Adaptogens work by improving the way your body reacts to certain stressors [1
]. They are herbs that have been used for hundreds of years to help the body cope with stress, anxiety, and fatigue. While adaptogens don’t prevent any stressful events from happening, they can reduce cortisol levels to help the body cope with physical and mental feelings of stress.
There are many types of adaptogens, but some common ones include:
is an evergreen shrub native to India and Southeast Asia and a commonly used medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha is commonly used to alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and may be beneficial for reducing blood sugar, cholesterol, and inflammation [2
]. It can also enhance sleep, immunity, sports performance, memory, brain function, and may improve male fertility and improve sexual dysfunction in females.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius).
Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal medicines, and has been used in Chinese and alternative medicine for centuries to enhance physical and emotional health. While there are two types of ginseng (American and Asian), studies have found that American ginseng can improve memory, calmness, and the immune system [3
Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum).
Not to be confused with the basil you would find in your spice collection, holy basil is a potent herb that has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to improve energy levels, relieve fatigue, and lower blood glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol [4
Turmeric (Curcuma longa):
Turmeric offers many anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to boost brain function and improve depression [5