I know – times are hard. And, now, more than ever, there’s a dire need to care more about your health. That explains my current obsession with herbs, mostly adaptogens. I never stopped looking into them.
And, well, you know me – I love sharing this knowledge with you. talk of changing the world, one herb at a time! So, this time round I looked into two herbs which people are having a hard time choosing – Rhodiola and Ashwagandha. I also had the chance to use both of them.
So, what exactly are they? How does each of them work? What are the benefits of each? And then the biggest question of the day – Which among the two is better? Let’s get to it. Ashwagandha – you go first!
- What is Ashwagandha?
- What is Rhodiola?
- What are the benefits of Ashwagandha?
- What are the benefits of Rhodiola?
- What are Ashwagandha side effects?
- What are Rhodiola side effects?
- Ashwagandha vs Rhodiola Rosea cost comparison
- What is Ashwagandha best for?
- What is Rhodiola best for?
- Rhodiola and ashwagandha stack
- Verdict: what is better Rhodiola or ashwagandha?
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, also known by its scientific name Withania Sommnifera is a common adaptogen that traces its roots to India.
Yes – the plant has beautiful flowers and a wonderful smell. But, well, its beauty doesn’t end there. It boasts tons of health benefits. It’s mostly known to relieve stress and anxiety.
In case you were wondering – it’s been serving humanity for thousands of years. Yes – more than you and me.
What is Rhodiola?
Also called Rhodiola Rosea, Rhodiola is yet another herb that has taken the herbal world by storm, thanks to its tons of health benefits.
Rhodiola traces its roots to Southern China. It has served for hundreds of years as Chinese traditional medicine.
Its ability to lower stress and anxiety is what makes it stand out. But that’s not all. Rhodiola also boasts exceptional abilities in ensuring psychological wellness and mental clarity.
Did you know? Research shows that Rhodiola increases beta-endorphin in humans, even without down-regulating receptors. How about that?
What are the benefits of Ashwagandha?
So, what does Ashwagandha has to offer? Check out the following;
1. Reduces Stress
This is what Ashwagandha is best at – reducing stress. And, well, it works magic when it comes to calming stress.
According to a 2019 research, taking a 240mg dose of Ashwagandha daily significantly reduces stress levels, even more than Placebo would. Amazing, right?
Well, a 250 or 600gm daily dose wouldn’t hurt, too. But, don’t take my word for it. That’s according to this recent research.
Did you know? Ashwagandha has its stress-relieving properties on humans and animals, too. Yes – your pet can also get a piece of the pie!
2. Might Help With Cancer Treatment
Ashwagandha’s anti-cancer properties have also been a relief to cancer patients.
So, how does it help with cancer treatment? Ashwagandha is rich in a compound called Withaferin. The magical compound suppresses cancer by inducing apoptosis – the programmed death of cancerous cells, according to this research.
Remember we called the compound magical? Well, it is. That’s not the only way it suppresses cancer. The compound also works by promoting Reactive Oxygen species in cancerous cells, consequently disrupting their normal functioning.
Note: If the recent successful animal studies are anything to go by, Ashwagandha could help in the successful treatment of lung, breast, brain, and even ovarian cancer. Though there’s currently no study that points directly to such benefits in humans, the current milestone in research gives us hope.
3. Reduced Blood Sugar Levels
Several human studies link Ashwagandha to reduced blood sugar levels.
Are you a diabetes patient? Well, here’s something for you. A study on 6 people with type 2 diabetes showed that taking Ashwagandha for 30 days lowered their blood sugar levels.
Summary: Ashwagandha helps reduce blood sugar levels in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients.
4. Reduced Cortisol Levels
Ever wondered what happens when you’re stressed out? Your adrenal glands respond by releasing cortisol – the known stress hormone. Ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels to lower stress levels.
Note: While the release of cortisol hormones is normal when under stress, elevated levels of the hormones could lead to more serious conditions like high blood sugar levels and increased storage of fats in the abdomen.
