Adaptogenic Herbal Blend for Burnout: Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Ginger + Shilajit

In This Article

3 Key Factors of Burnout

Do you feel burnt out at your job? Work-related stress can lead to tiredness, irritability, and lack of motivation. Studies suggest that 30-80% of American nurses and doctors are experiencing signs of burnout.1,2

  1. Feelings of exhaustion.
  2. Feelings of cynicism, irritability, and detachment from the job.
  3. A sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

Western medicine has limited tools to address this growing concern. The most common recommendations (offering limited success) are:3

  1. Changing work patterns, such as working less and taking more breaks
  2. Developing coping skills, like time management
  3. Social support from families and co-workers
  4. Better health and fitness strategies
  5. Counseling or therapy

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Rhodiola to the Rescue!

One study measured effects of one of the more well-studied adaptogenic herbs, rhodiola root, on workplace burnout. The result was impressive. The aim of the study was to increase stress resistance, rather than just administering a stimulant to mask symptoms of fatigue.4

Read more about adaptogenic herbs here.

In this study, 118 patients experiencing burnout were given 200 mg twice a day of Rhodiola rosea for three months. The group that finished the study saw remarkable results. On a perceived Stress Scale, they showed significant improvement in:

  1. Overall Stress Score
  2. Fatigue
  3. Irritability
  4. Lack of joy
  5. Feeling overloaded
  6. Tension
  7. Worry

The rhodiola group also experienced improved levels of alertness, calmness, and overall enhancement of mood. The study concluded that in the administration of rhodiola over the course of 12 weeks, a wide range of burnout-related issues were clearly improved.4

Rhodiola has been used for boosting mental clarity and physical energy for thousands of years all throughout Europe and Asia. It is the herb said to be responsible for Viking strength and stamina.5

Ayurveda’s Adaptogens: Rhodiola, Ashwagandha + More

Rhodiola works much like (and in great synergy with) the classic Ayurvedic apaptogen ashwagandha. Much like rhodiola, ashwagandha has been found in numerous studies to support energy and endurance after hours of endurance exercise and stress.5

Much like rhodiola, ashwagandha is one of the very few herbs that can boost physical energy and mood during the day, and also support deep sleep at night, suggesting these herbs boost energy reserves and fight fatigue without being stimulants that only mask symptoms and disturb normal sleep patterns.6

At LifeSpa, we combine five adaptogenic herbs to naturally support normal and healthy energy levels in a formula called 5-Herbal Energy. In addition to rhodiola and ashwagandha, this formula also includes Siberian ginseng, shilajit, and ginger root.9

We’ve already learned about the powers of rhodiola and ashwaganda—read about the other three herbs below.

Eleuthero Root (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

In China, eleuthero (aka Siberian ginseng) is considered one of the safest herbal adaptogens to support healthy energy levels. In one study with elderly adults complaining of fatigue, eleuthero supported better mental energy and social interaction, suggesting support for healthy energy levels with no reported side effects.7

Shilajit (Asphaltum punjabianum)

Shilajit works by enhancing natural production of the body’s primary energy source, adenosine triphosphate, commonly known as ATP.8

ATP is manufactured in the mitochondria, where food is converted into energy. ATP delivers about 95% of cellular energy that fuels the lion’s share of the body’s energy needs. It is involved in almost every one of the body’s physiological functions.


Ginger has been used for thousands of years as an energizer, adaptogen for stress, digestion and the nervous system.11 Most folks struggle with energy in part because of the poor or lack luster delivery of nutrients to support a healthy and robust energy reserve. Ginger was used Ayurvedically as a bio-enhancer to enhance the delivery of other herbs and herbal constituents in an Ayurvedic formula.10 In this formula it acts as a driver to boost the digestion and assimilation of the other herbs in the formula.11

Have you tried any of these herbs alone or in combination (aka 5-Herbal Energy)? What did you notice?

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This article originally appeared in Elephant Journal.



2 thoughts on “Adaptogenic Herbal Blend for Burnout: Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Ginger + Shilajit”

  1. I’ve tried several of these herbs. Rhodiola was the only one that didn’t make me feel weird. Both Ashwagandha and eleuthero made me feel jittery/creepy crawly inside. I didn’t like the feeling. Consequently, I’ve been reluctant to try herbal adaptogens. Medicinal mushrooms like reishi seem to work better with my system.


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