The 5 Best Substitutes For Ashwagandha

What can I use instead of Ashwagandha? The best alternatives for Ashwagandha are adaptogens that offer similar health benefits. Rhodiola Rosea and maca are the closest replacements, helping to relieve stress and improve energy levels. However, licorice root, ginseng, and reishi also fight stress and help the body reach homeostasis.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, a plant extract that helps our bodies become resilient to stress and maintain homeostasis. While Ashwagandha can be incorporated into various culinary applications, its true benefits lie within its health benefits rather than flavor. Therefore, you can use a different adaptogen or herbal remedy for similar effects:

The Best Ashwagandha Substitutes

Rhodiola Rosea

You can use Rhodiola Rosea as a substitute for Ashwagandha.

Despite the different origins of Rhodiola and Ashwagandha, both herbs are used in similar ways and can help treat stress, anxiety, and depression.

Research shows that Ashwagandha and Rhodiola may positively affect athletic performance, making them worthwhile supplements for athletes.

Like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola has a bitter taste. So, add the powder to a fruit smoothie or take it in capsule form to disguise the bitter taste.


In the past few decades, maca – a Peruvian cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli – has skyrocketed in popularity as a natural remedy for health issues, including stress, infertility, and low sex drive.

Maca’s similar health benefits to Ashwagandha make it an excellent replacement.

Maca root is often eaten fresh in Peru; however, you can find it in powder form in the States. In addition, maca’s taste is the most pleasant ashwagandha substitute, offering a mildly nutty and earthy flavor.

Add maca to a smoothie, hot chocolate, porridge, energy bars, or dessert.

Licorice Root

Licorice root dates back to ancient Egypt and the Middle East, serving as one of the oldest herbal remedies. This androgen works well as a unique Ashwagandha substitute.

Licorice root has similar benefits to Ashwagandha, helping our body beat stress, inflammation, and gastrointestinal issues.

Licorice lends a controversial flavor similar to fennel and anise; some people love the taste while others find it too medicinal.

Today, licorice root is available as a capsule, liquid supplement, tea, or topical gel. Licorice is also commonly used to flavor foods and beverages.


You can replace Ashwagandha with ginseng due to its similar healing properties and bitter taste.

Ginseng is another herbal supplement or androgen used for centuries in Chinese medicine to combat stress, fatigue, and inflammation and to treat erectile dysfunction symptoms.

You can consume raw, lightly steamed ginseng via extract, capsule, or powder. In addition, you can seep fresh ginseng root in hot water to make a tea or add it to soups and stir-fries.

Give ginseng a try to boost your health. However, start with small doses and gradually increase over time.

Reishi Mushroom

The reishi fungus is an adaptogen mushroom that’s been a staple in Eastern medicine for many years. In addition, reishi has similar health effects to Ashwagandha, making it a suitable replacement.

Reishi can help fight stress, fatigue, depression, inflammation, and certain cancers while improving cognition and blood pressure management.

You can eat reishi mushrooms fresh. However, it is more common to use extracts or powdered reishi.