What Are Adaptogenic Herbs and What Do They Do?

Adaptogenic Herbs

What are adaptogenic herbs and how do they work?

Adaptogenic herbs are natural compounds that work in the body to help you adapt to sudden changes. This is most applicable to stress. Adaptogenic herbs deal with stress in a natural way and in this way will avoid the effects of stress such as fatigue and all the other consequences that come with it.

In addition, adaptogenic herbs have another important effect and that is to regulate hormonal balance. In men, that is mainly making sure that enough testosterone can be produced. In women, that is then making sure that enough estrogen can be produced.

Adaptogenic herbs have a number of other functions which include:

  • Supporting the immune system
  • Help maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve physical endurance
  • Improve mental focus
  • Keeping the state of mind in balance

We can ge all these benefits of adaptogenic herbst by adding them to our lifestyle. There are a large number of herbs that we can use that are known for their adaptogenic function.

14 Powerful Adaptogenic Herbs

There are a large number of natural adaptogenic herbs. They can be taken in a supplement or usually also drunk via an extract with water or as tea. Not all of them have exactly the same effect. Although all of them will primarily address stress. They all have associated additional benefits.

Panax Ginseng

This herb has many different names. Asian ginseng, Panax ginseng, Korean ginseng, Red ginseng. These all come from the same plant and therefore have the same function. The herb contains strong antioxidants that are going to support especially the heart and immune system. Although there are also effects like lower blood pressure, better circulation, and improved erection when using this plant.

Holy Basilicum

There is nothing sacred about this plant. Only that it contains very beneficial results for the body. This might then be called sacred.

This herb can be very good for relaxing the digestive system. And supports optimal health. Its antioxidant effect will the heart and will ensure normal fat levels. This is also very good against stress like all adaptogenic herbs.

Milk Thistle

This herb will especially support the liver and help boost metabolism. This also helps metabolize hormones that are a result of stress.


Also called Indian Ginseng. However, has nothing to do with ginseng only that it is also adaptogenic herbs. is very good at lowering stress and anxiety. In addition, it will provide energy and help with libido and fertility for both men and women.


Rhodiola is a popular herb in mountainous regions. There, it has been used for thousands of years for its stress-reducing and fatigue-fighting abilities. Rhodiola is also associated with depression. It is used commonly in Europe for endurance.

Research showed that Rhodiola increases serotonin by as much as 30%. This would largely explain its antidepressant effects.

Ginseng Eleuthero

Also called Russian or Siberian Ginseng. However, has nothing to do with ginseng. In fact, the botanical name is Eleutherococcus senticosus.

However, its action also belongs to the adaptogens so with that it is associated with the plant ginseng. This herb, in addition to its beneficial effect on stress, will also increase overall energy.


This herb is mainly used in cooking and is not immediately seen as an herb with medicinal properties. Nothing could be further from the truth. This herb contains enormously powerful antioxidants that can help protect against damage caused by free radicals. In addition, the herb is also very good for the heart, liver and is an excellent remedy for stress.

Aloe Vera

Researchers have discovered that in addition to its many effects for the skin, aloe vera also has powerful adaptogenic properties and can therefore be used very well to support the immune system.

Gotu Kola

Slightly less well known, this herb is mainly used in China and India and stimulates blood circulation. It helps in this way to combat swelling and is also a very strong antioxidant.


The Chinese have traditionally used this to promote good health and combat stress. The active ingredient called TAT2 protects against aging and will help detoxify the body. This makes this herb very beneficial for the kidneys and liver.

Moringa Oleifera

The seeds, leaves and roots of the plant are used in South Asia as an ingredient in numerous dishes. In addition, this herb supports the immune system and will help prevent swelling. It will also provide more energy.


This herb is used in Chinese medicine to promote good health and improve general well-being. Research also shows that the antioxidants in this herb help keep the body well balanced.


This popular Ayurvedic herb has been used for centuries to improve brain health. Specifically, memory, concentration and thinking skills.


Liquorice or Glycyrrhiza glabra is commonly used to boost metabolism but will also help improve overall health.

How They Work

Now that we have given some examples of adaptogens we can take a look at what adaptogenic herbs really are and how adaptogenic herbs work.

First, it is important to understand that stress exists only in short bursts. It is a reaction to hormones. A reaction that occurs when we begin to worry. Today we worry more than ever. There is always something to worry about. When the adrenaline system is in a constant state of stress, the body will become unbalanced.

Constant stress can do serious damage to the body. Especially to our digestive system and the amount of energy we experience. Adaptogenic herbs will then help to reduce stress and thus make the body more resistant to those attacks of stress.

In this way, we can get out of the chronic stress situation and will also worry less. Studies show, among other things, that herbs such as Rhodiola and Schisandra can drastically reduce the occurrence of stress. While ashwagandha can bring the effects of stress back into balance in 20 minutes.

In this way, they will help you to have better endurance and become more resistant to physical and mental stress.

We can see them as a thermostat. If the temperature gets too high in the house then the heating turns off, if the temperature gets too low then the heating turns on.

Stress can therefore act like a thermostat. If the stress gets too high the adaptogens kick in. Until the stress is low enough, the adaptogenic action continues.

Another way of seeing it like this:

Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue and overall wellbeing. You can take adaptogens by adding them to food or beverages or take them as tinctures. Adaptogens bring your body back to a steady balance by managing both physical and mental stressors. (Source*)

Carl Riedel

I am an official member of International Association of Therapists and research natural healing methods and herbs. The posts are my findings.

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