Adaptogenic Herbs

What are adaptogenic herbs?

Adaptogens are herbs that are able to improve the body’s resistance to different elements of stress such as physical and emotional stressors.

These herbs are able to help to balance the hormones created by the endocrine system as well as aiding the immune system.

Many of these herbs are already used in different forms of alternative medicine.  Adaptogenic herbs used in ayurvedic medicine include holy basil, licorice, and amla.

Chinese medicine includes herbs such as Asian ginseng, astragalus, and lycium, while herbs regularly used in the west include American ginseng and rhodiola.

The Effects of Adaptogens
One of the main reasons for using an adaptogenic herb is for stress. An herbal remedy for stress is a good option for those who do not want to rely on a prescription medication but who are finding it difficult to cope with daily life.

The effects of an adaptogenic herb on the immune system are ideal for those suffering from stress, as stress has the effect of damaging the immune function of the body.

These herbs also have antioxidant properties, helping the body to detoxify and supporting organs and systems that suffer when the body and mind are under stress.

Using an Adaptogenic Herb
There are several adaptogens that are widely available, and these can be used in a number of ways. These herbs can be taken as a tea or in capsule form.

  • Siberian ginseng is often recommended for young adults that are suffering from stress. It can help to provide additional energy and stamina both physically and mentally.
  • Rhodiola is considered to be a cooling herb and is also known as golden root. It is useful for helping to treat “heat” type symptoms such as a red face and high blood pressure. With this herb, small doses are recommended to begin with, as even the smallest amounts can be stimulating. Larger amounts have a sedative effect and can also be used for colds and flu as well as an herbal remedy for stress. It can help to balance blood sugar levels and improve cognitive function.
  • American ginseng can stimulate the nervous system and lower levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. This is a warming herb and can be helpful in cases of severe stress, depression, and chronic fatigue. This is often recommended for those in the 30-50 age groups.
  • Shisandra Chinensis is a berry that works on normalizing the nervous system and boosting the immune system. It can boost metabolism and provide stimulation for physical and mental performance. It can also help to detoxify the liver. Most users will take one teaspoon of this each day, which can be taken alone or mixed with fruit juice.

Considerations will depend on the symptoms. Those who have high blood pressure, for example, should also seek medical advice before simply treating themselves with an herb.

Smaller doses of these herbs are best to begin with, or users should consult a professional herbalist before they begin. As each herb will have a different effect on the body, it is a good idea to have a consultation so that recommendations can be made for the individual.