supervision and harvested once the crop reaches optimal growth level that allow us to provide supplement manufacturers a consistent, potent ingredient,” Antony added. “Arjuna also maintains transparency and traceability from-farm to supplement to guarantee a stable, safe supply.”