Adaptogens help deal with stress – the long term effects of stress. Adaptogens help treat adrenal fatigue.
Adaptogens are a group of herbs and herbal preparations which stabilize physiological processes and encourage balance in your body.
Adaptogens help when your brain can’t think, isn’t able to concentrate and you are tired. It is then that your body makes good use of adaptogens. Scientific studies have found adaptogens really do help deal with stress.
When you take adaptogens, you are able to increase your work capacity and efficiency, and your ability to concentrate. Adaptogens are used to get relief from constant fatigue and anxiety.
Studies (animal) found adaptogens protect nerves, are anti-fatigue, help with depression and anxiety, help the brain perform better and stimulate your central nervous system.
Adaptogens protect you against stress because they regulate homeostasis in your body, the way your body maintains internal balance. For the scientists among you, the mechanisms of action are the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) and the immune-neuro-endocrine system.
A Few Adaptogenic Herbs with Research Results
Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
Good scientific evidence has documented that Eleutherococcus senticosus increased endurance and mental performance in patients with mild fatigue and weakness. Siberian ginseng has been extensively studied. It has been shown to reduce the negative effects of physical, emotional or environmental stress.
It is promoted as having a wide range of benefits, including boosting mental performance and making cancer-related chemotherapy more effective. It is used to treat chemotherapy induced bone marrow suppression, heart pain, too much cholesterol, nerve pain, inability to sleep, and poor appetite.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
A tonic herb with immune enhancing benefits.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
is a cruciferous plant native to the high Andes. Maca is used as a food supplement and for its medicinal properties. Scientific evidence showed maca has nutritional, energizer, and fertility-enhancer properties. It acts on sexual dysfunctions by increasing sperm count and motility, and protects skin against ultraviolet radiation.
Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng)
The antistress mechanisms of Panax ginseng suggests actions on both the adrenal glands and the HPA axis. Panax ginseng is a long life and a male virility herb. It is tonic, adaptogenic and increases stamina.
Rose stonecrop (Rhodiola rosea)
Strong scientific evidence is available for Rhodiola rosea. It has been found to improve attention, brain function and mental performance in fatigue and in chronic fatigue syndrome.
R. rosea is a very active plant adaptogen. Within 30 minutes of taking it, there is a stimulating effect which continues for at least 4-6 hours.
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)
Good scientific evidence has been documented in trials: Schisandra chinensis increased endurance and mental performance in patients with mild fatigue and weakness. It is used to decrease fatigue, stress, and to enhance physical performance. It is said to reduce stress hormones in the blood.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwaganda is considered the preeminent adaptogen in the Ayruvedic (Indian) medical system. It has been studied in India and found to minimize negative effects of chemo-therapy and to enhance vitality. When administered to animals, ashwaganda counteracts many biological changes that accompany severe stress, including changes in blood sugar and cortisol levels.
It is a tonic herb which is not stimulating and facilitates sleep, hence is ideal in situations of sympathetic dominance. A high-concentration full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves your resistance to stress and thereby improves your quality of life.
Panossian, A., & Wikman, G. (2010). Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress-Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 3(1), 188–224. doi:10.3390/ph3010188
Liao, L. Y., He, Y. F., Li, L., Meng, H., Dong, Y. M., Yi, F., & Xiao, P. G. (2018). A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide. Chinese medicine, 13, 57. doi:10.1186/s13020-018-0214-9
Panossian A1, Wikman G. (2009). Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Sep;4(3):198-219. Epub 2009 Sep 1.
Gonzales G. F. (2012). Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 193496. doi:10.1155/2012/193496