5. May Reduce Depression Symptoms
Feeling depressed? Everything isn’t lost.
According to this study, taking Ashwagandha can help fight depression. However, more research is still needed on the subject. Enough of Ashwagandha, now. What does Rhodiola have to offer?
What are the benefits of Rhodiola?
Here’s what consuming the roots of Rhodiola Rosea will do to your body;
1. Decreases Stress
I get it – stress is almost inevitable in these uncertain times. What if I tell you there was a way to eliminate it naturally? Actually, there is – consuming Rhodiola roots.
Listen, a study conducted on 101 participants who took 400gm of Rhodiola daily for four weeks showed that their levels of tress reduced significantly. But that’s not all. The herb also helps reduce burnout which comes with chronic stress levels.
Note: Rhodiola not only helps to reduce stress but also eliminates symptoms of stress such as exhaustion, fatigue, and anxiety.
2. Improved Brain Function
Need a healthy, clear brain to pass that test? Do a better job at work? Or help your kid solve that math homework?
Do this – engage in a productive workout, maintain a nutritious diet, and get enough rest. You’ll be marveled at the results, at least that’s what this research says. Yes – you guessed right! Those are not the only ways of ensuring brain functionality. Supplementing with Rhodiola can also help.
Summary: Consuming about 500gm of Rhodiola daily helps improve brain functionality, sleeping patterns, and level of motivation while performing normal day-to-day tasks according to this study, and this one, too.
3. Improved physical performance
If you are a physical workouts enthusiasist, you’ll enjoy the special power, vigor, and strength that comes with using Rhodiola. I loved the experience. What, you didn’t think I work out, too? A study on random cyclists showed that those who took Rhodiola had better endurance and performance.
Tip: Rhodiola is known to significantly decrease perceived exertion hence boosting your performance in physical activities.
4. May Lower blood sugar levels
If you are a diabetic patient, you already know how crucial it is to normalize your blood sugar levels. Insulin injections and medications help with that, even increasing your insulin sensitivity.
So here’s the thing – Rhodiola helps lower blood sugar levels. Yes, you heard that right!
Note: According to a 2007 review, Rhodiola increases the number of blood glucose transporters in the blood which then transports glucose to the cells hence lowering blood sugar.
What are Ashwagandha side effects?
I know – we’ve painted a saint-like picture of Ashwagandha. But, this is worth knowing, too. So, what’s on the other side of the coin?
Ashwagandha is generally safe. However, you might experience such side effects as;
- Stomach upset
Caution: Though safe, pregnant women, high blood pressure and Diabetes patients shouldn’t consider taking Ashwagandha unless it’s under the strict watch of a healthcare professional.
What are Rhodiola side effects?
Yes – you guessed it right. Rhodiola is generally safe. However, you might experience the following side effects;
- Dry mouth
- Excess saliva
Caution: Pregnant and breastfeeding, diabetic, and low blood pressure patients should exercise caution before taking Rhodiola.
Ashwagandha vs Rhodiola Rosea cost comparison
Best Ashwagandha Supplements
1. Ashwagandha gnc
This tops our list of the best Ashwagandha supplements. It’s not only a solution for stress, anxiety, and depression but general health wellness too.
- Contains no artificial additives
- promotes general health wellness
- Some people may find it expensive
2. Sun Potion Ashwagandha Powder
Need some extra energy? Then Sun Potion is your go-to option. This supplement comes packed with all Ashwagandha benefits and the extra energy to keep you active all day long.
- Excellent herbal medicine
- Good for those who prefer powder
- Promotes good general health
- Not easy to get the right dose
3. Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha Root Liquid Capsules
This excellent Ashwagandha supplement comes loaded with all Ashwagandha health benefits. What especially makes it stand out is its ability to be easily absorbed in the body.
