Ashwagandha vs Rhodiola: Which is best for you?


Ashwagandha vs Rhodiola: Which is best for you?


Ashwagandha is one of the most important adaptogenic herbs in Ayurveda, which is one of the oldest holistic Indian healing systems. 

Known by several other names including ‘Indian ginseng’ and ‘winter cherry’, ashwagandha is a small shrub with yellow flowers that is native to India and Southeast Asia. Extracts from the plant’s root or leaves are used in many cultures as an adaptogen.

Potential health benefits of ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has a range of potential benefits, keep reading to find out more.

1. Possible reduction in anxiety and depression

People with chronic stress took part in a 2012 study where they took ashwagandha for 60 days. Results found a 60% reduction in symptoms of stress, including insomnia as compared to the placebo group.

2. Potential improvement in memory and focus

Ashwagandha has reported anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This means that ashwagandha may help to protect nerve cells in the brain against stress and damage  – suggesting improvements in memory and concentration.

3. May support the male hormones

A study published in 2009 suggests that ashwagandha may help to reduce stress and improve the level of antioxidants with improved overall sperm quality.

What is Rhodiola?

Rhodiola Rosea goes by several names including ‘king’s crown’, ‘golden root’, ‘arctic root’ and many more. Rhodiola can be found in northern regions of Europe, Asia and Russia.

Potential health benefits of rhodiola: What is rhodiola good for?

Like ashwagandha, rhodiola is considered as an adaptogen with a range of suggested  benefits.

1. Supports the body in times of stress

A 2017 study suggests that rhodiola may reduce symptoms of stress, including fatigue. 

2. May help with maintaining healthy blood sugar

A study from 2017 reported that rhodiola may be a useful supplement for people with diabetes.

3. May aid with mood symptoms

A 2009 study suggested that rhodiola may impact the mood by working on inhibition of certain brain chemicals in the body.

Ashwagandha vs Rhodiola: What are the main differences?

Ashwagandha and rhodiola both have adaptogenic properties, which help to support the body in various ways. However, studies suggest that ashwagandha contributes to decreased levels of anxiety and depression, along with balanced male hormone levels, while rhodiola may help to improve mental clarity and physical energy. So, which one is right for you? Please seek advice from your doctor before implementing ashwagandha or rhodiola into your daily routine. 

Disclaimer: Please note that the views above are suggested from published studies and are not approved health claims. Please always consult your health care professional before taking any of these food supplements, especially if you are taking any medication, as they may not be suitable for you. 

Written by Georgia Chappell and reviewed by our qualified expert, Moyra Cosgrove, Head of Nutrition at Naturecan, SENR Registered Nutritionist and DProf candidate at LJMU