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Anxiety & Stress
Written By: Emily Spring
There are many factors that can cause stress and anxiety in our daily lives—whether it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic causing you to be late for work or relational stressors that prevent you from feeling your best.
However, there are many avenues and herbal supplements to reduce cortisol levels and help us deal with day-to-day worries—namely, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Reishi.
As we traverse down this age-old avenue of plant-based supplements, we’ll explore each supplement in detail, reviewing the benefits, side effects, and proper usages of each.
Ashwagandha is an ancient herb grown in Asia and Africa that has been used in Indian medicine for thousands of years. Recently, it has been gaining popularity worldwide as a supplement used for its numerous reported benefits.
Ashwagandha is an age-old remedy that touts many benefits that have been used in ancient Ayurvedic practices. More specifically, Ashwagandha health benefits include:
These are only some of the potential benefits of Ashwagandha, but knowing the benefits can give you a glimpse into the possibilities of Ashwagandha as a supplement.
Wondering how to take Ashwagandha? In addition to taking Ashwagandha on its own, you may want to take it with other herbs and supplements to maximize its effects. Our Be Calm capsules combine Ashwagandha with CBD and other herbs like Holy Basil and Albizia Flower to help you:
Most people benefit from taking Ashwagandha in a capsule or powder form, which can be swallowed directly or mixed into yummy concoctions like mixed-berry smoothies or early-morning tonics. Generally, it’s recommended to take Ashwagandha in the morning or at night to experience its full benefits.
However, as long as you’re taking it daily, you should be able to experience the full benefits of the ancient herb. Just don’t take it on an empty stomach, as it can lead to adverse effects.
Ashwagandha is safe for most people. But, if you are pregnant or nursing, it is recommended that you avoid Ashwagandha. An Ashwagandha supplement may also have negative interactions with some drugs. As such, you should talk to your doctor before starting an Ashwagandha supplement regime to avoid any unintended interactions.
There are a few potential side effects when taking Ashwagandha. Although none are considered serious. They include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may need to adjust your dose or stop taking Ashwagandha.
The next stop in the stand-off between Ashwagandha vs Rhodiola vs Reishi is Rhodiola. Rhodiola is another herb, but it is native to Asia and Europe. It’s often grown in cold, high altitude regions.4
Similar to Ashwagandha, it can be taken as a supplement to provide the body with holistic health and wellness.
Much like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola isn’t a one-trick pony. It also has many potential benefits, which differ a bit from those purported by Ashwagandha:
Before taking any medications, over-the-counter drugs, supplements or herbs, consult a physician for a thorough evaluation. A qualified physician should make a decision based on each person's medical history and current prescriptions.
Much like Ashwagandha, these are just some of the reported benefits of this herbal supplement. Additionally, you may be able to maximize your results by taking Rhodiola as part of a mixture with other health-promoting herbs and supplements.
Our Advanced Clear Focus capsules combine Rhodiola with other herbs and mushrooms to create a blend that will help support your brain health and cognition, improve your mood, and boost your stamina. In addition to Rhodiola, each capsule is packed with ingredients like green tea leaf, Lion’s Mane mushroom, and Ginkgo Biloba extract.
Unlike Ashwagandha, it’s best to take Rhodiola on an empty stomach and should rarely be taken before you fall asleep. That’s because Rhodiola is best used to improve mental and physical performance.
As such, Rhodiola should be taken in the morning or early afternoon as a tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid extract.
Rhodiola is also considered safe for most people. Like Ashwagandha, there are a few non-serious side effects, which include:
Adjusting your dosage may help with these symptoms or you may need to stop taking Rhodiola altogether. Additionally, Rhodiola is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or nursing. As always, if you’re on medication, you should talk to your doctor to avoid any unwanted drug interactions when taking Rhodiola supplements.
What’s the main difference between Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Reishi? Well, for one thing, Reishi isn’t an herb. It’s a mushroom. Originating from Asia, you will generally find Reishi mushrooms sprouting in hot humid areas.
Similar to the herbs we have already discussed, Reishi mushrooms are staples in some eastern medicine where they are said to have many benefits:
When you think of mushrooms, you may think of the fungi that top your pizza or complement your risotto. However, today you are much more likely to see Reishi as a supplement in forms like capsules, tablets, or tea.
If you were to eat Reishi in food form, it typically comes dried and can often be tough and bitter.
At Plant People, we also offer Reishi as part of our WonderDay Mushroom Gummies. In these gummies, we combine Reishi with 9 mushroom extracts like Lion’s Mane, Chaga, and Cordyceps to provide you with whole-body balance and support. They even come in a wild raspberry flavor to enhance your enjoyment.
As with Rhodiola and Ashwagandha, there are some side effects to look out for when ingesting Reishi supplements of any kind, which include:
Reishi, Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola are plant and mushroom-based supplements that can have a full-body effect on your overall health and wellness. Together, these supplements can also have a real impact on your mental health, mitigating feelings of unease and nervousness.
Whether you take Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, or Reishi is up to you—and if you want something especially soothing, consider combining all three. Bringing together the benefits of each supplement may provide the relief you’re looking for.
However, be careful to monitor dosage as combining benefits also means combining potential side effects.
At Plant People, we want you to feel your best. We’ve created our supplements in ways we believe will help accomplish that goal. Try our Ashwagandha-filled Be Calm supplements, our Clear Focus Rhodiola capsules, and our Reishi Wonderday gummies to help you strike a balance between task-tackling energy and full-body calm.
Written by Emily Spring
Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.
Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy
Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.
Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.