Adaptogens enhance the body’s ability to resist a stressor.
In 1958, I.I. Brekhman, a Russian holistic medical doctor, and his colleague I.V. Dardymov, established the following definition of an adaptogen: It “must be innocuous and cause minimal disorders in the physiological functions of an organism, it must have a nonspecific action, and it usually has a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathological state.”
Many herbs are considered adaptogens and have stress-fighting properties that will normalize your body and help you cope with the impacts of stress.
The following are considered plants with adaptogenic properties.
American Ginseng Root (Panax quinquefolius)
American ginseng is considered a milder and less stimulating adaptogenic herb, making it a more appropriate option for regular use by people of all ages. It is cooling and moisturizing, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It works well against fatigue, chronic stress, depression, and anxiety, respiratory issues, and GI problems.
Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
Siberian ginseng has been known to normalize the effects of both physical and mental stress; it has been shown to increase mental alertness, improve work output and quality, and enhance athletic performance. Studies have also shown that the adaptogenic properties also had an improved effect on the ability to withstand adverse conditions (such as heat, cold, noise, and physical exertion).
Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera)
This herb is one of the few calming adaptogens and is commonly used to fight anxiety, insomnia, and nightmares. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic and is considered a tonic, sedative, astringent, nervine, and alterative.
Astragalus (Astragalus spp)
Another tonic herb, Astragalus aids the defensive chi and protects and enhances the functioning of distressed organs and the blood. When used in combination with other herbs, it can aid in the recovery following an illness or prolonged stress. It is often used to treat weak patients, as it has shown to boost vitality and improve the function of the immune system.
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra and G. uralensis)
Licorice is a versatile herb and is commonly used for autoimmune disorders, such as Lupus, Crohn’s disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as immune deficiency conditions like cancer and HIV. It is and anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antihepatotoxic, and antineoplastic; it is also helpful in treating peptic ulcers and spasmodic coughs. A word of caution – licorice root may cause sodium retention and may contribute to hypertension in some people.
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)
Schisandra is commonly used to promote liver health. It can also be used as a general or adaptogenic tonic to normalize the effects of stress and fatigue on both the mental and physical levels.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Shiitake (Lentinus edodes), Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Reishi and shiitake mushrooms have been used traditionally as tonics; each of the three mushrooms have adaptogenic, antitumor, and immune-enhancing properties.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Tulsi acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-stress, and anti-arithmetic agent. It has been shown to heighten immunity, lower blood pressure, treat allergies, ulcers, infertility, diabetes, cancer, cholesterol, and radiation poisoning.
Shatavari (Asparagus Root)
Shatavari is an herb used primarily for women’s health and fertility. It helps regulate hormones in the body, which can in turn prevent problems like menstrual cramps and miscarriage. It can be used to increase lactation, improve the digestive and reproductive systems’ health, as well as fight stress and anxiety, support liver function, and boost the immune system.
Adaptogens are typically taken as a tea. Adaptogen tea blend is made for you by an herbalist after a consultation with you, in order to include herbs the best fit you. Adaptogens can also be taken as a tincture.
For a herbal consultation visit our herbal clinic, either walk-in or make an appointment online for a herbal consultation. You will receive your own tea blend to take home!