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Adaptogens: Do They Really Work and Are They for You?

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Adaptogens[1] are a classification of herbs, mushrooms, and root that help balance your body’s reaction to stress. They protect you from disease, improve adrenal function, boost immune function and improve your overall well-being. You can take them as an herbal supplement and mix them in your coffee, add them to your tea, or enjoy them in a smoothie. They can also be taken in capsule form.

People in Asia and India have been using adaptogens for centuries to treat various ailments and disease. However, medical experts in the United States are also beginning to recognize the value of these supplements as research continues to grow.

Adaptogens and stress

Any kind of stress affects the body: emotional, hormonal, physical, and even the things we eat and drink. Research[2] shows that adaptogens interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and initiates your body stress response while also keeping your body in balance.

It’s important to know that not all herbs work as adaptogens. To be classified as an adaptogen, a plant substance or herb must:

  • Help the body cope with stress.

  • Be nontoxic in normal doses (must not harm the body).

  • Maintain homeostasis (balance) in the body.

Benefits of adaptogens:

Although there is still much to be learned, growing research indicates that adaptogens support the body in many ways including balancing hormones, fighting fatigue and boosting the immune system, and improving mood. Medical science[3] even suggests that adaptogens may be helpful in conjunction with standard treatments for congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and post-surgery recovery.

Some common adaptogens and their uses include:

  • Ashwagandha[4] – Supports the immune system, energy concentration, stress management, and hormone balance. Also reduces inflammation.

  • Cordyceps – Cordyceps come from the high elevations in the Himalayan mountains and are usually grown on caterpillars. They are high in antioxidants and help the body to utilize oxygen more efficiently. Cordyceps also help to regulate cortisol and testosterone.

  • Lion’s Mane[5] – May protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia, fights cancer, reduces risk for heart disease, manages symptoms of diabetes, and boosts the immune system.

  • Rosehip – Boosts your Vitamin C!

  • Turmeric – Anti-inflammatory for enhanced brain and cognitive function.

  • Reishi – Promotes longevity, balances hormones, energy, mental clarity, and digestive system. Also fights cancer and treats cancerous tumors.

  • Chaga[6] – This mushroom is antiviral, antimicrobial, and highly antioxidant. It also boosts the immune system and gastrointestinal system. Also fights cancer.

  • Astragalus – Supports the immune system, energy levels, is antiviral, and highly antioxidant. Also supports the cardiovascular system.

Some things to consider before taking adaptogens:

As you can see the benefits of taking adaptogens are many; however, there are some things to consider before taking these herbal supplements:

· Check with your primary care physician (PCP) to see if the desired adaptogen is in alignment with your health and with any medications you might be taking. Adaptogens might interact with your medications.

· Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You can purchase adaptogens at your local pharmacy, grocery store, or vitamin store, but please research the brand and products first.

· Adaptogens are not a permanent solution and must be taken regularly for their full benefits. They should not be taken in place of a healthy well-balanced diet and standard care.

Two well-respected companies that supply and distribute adaptogens are Peak and Valley, Goldmine, and if you love coffee you might want to try Grateful Earth.

Adaptogens can be fun, delicious, and nutritious. They are a great way to supplement your diet, relieve stress, and promote a healthier lifestyle.

*The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products sold are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Author Bio

Isabella Boston

Isabella Boston is a multi-talented writer and the founder of Bella’s Attic Studio. She is well-versed in copywriting, articles and research, and medical content writing with a focus on traumatic brain injury (TBI), autoimmune disorders, and inflammation within the body. Isabella is a diarist and the author of Passion of Flames.


[1] Peak and Valley. (n.d.). The ultimate guide to adaptogens. Peak and Valley. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from [2] Panossian, A., & Wikman, G. (2010, January 19). Effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system and the molecular mechanisms associated with their stress-protective activity. Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland). Retrieved May 2, 2023, from [3] Irfan, M., Kwak, Y.-S., Han, C.-K., Hyun, S. H., & Rhee, M. H. (2020, July). Adaptogenic effects of panax ginseng on modulation of cardiovascular functions. Journal of ginseng research. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from [4] Benefits of ashwagandha and how much to take. Cleveland Clinic. (2022, October 17). Retrieved May 2, 2023, from [5] Julson, E. (2023, February 7). 9 health benefits of Lion's mane mushroom (plus side effects). Healthline. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from [6] schneik4. (2023, March 9). 4 benefits of Chaga Mushrooms. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from

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