- Has no artificial additives
- Boasts organic ingredients
- Easily absorbed in the body
- It’s vegan-friendly
- One may find it expensive
Best Rhodiola supplements
Here are Rhodiola’s best picks;
1. Nutra Champs – Rhodiola Rosea Capsules
Nutra Champs tops our list of the best Rhodiola supplements. The vegan-friendly supplement is your go-to option if you want to experience the best of Rhodiola.
- Has no artificial ingredients
- It’s vegan-friendly
- One might find it expensive
2. Micro Ingredients Organic Rhodiola Rosea
This incredible product from Micro Ingredients is one of the best Rhodiola supplements. It boasts pure organic ingredients and it is additives-free.
This is one of the best Rhodiola supplements I got to try out. It’s even a better option if you prefer your supplements in powder form.
- It is additives-free
- It’s made of organic ingredients
- The supplement is cost-friendly
- Its bitter taste might scare you off
3. Herb Pharm Rhodiola
If you prefer going liquid, then here’s your best shot. Just a single squeeze drop gives you about 700mg of the herb.
- It’s vegan-friendly
- Each drop contains 685mg of Rhodiola extract
- Measuring a dose can be tricky
What is Ashwagandha best for?
Good question. Let me give you a cocktail of my experience and research.
From improving brain functionality to reducing blood sugar levels and boosting fertility in men, Ashwagandha has tons of health benefits that are science-backed. You can read more about it in this post. However, Ashwagandha is best known for its exceptional ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
Note: Ashwagandha, just like other adaptogens, is generally known for its ability to relieve you of stress, anxiety and the symptoms of such.
What is Rhodiola best for?
I won’t lie – Ashwagandha and Rhodiola both have exceptional health benefits like we saw earlier on this post. And, they are good at pretty same things, considering they are both adaptogens.
However, give Rhodiola a shot if you intend to relieve stress and anxiety, and boost performance during physical workouts.
Rhodiola and ashwagandha stack
Having trouble choosing between the two? How about you do a cocktail? And don’t get me wrong I’m not saying you are poor at making choices. But, it won’t hurt to get the health benefits of both them at once, would it?
Taking the combo means;
- Reduced stress levels and anxiety
- Improved brain functionality and mental clarity
- Reduced blood sugar levels
- Improved physical performance
No – we are not done, yet. Let’s answer the million-dollar question;
Verdict: what is better Rhodiola or ashwagandha?
How about you be the judge today? Don’t give me that look. I won’t leave you high and dry.
So here’s the thing – we’ve looked at Ashwagandha and Rhodiola. We know what they are and the best supplements to try out. We’ve also covered their benefits. But let’s do go over that again.
Go for Ashwagandha if you’re looking to;
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve brain functionality
- Boost testosterone and fertility
Similarly, go for Rhodiola if you’re looking to;
- Relieve anxiety
- Boost physical performance
- Reduce fatigue
So, which one’s your choice? I would love to hear about it.
Ashwagandha vs Rhodiola for anxiety, which is better?
Both herbs do an excellent job in reducing anxiety and its side effects. However, I recommend taking Ashwagandha for even better results.
Rhodiola vs ashwagandha for depression, which is better?
Adaptogens are generally good for mental health. However, recent studies show that Rhodiola works magic in balancing the brain’s neurotransmitters, just like antidepressants do.
Is ashwagandha better than Rhodiola?
Both herbs have tons of health benefits like we discussed earlier in the post. However, each of them has what they are best at. So it all depends on your needs.
Can Rhodiola and ashwagandha be taken together?
Absolutely! Taking the herbs is an excellent opportunity to enjoy their benefits all at once. Further, it’s an excellent way to save on costs. So, yes, make that cocktail and enjoy it.
Rhodiola and ashwagandha for weight loss, which is best?
While Ashwagandha is rich in antioxidants which is excellent for weight loss, Rhodiola helps you boost your performance during workouts. How about both of them for the best weight loss results?
Which is best, Rhodiola or ashwagandha for stress?
Adaptogens are generally an excellent choice for reducing stress. Ashwagandha, however, has created a name for itself when it comes to reducing stress and inhibiting cortisol – the stress hormone.