Can You Take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Together?

Updated on March 15, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Exploring the combined benefits of Ashwagandha and Rhodiola on wellness.

Can you take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea together? 

These two powerful adaptogenic herbs have gained popularity for their individual benefits, but what happens when you combine them? 

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind taking Ashwagandha and Rhodiola together and the potential synergistic effects they can have on your overall well-being. 

So, if you’re curious about maximizing the benefits of these nootropic herbs, keep reading!

Understanding Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea

Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are two popular herbal supplements that offer a range of health benefits. They are also both known as adaptogens.

But, what are adaptogens?

Adaptogens work by supporting the body’s ability to cope with stress and helping it return to a stable state. They are thought to interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which plays a significant role in the body’s stress response.

However, not all herbs and plants are considered adaptogens. To be classified as an adaptogen, an herb or plant substance must support the body’s ability to cope with stress and help it return to balance.

Both Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are popular adaptogen herbs that help the body cope better with physical and mental stress.

They aid in staying longer in the resistance phase of the stress response, reduce stress hormones such as cortisol, and indirectly help with other health issues such as pain, insomnia, and digestive issues.

Ashwagandha is often referred to as the “king of Ayurvedic herbs” and is used as a stress reliever, an enhancer of sexual function, and a promoter of strength and vitality. It is known for its anxiolytic properties, reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as lowering cortisol levels.

Ashwagandha is known to increase male fertility, enhance cognition, and improve physical performance.

On the other hand, Rhodiola Rosea (also known as Roseroot or Golden Root) is an herb traditionally used for its adaptogenic properties.

It helps in reducing feelings of fatigue, and burnout associated with stress and anxiety. Rhodiola has been shown to enhance cognitive performance under stressful circumstances, stabilize mood, and increase mental alertness and energy without the use of stimulants.

Benefits of Ashwagandha

The best natural Ashwagandha supplements are derived from the roots or leaves of the Ashwagandha plant, which has a uniquely bitter scent.

When made into capsule form, these supplements are a great addition to your daily wellness regimen!

 These supplements have gained a lot of popularity due to their potential health benefits.

Here are some key points to know about Ashwagandha supplements:

  • Enhanced Athletic Performance: Ashwagandha supplements have been shown to improve physical performance in athletes and healthy adults. Taking Ashwagandha extract can increase strength, endurance, and oxygen utilization during exercise. It may also help improve muscle size and recovery.
  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: One of the known benefits of Ashwagandha is its ability to reduce stress levels and alleviate anxiety symptoms. Ashwagandha supplements can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, and help individuals cope with daily stressors. It may also improve sleep quality and reduce stress-related weight gain.
  • Improved Cognitive Function: Ashwagandha has been found to have positive effects on cognitive function, including memory, mental focus, and information processing. Ashwagandha supplements can enhance cognitive performance and improve mental alertness. It may be especially beneficial for older adults and individuals with cognitive impairments.
  • Hormonal Balance and Fertility Support: Ashwagandha has been traditionally used to support hormonal balance in both men and women. Ashwagandha is also a testosterone booster and helps men achieve a sense of vitality and sexual vigor, as well as potentially improving fertility (sperm count). In women, it may regulate menstrual cycles and support reproductive health.
  • Anti-Inflammatory and Immune-Boosting Effects: Ashwagandha contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties and can modulate the immune system. It has been studied for its potential to reduce inflammation and manage autoimmune diseases.

It’s important to note that the benefits of ashwagandha may vary from person to person, and more research is needed to fully understand its effects. 

Benefits of Rhodiola

The highest-quality Rhodiola supplements are made with this yellow-flowered herb, which is a very versatile adaptogen that can support overall well-being. 

Incorporating Rhodiola into a healthy lifestyle may be a valuable addition for those seeking to enhance their mental and physical performance and manage stress more effectively.

Let’s have a closer look at the science-backed health benefits of taking Rhodiola supplements:

  • Stress Relief: Rhodiola has long been known as a natural substance that increases the body’s resistance to stress. It functions as an adaptogen, helping the body handle stressful situations better. Consuming Rhodiola during stressful times can increase the body’s resistance to stress and improve overall well-being.
  • Burnout Relief: Rhodiola has been shown to improve symptoms of burnout, which can occur with chronic stress. In a study involving 118 people with stress-related burnout, those who took 400 mg of Rhodiola daily for 12 weeks experienced clear improvements in symptoms such as stress and depression.(1) The study noted that this was the first trial investigating clinical outcomes of Rhodiola treatment for burnout and recommended further trials.
  • Fatigue Reduction: Due to its adaptogenic properties, Rhodiola is thought to help fight fatigue caused by factors such as stress, anxiety, and inadequate sleep.
  • Mood Enhancement: Rhodiola supplements may have antidepressant properties that help balance neurotransmitters in the brain. Research comparing Rhodiola with a commonly prescribed antidepressant found that while both reduced symptoms of depression, Rhodiola had fewer side effects and was better tolerated. Although further research is needed, Rhodiola has shown a potential to improve mood and emotional well-being.
  • Cognitive Support: Rhodiola supplements may improve cognitive function and memory. Animal studies have demonstrated that Rhodiola can enhance learning and memory function, as well as have an antidepressant effect.(2) Further research is needed to determine its effects on human cognition, but Rhodiola shows promise in supporting brain health.
  • Sports Performance: Rhodiola has been claimed to enhance sports performance by reducing physical and mental fatigue and increasing antioxidant activity. Although research results are mixed, some studies have shown that Rhodiola can improve muscle power, reaction time, and antioxidant activity. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and fully understand how Rhodiola affects athletic performance.
  • Diabetes Management: Animal research suggests that Rhodiola supplements may help improve insulin sensitivity and protect against diabetes and diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease) in rats. However, more research is needed to determine if these effects translate to humans. If you have diabetes and are considering taking Rhodiola supplements, consult your healthcare professional first.

