Feeling stressed, sluggish, or out of balance? You're not alone.

In today's fast-paced world, stress and fatigue are all too common.

But what if there was a natural way to improve your stress response, boost your energy, and support your overall well-being? Enter the fascinating world of adaptogens.

In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of adaptogens, and will investigate some popular adaptogenic herbs that may enrich your health and wellbeing.

What is an adaptogen?

Adaptogens are special plants and mushrooms that can help your body handle stress by adapting to it (pardon the pun!)

Scientifically speaking, adaptogens work on a molecular level by regulating our hormonal glands.

In particular, they create stability in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. Ultimately, this helps to maintain balance and promote resilience in our stress response system.

woman relaxing with cup of tea

What are the benefits of adaptogens?

While research on adaptogens is still ongoing, promising studies point to the potential benefits of adaptogens.

Unlike stimulants or masking agents, adaptogens can work with your body's natural systems to:

1) Regulate the stress response

By calming the nervous system and lowering cortisol levels, adaptogens can help you feel calmer and more resilient to stressful situations.

2) Enhance energy and focus

Feeling sluggish? Adaptogens can combat fatigue and improve mental clarity, keeping you sharp and energised throughout the day.

3) Support immune function

Studies suggest some adaptogens have immune-boosting properties, helping your body fight off illness and stay healthy.

4) Promote better sleep

Adaptogens can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalised.


What are the types of adaptogens?

With so many different types of adaptogens, where do you start?

You can categorise adaptogens by their suggested benefits. A popular adaptogenic herbs list may include:

Adaptogens for stress

  • Ashwagandha: This ancient Ayurvedic herb is known for its diverse benefits. It may help reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and boost energy levels, making it a valuable tool for stress management.
  • Rhodiola rosea: This golden root from the Arctic regions is traditionally used to combat fatigue and enhance mental clarity. Its adaptogenic properties might help increase your body's resistance to stress and improve physical performance.
  • Holy Basil (Tulsi): This sacred herb in India is not just for spiritual uses. Studies suggest it may possess adaptogenic effects, potentially reducing stress hormones and supporting a healthy inflammatory response.

Adaptogens for energy

  • Ginseng: This classic adaptogen, available in American and Asian varieties, is known for its invigorating properties. It may help improve energy levels, cognitive function, and physical stamina, making it a popular choice for those seeking an extra boost.
  • Cordyceps: This unique mushroom adaptogen might enhance your athletic performance by improving oxygen utilisation and reducing fatigue. Studies suggest it may also support immune function and overall vitality.
  • Maca: This Peruvian root vegetable is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, but its adaptogenic properties may extend beyond that. Maca may help balance energy levels, improve mood, and support hormonal health.

Adaptogens for immunity

  • Astragalus: This root with a long history in traditional Chinese Medicine is known for its immune-boosting properties. It may help protect against infections and support the body's natural defences.
  • Reishi Mushroom: This adaptogenic mushroom is revered for its potential to enhance immune function and reduce inflammation. It may also promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
  • Elderberry: This dark berry is rich in antioxidants and may help shorten the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. Its adaptogenic properties might also support immune system health.
chaga in a bowl

How to incorporate adaptogens into your lifestyle

Whether you're struggling to get a good night's rest, seeking relief from the pressures of daily life, or looking for healthier ways to unwind, adaptogens offer a natural solution to help you achieve greater harmony and vitality.

Adaptogens as an alcohol alternative

For those looking for a non-intoxicating approach to stress management and relaxation, adaptogens are a promising alternative to alcohol. 

These plant and mushroom extracts have special properties that help the body deal with stress, making them an ideal alcohol-free night cap.

Adaptogens as a stress reliever

Adaptogens can affect cortisol levels, the main stress hormone, helping to control its production and reduce its harmful effects.

Additionally, adaptogens may possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, further contributing to stress resilience.

Adaptogens for sleep

Adaptogens can influence various pathways impacting sleep. Some may interact with the nervous system, promoting relaxation and calming the mind.

Others may modulate cortisol levels, the stress hormone linked to sleep disturbances. Additionally, adaptogens such as L-theanine may enhance GABA production, a neurotransmitter crucial for sleep regulation.


Essentially, adaptogens offer a natural and holistic approach to supporting your body's ability to cope with stress and fatigue.

You can add adaptogenic herbs to your diet or try supplements or drinks with adaptogens - there are many different ways to enjoy an array of adaptogen benefits to fit your preferences.

Adaptogens are most effective when consumed in their purest form, so opt for foods and adaptogenic drinks that are enriched with these natural substances.

Remember, it's always important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medication.

Here's to a healthier, more balanced you with the power of adaptogens!

Thomas Robson-Kanu

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