Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha: benefits and differences

You may have heard of Rhodiola and Ashwagandha, but you are not sure how to tell their differences or what they are used for. You may have heard about Ashwagandha in our post: Do I take Ashwagandha in the morning or at night?

These are two plants that have some similarities, as well as differences, in their properties for therapeutic use. In fact, these two herbs are characterized by properties that are very useful for increasing energy and decreasing stress, among other benefits.

That said, in this post we offer relevant information regarding the benefits, as well as the differences present in these two herbs, so we will have a comparison between Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha, in order to identify which one will be more useful depending on the case.


Rhodiola rosea is a plant of the crassulaceae family, of the fleshy-leaved type, which reaches a height of more than 2200 meters in cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

It has been known for centuries for its energizing properties, which is why it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine under the name of “golden root”.

Since ancient times, its root has been used to increase physical endurance, strength for work, achieve long life and even to improve the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Rhodiola rosea is considered an adaptogen, for its ability to help the body restore its stability and overcome physical and emotional stress, improving its resistance.


Benefits of Rhodiola

It is a plant that offers great benefits, if we analyze it from the point of view of popularity, when we analyze Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha, Rhodiola may be less known than Ashwagandha, but it is worth knowing what its properties are, as they can be useful in many occasions.

According to various studies conducted to determine the effects of Rhodiola in the body, we can find:

  • At a general level it serves to reduce or stop fatigue and its symptoms, it acts as an excellent energy stimulant that improves physical and mental performance.
  • It has antioxidant properties, and is useful to stop the production and action of free radicals.
  • It is very useful for the treatment of physical and mental stress, because it regulates cortisol and stimulates energy metabolism.
  • Furthermore, it improves concentration for those who have trouble concentrating, relieving the symptoms of anxiety, also favoring the ability to fall asleep.
  • It controls the emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by work stress, known as Burnout syndrome.
  • According to studies carried out in animal species such as rats, the capacity of Rhodiola has been determined to help control diabetes by considerably decreasing the level of sugar in the blood. As for humans, scientific evidence is still lacking.

It is available in powdered extract, capsules or tablets and liquid tinctures.


We continue in the comparison between Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha, now we will know the Ashwagandha or withania somnifera, which is a plant of the Solanaceae family, whose origin comes from India, its name comes from Sanskrit and means “smell of horses” because it has a very strong odor.

Like Rhodiola, it is considered a great adaptogen. It is used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine originating in India, based on achieving complete balance of the body including mind, body and spirit.

Due to its properties, it is often compared to Chinese ginseng, which is why in Europe it is also known as “Indian ginseng”. It should be noted that Ashwagandha has relaxing effects, while ginseng acts as a stimulant.

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Benefits of Ashwagandha

Let’s look at the properties offered by this plant to understand the benefits and differences between Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha:

  • It is a relaxing and calming plant that is mainly used to treat stress and anxiety.
  • Thanks to its relaxing and calming properties, it helps reduce cortisol levels and regulates the body’s reaction to physical and emotional stress.
  • It promotes the ability to fall asleep, due to its anxiolytic action.
  • It offers antioxidant properties and protection to the cardiovascular system.
  • Likewise, it reduces anxiety and prevents overweight.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties, which are very efficient for headache treatments.
  • It benefits the optimal function of the liver, detoxifying and protecting it.
  • Due to its antioxidant capacity, it favors cognitive functions and is efficiently applied in cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It increases the levels of serotonin and acetylcholine decreasing the heart rate, in addition, it offers a neuroprotective effect.
  • It prevents calcium from entering the heart cells, favoring the control of tachycardia and lowering blood pressure.
  • Not only that, but it stimulates the immune system.
  • Additionally, its possible antitumor properties are being studied with benefits for the immune system.
  • Studies also show that Ashwagandha stimulates the immune system by enhancing the role of natural killer that fight against infectious and inflammatory processes.

As we can see in this Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha, the benefits offered by both plants are quite extensive.

Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha When to use them?

To know when to use one plant or the other, we must know that in the comparison Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha there is great similarity in the benefits they offer for overall health, although their mechanisms of action differ. However, we must keep in mind the following:

We will use Rhodiola if:

  1. We need to improve endurance and physical performance.
  2. Decrease and control fatigue.
  3. Improve resistance to stress.

We will use Ashwagandha if:

  1. It is necessary to control depression and anxiety.
  2. Decrease stress.
  3. Improve concentration and memory capacity.
  4. Relieve symptoms caused by inflammation.

Can Rhodiola be combined with Ashwagandha?

Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha is not all about comparison, and it is great to know that the combination of both plants is very beneficial.

This is because their mechanisms of action are very different, while they offer very similar benefits, so combining them will enhance the results. However, it will be important to pay close attention to any side effects that may arise, although this is not common.

To avoid this type of situation, it is best to consult a doctor about the use of these plants, particularly if they are combined.

It should be noted that it is not indicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women, nor in children under 10 years old.

What results from the union between Ashwagandha and Rhodiola?

Very efficient results can be achieved in terms of controlling the symptoms of stress caused by various causes, as well as favorable reactions to counteract mental fatigue and anxiety.

Given all this information we can conclude that in the analysis of Rhodiola vs. Ashwagandha, we can find great benefits in both plants for the body.

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