Can You Take Both Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Together

Yes, Ashwagandha and Rhodiola can be taken together. 

Both herbs are known for their health benefits, but they also have unique properties. Rhodiola is recognized for its ability to enhance physical and mental performance, while Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is often used for its stress-reducing effects. Taking these herbs together can work synergistically, providing calm, focused, and stabilized energy throughout the day.

To take these two herbs together, you can find them separately with specified recommended doses or as part of effective nootropic stacks or performance-enhancing supplements.

Potential Benefits of Taking Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Together

Did you know that taking Rhodiola and Ashwagandha together can have a synergistic effect, enhancing their benefits even further? They both are remarkable and effective herbs alone, but they are better together as a 100% natural nootropic stack

Let’s explore the potential benefits of combining Ashwagandha and Rhodiola for optimal health and wellness.

  1. Stress Relief: Both Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are adaptogens, substances that help the body manage stress.(3) Ashwagandha is known for its relaxing properties, while Rhodiola is more stimulating and energizing. Taking them together can provide a balanced approach to stress relief, helping you feel calm and focused while maintaining mental and physical energy.
  2. Enhanced Cognitive Function: Ashwagandha and Rhodiola have been shown to support cognitive function in different ways. Ashwagandha may improve memory and attention span,(4) while Rhodiola has been found to enhance mental clarity and focus.(1) When taken together, these herbs can potentially boost overall cognitive function, promoting sharper thinking and improved mental performance.
  3. Increased Physical Energy: Both Ashwagandha and Rhodiola have been traditionally used to combat fatigue and increase physical endurance. Ashwagandha may support muscle strength, recovery, and endurance,(5) while Rhodiola has been shown to improve aerobic capacity.(6) Taking them together can provide a powerful combination for those looking to enhance their physical energy levels and athletic performance.
  4. Emotional Balance: Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are known for their mood-stabilizing properties. Ashwagandha may help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calmness, while Rhodiola has been found to improve emotional well-being and resilience. By combining these herbs, you can potentially achieve a more balanced emotional state, reducing stress and promoting a positive mood.

What is The Best Time of Day to Take This Nootropic Stack? 

In order to maximize the benefits of taking Ashwagandha and Rhodiola together, it is recommended to take them at different times of the day to prevent overstimulation.

The best time of day to take your supplements would be in the morning, to help you soldier through a stressful day, or at night to improve your sleep.

However, Rhodiola supplements have a more stimulating effect and it’s best to take these at the start of your day. 

A great routine would include taking Rhodiola supplements in the morning and your Ashwagandha supplements at night.

As always, remember to stick to the recommended dosages in order to avoid unwanted side effects.

Potential Risks and Interactions

Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are both herbal supplements that have gained popularity for their potential health benefits. However, it is important to be aware of any potential risks, side effects, or interactions when combining these two supplements.

Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Interactions with Medications: Ashwagandha and Rhodiola may interact with certain medications, including sedatives, thyroid medications, immunosuppressants, diabetes medications, and medications for high blood pressure. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before taking Ashwagandha if you are on any medications.
  2. Precautions and Contraindications: Ashwagandha and Rhodiola should be used with caution or avoided in pregnant or breastfeeding women. It may also worsen symptoms in people with autoimmune diseases or low blood pressure. 
  3. Potential Side Effects of Ashwagandha: Common side effects of Ashwagandha may include upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. In rare cases, high doses of Ashwagandha may cause liver problems or allergic reactions. It is important to stop taking Ashwagandha and seek medical attention if you experience severe side effects.
  4. Potential Side Effects of Rhodiola: Common side effects of Rhodiola may include dizziness, dry mouth, and headache. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. 

Conclusion: Can I Take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Together

It is considered safe to take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola together on a regular basis. 

These adaptogenic herbs offer a wide range of health benefits, including stress relief, increased energy, and improved cognitive function.

When taken together, they work synergistically to provide a calm and focused energy throughout the day. However, it is important to consult with a doctor before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. 

Overall, combining these two powerful natural nootropics is an effective way to support overall well-being and optimize your mental and physical performance.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Ivanova Stojcheva, Emilija, and José Carlos Quintela. “The Effectiveness of Rhodiola rosea L. Preparations in Alleviating Various Aspects of Life-Stress Symptoms and Stress-Induced Conditions-Encouraging Clinical Evidence.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 27,12 3902. 17 Jun. 2022, doi:10.3390/molecules27123902 ↩ ↩
  2. Ma, Gou-Ping et al. “Rhodiola rosea L. Improves Learning and Memory Function: Preclinical Evidence and Possible Mechanisms.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 9 1415. 4 Dec. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01415 ↩
  3. Burns, Joshua. “Common herbs for stress: The science and strategy of a botanical medicine approach to self-care.” Journal of interprofessional education & practice vol. 30 (2023): 100592. doi:10.1016/j.xjep.2022.100592 ↩
  4. Xing, Dante et al. “Effects of Acute Ashwagandha Ingestion on Cognitive Function.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 19,19 11852. 20 Sep. 2022, doi:10.3390/ijerph191911852 ↩
  5. Ziegenfuss, Tim N et al. “Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Withania somnifera on Strength Training Adaptations and Recovery: The STAR Trial.” Nutrients vol. 10,11 1807. 20 Nov. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10111807 ↩
  6. Lu, Yao et al. “Effects of Rhodiola Rosea Supplementation on Exercise and Sport: A Systematic Review.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 9 856287. 7 Apr. 2022, doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.856287 ↩