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May 28, 2021 3 min read

What is Ashwagandha Root?

Botanically known as Withania somnifera root, ashwagandha is most commonly used for its health benefits and properties.  Typically, it grows in the Middle East, India as well as parts of Africa. Known as the “strength of the stallion” in India, some of ashwagandha root’s benefits include supporting a healthy immune system after illness, enhancing stamina and also working as a natural stress reliever. 

Ashwagandha has also been referred to as Indian ginseng, winter cherry and somnifera root. As for its actual name, the word ashwagandha literally means “smell of horse” which is aptly translated due to its fresh roots smelling quite similar to that of a horse. To add to that, there’s a traditional belief that this root may help you develop the strength and vitality of a horse.

Is Ashwagandha an Adaptogen?

Ashwagandha is indeed an adaptogenic herb that has been used for more than 2,500 years in Ayurvedic medicine.  It’s one of the most commonly used and extensively researched adaptogens as it has the powerful ability to work as a stress-supporting agent.  Much like all adaptogenic herbs, ashwagandha helps the body maintain homeostasis, especially in times of physical or emotional stress.

Adding this particular adaptogen herb can support and balance the body and help lessen the effects of stress, while improving overall resilience, in order to help break free of any negative cycle or situation that could negatively impact your well-being.  

Adaptogens... What Are They, Anyway?

According to naturopath Edward Wallace, an adaptogen doesn’t have specific action, it helps you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological functions. In essence, adaptogens help balance, restore and protect the body.  

Furthermore, this study found that various adaptogens have the ability to help the body balance and respond to stress. 

List of Adaptogens and Benefits

Certified herbalist David Winston gives a list of recognized adaptogens in his book, Adaptogenic Herbs. Let’s have a look at seven of the most beneficial and popular adaptogens and their health benefits. 


Ashwagandha

Easily add this powerful adaptogen to your favourite hot beverage on the go with our portable single-serve Reishi Relax with Ashwagandha powder sticks. Take advantage of these ashwagandha benefits - even when you’re on the go: 

  • Stress Support‡
  • Balanced Mood 
  • Blissful Sleep 

Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng is a small, woody shrub belonging to the Araliaceae plant family. Some benefits of this adaptogen include:
  • Helps to regulate physical stamina and mental alertness‡
  • Improvement of cognitive function‡ 
  • Support a healthy immune system‡ 

Holy Basil

Holy basil benefits have traditionally been an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine and it’s known in India as an anti-ageing supplement.  Other benefits include: 
  • Supports skin health‡
  • Maintain overall well-being and body function  
  • Balances stress response 

Astragalus root

Astragalus root may not be as popular as the aforementioned adaptogens, but it’s actually one of the most powerful plants for immune function support.  This herb aids in stress responses while supporting overall health. Here are some other benefits of the astragalus root:

  • Help maintain a healthy  immune system 
  • Protection and support of skin health 
  • Support improved response to stressors 

Licorice root

And nope, we’re not talking about the black candy (too bad they’re not adaptogenic, right?) We’re referring to the licorice herb known formally as Glycyrrhiza glabra. Here are some of its many benefits:

  • Support gut health 
  • Support overall stamina and endurance 
  • Support healthy immune system 

Rhodiola

Rhodiola rosea is another effective adaptogenic herb that also goes by several other names like arctic root, golden root, roseroot and king’s crown. The benefits of this powerhouse adaptogen include:

  • Supports physical performance and cognitive acuity‡ 
  • Helps support brain function  
  • Support the body and mind in responses to stress 
  • Promotes energy and athletic performance

Reishi Mushrooms

Much like other adaptogenic mushrooms of its kind, reishi mushrooms can be found in several parts of Asia including China, Korea and Japan. As raw reishi mushrooms can be quite bitter with a tough texture, they’re much tastier in supplement or powder form. Speaking of which, our delicious Reishi Relax powder is perfect for your post-workout smoothie or a great addition to your early morning coffee. Coffee + benefits? Yes, please!

Why should you add reishi to your daily diet? Well, with continued consumption over time, here are some of the benefits you can expect from this powerful adaptogen:

  • Supports heart health 
  • Improves overall body function
  • Help ward off occasional feelings of fatigue related to stress 
  • Calm the body, help a restless mind and steady the spirit 
  • Supports a sense of calm, a release of tension 
As you can see, adaptogens can be a super powerful addition to your diet. The best part? You can incorporate them into your diet in the form of supplements and powders, even on the go!



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