While we can’t avoid all stressors, there are certain things we can do to help increase our ability to respond to a stressful situation well, such as adding adaptogens.
Adaptogens are plant and mushroom compounds that help your body handle the effects of ongoing stress over time.
Adaptogens may be taken in the form of capsules, tinctures, or dried powders added to food, tea, or taken as a supplement.
Two popular adaptogens are Ashwagandha and Panax Ginseng.
Stress affects all of us, whether it’s related to factors like work, relationships, or adjusting to daylight savings time. It can impact our mental performance and overall health. While some stress levels can be short-lived and manageable, other stressors can stick around and disrupt everyday life.
Regardless, having ways to calm down under stress is essential. This can involve a combination of stress management activities like meditation, exercise, and aromatherapy, but also adding holistic compounds to your routine that can help support optimal health, like adaptogens.
Let’s examine what adaptogens are, provide a list of adaptogens and benefits, and show how you can use adaptogens for stress management.
What are Adaptogens?
If you’ve been wondering how to reduce stress, have you considered adaptogens? Adaptogens are compounds found in certain plants and mushrooms that help the body better respond to and manage stressors over time.
They are thought to help increase your resilience to stress, resulting in fewer negative health effects as a result. In other words, adaptogens help our body handle and adapt to stressors.✝
While adaptogens have always existed in nature and have long been used in traditional medicine, the term “adaptogen” was introduced in 1947. The understanding and use of them have only grown since.
While research on modern uses of adaptogens is ongoing, some studies have found that they may be beneficial for things like supporting your stress response.†
Still, how adaptogens work is complicated and not yet well understood. Some researchers report that adaptogens act upon the hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal axis (which plays a key role in helping your body adapt to stress) as well as some stress hormones like cortisol.
Are adaptogens safe to use?
Adaptogens continue to be studied today, but the overarching conclusion about their safety is that they are considered to be low risk for adverse health effects when taken in the recommended dosage.
With that being said, it’s always best to speak to your healthcare provider before adding a new supplement or product to your routine, to make sure it’s safe and appropriate for you.
1. What are our favorite adaptogens?
All adaptogens have the potential to help support stress management and overall wellness, but two of the most popular adaptogens for stress include Ashwagandha, the most well-known adaptogen for stress, and Panax Ginseng, which helps increase mental and physical energy in the midst of everyday stress.†.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), sometimes called Indian Winter Cherry, is an evergreen shrub native to Africa, India, and parts of the Middle East. Long revered in Ayurvedic medicine as an herb supporting stress resilience, this adaptogen is recognized today through clinical studies for its ability to help reduce stress.✝
One way to add Ashwagandha to your routine is with Nature Made® Ashwagandha Capsules, which contain 125 mg of root and leaf extract per capsule, or our Ashwagandha 300 Mg per serving Gummies. Both supplements help reduce stress.†
Panax Ginseng, also called Asian Ginseng, is a plant that grows in Siberia, China, and Korea. It has been traditionally used in herbal medicine to help increase energy and resistance to stress. This plant was widely used in ancient times but continues to have many applications today.†
Ginseng’s adaptogenic properties are primarily attributed to bioactive compounds called ginsenosides. A convenient way to take Ginseng is via Nature Made® Multi + Ginseng Capsules, which provide 200 mg of Panax Ginseng root extract per daily capsule in addition to key nutrients for daily nutritional support.†
List of Other Adaptogens to Consider
Looking for adaptogens to add to your wellness routine? Below is a list of adaptogens that you may be interested in trying:
Incorporating Adaptogens into Your Diet
Including adaptogens for stress in your diet is simple. Some of the ways you can add them to your diet include:
Add dried powdered adaptogenic plants to your tea or smoothies
Prepare adaptogenic mushrooms in meals
Take adaptogens in supplemental capsules or powdered form
Use adaptogenic tinctures, which are liquid forms of plant extracts
There is no standard dosage for adaptogens as this depends on the type of plant you’re using and how you’re taking it. The best way to know what dosage to take is to read the label and follow the directed amount, or speak with your healthcare provider.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and looking for holistic ways to manage stress, consider the list of adaptogens and benefits above and discuss your needs with your healthcare provider before incorporating adaptogens into your wellness routine.
Learn more about adaptogens and stress management:
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Todorova V, Ivanov K, Delattre C, Nalbantova V, Karcheva-Bahchevanska D, Ivanova S. Plant Adaptogens-History and Future Perspectives. Nutrients. 2021;13(8):2861. Published 2021 Aug 20. doi:10.3390/nu13082861
Panossian A. Understanding adaptogenic activity: specificity of the pharmacological action of adaptogens and other phytochemicals. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017;1401(1):49-64. doi:10.1111/nyas.13399
Liao LY, He YF, Li L, et al. A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide. Chin Med. 2018;13:57. Published 2018 Nov 16. doi:10.1186/s13020-018-0214-9
Lauren specializes in plant-based living and vegan and vegetarian diets for all ages. She also enjoys writing about parenting and a wide variety of health, environmental, and nutrition topics. Find her at www.laurenpanoff.com.
As a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Sandra educates healthcare professionals and consumers on nutrition, supplements, and related health concerns. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Sandra worked as a clinical dietitian at University of Chicago Medicine in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, with minors in Spanish and Chemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from RUSH University in Chicago, IL. As part of her Master’s program, Sandra performed research on physical activity participation and correlates in urban Hispanic women.