top of page

The List Of Adaptogenic Herbs And What Are They Good For

We know that adaptogenic herbs are effective for individuals who are looking for stress relief while sticking to natural substances only. Adaptogens can protect your body from negative effects that generally occur due to stress. Not only that, these herbs increase your resistance to stress while giving additional health benefits, which we will discuss as we go further.

Adaptogenic Herbs

But the real question is what adaptogenic herbs are and which will work best for your condition. The term "adaptogen" came into existence in 1940 and was originally used to classify plant-based extracts. They were known to work on the enhancement of the human body, but non-specifically.

Currently, these herbs are used by people to build resistance to stress. Furthermore, these herbs may even help with making the body adapt to situations that are highly stressful. So, it is important to know what these herbs are, how they can help you, and if they are the best for you. Let's cover all the parts that contribute to these herbs working.

What Are Adaptogenic Herbs: Let's End Your Curiosity

Adaptogens are known to be active ingredients that are found in certain mushrooms and plants. These substances may impact the way your body deals with anxiety, stress, and fatigue. Mushrooms and plants are responsible for providing adaptogenic actions. Upon consumption, adaptogens target particular stressors that are found in your body.

A plant must have three of these qualities in order to be classified as an adaptogen:

  • It should not have any toxic elements when consumed in normal doses.

  • It must help your body to build resistance to stress.

  • Furthermore, it must give your body the balance back. (homeostasis).

There are some famous examples of naturally occurring adaptogens, which include:

  • Panax ginseng

  • Schisandra Chinensis

  • Rhodiola Crenulata

  • Acanthopanax Senticosus

Adaptogenic herbs may help you build resistance to stress but remember they are not, in any case, the permanent answer to stress which are long-term.

In What Way Can Adaptogenic Herbs Help You, Or How Do These Herbs Work?

Suppose you are thinking of using adaptogenic herbs. In that case, you might want to know how these herbs work and whether taking adaptogens works or if it is anecdotal. Well, if we talk about research, you should know that most of them have shown positive results on working adaptogens. Furthermore, research states that these herbs can promote good sleep, boost energy while working, increase athletic performance, and may even improve concentration.

These herbs can help you adapt to different types of stress. They help normalize many processes inside the body and promote the state of homeostasis or balance.

Adaptogens advocates say that these herbs can even improve overall health and help individuals with:

  • Inflammation and pain occurred due to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

  • sleep problems

  • The physical and mental fatigue that occurs with stress

  • Hormonal imbalances that cause affect the nervous system.

  • Fibromyalgia

More studies are still needed to confirm adaptogens' effects. At the same time, some of them claim that certain adaptogens might even help with cancer.

Is Taking Adaptogenic Herbs Right For You?

After knowing how adaptogens work and affect you, your next question is, should I take these herbs? Before we answer that, we must also tell you how our body fights stress naturally and how long-term stress can become a problem.

When a person is under a stressful situation, their body helps them calm their stress by producing cortisol. The work of cortisol is to help your body fight stress. But, for many people, stress is a daily occurrence that leads the body to produce a high amount of cortisol. Such a situation is normally called "stressed out."

Furthermore, suppose your body struggles with managing mental, emotional, and physical stress. In that case, there are chances that external stressors will become internal problems. However, do not worry since these outcomes are preventable if you take the right actions.

Locating the sources of stress is quite easy in some cases. However, there are also cases where it becomes hard to identify the stress source. As stress can take different forms, you must know the common signs of it:

  • constant worry and anxiety

  • Increase in lack of sleep

  • Modern life, which causes mental stress

  • Daily exposure to toxins

  • Physical stress like exposure to cold, lengthy physical exertion, etc.

  • Decrease in physical activities and bad diet

Taking adaptogens will do wonders for your body as it prevents stress and is a herbal solution. Although they are safe to use, a doctor's advice is still recommended.

So, coming to the question of whether you should take adaptogens or not. Taking them is a personal choice, and we have already mentioned the medical studies that have been done on their effects. As they promote overall wellness and are natural and safe to use, one might not want to miss them.

What Are The Most Powerful Adaptogenic Herbs? (With Benefits)

So, after studying the effects of Adaptogenic herbs, we must also know about the most powerful adaptogens. Although there are many adaptogens, there are some specific ones that do wonders for reducing stress and preventing it as well. Let's look at the best Adaptogenic herbs and how they can help you with stress, including their other benefits.

1. Rhodiola

Golden root, or Rhodiola, is a highly potent adaptogen, and many researchers have studied this herb's effects. Several studies state that Rhodiola offers our body a biological defense that protects us against stress. An animal study showed that ingesting this herb can work as a mild stressor. This results in increasing the stress defense among organisms.

Another human trial found that repeated use of Rhodiola is able to exert the anti-fatigue effect, which results in an increase in mental performance. According to some animal and lab research, this herb also has antioxidant effects.

2. Ashwagandha

If you are not familiar with ashwagandha, you may have heard of Indian ginseng. This adaptogen has been part of many studies, which included its effect on stress tolerance, cortisol, and stress responses. In an animal study, the researcher found ashwagandha is able to stop the growth of lipid peroxidation caused due to bacteria-induced stress. It is a biological process in which oxidative stress leads to cell damage within cells of the blood.

You must know that the results and studies are not limited to animals. A human study with 64 subjects concluded that ashwagandha effectively and safely enhances the person's resistance to stress and improves overall life quality. Another study found that subjects have a change in their thyroid levels by ingesting herbs, which concluded this adaptogen has regulating effects. Furthermore, such studies also show this herb has neuroprotective effects.

3. Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)

Many studies have found Brahmi has powerful compounds that may contain antioxidant effects. Research shows this powerful adaptogen may help in preventing stress and anxiety. As it is part of our list of most powerful adaptogenic herbs, it's quite true that this herb will enhance your body's resistance to anxiety as well as stress.

According to studies, this herb helps by decreasing cortisol levels, which you may already know is a hormone highly linked to the level of stress. They also found this herb to help with elevating the mood, resulting in lower anxiety and stress. As per one rodent study, Brahmi shows anti-anxiety effects that are quite similar to lorazepam, a medicine that helps in treating anxiety.

4. Eleuthero Root

Eleuthero or Eleutherococcus senticosus is a popular Asian herb and has been popular for a variety of its healing effects. This herb has quite a similarity with ginseng, as it is a relative. Also, it has a famous name due to this, called Siberian ginseng. It has similar benefits to ginseng, although they are known to be less potent comparatively.

Also known to be an effective adaptogen, this herb has some stress-resisting properties. Furthermore, this herb is also popular for having potent physical effects. Because of this, many athletes use this herb to increase their athletic performance. Many non-athletics also prefer taking this herb, especially those that have physically demanding work hours.

This herb also has a few other benefits, including:

  • preventing heart disease

  • depression relief

  • anxiety relief

  • fast recovery to stress burnout

5. Ginseng

One of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs is ginseng. This herb is known to have the best potent effects for dealing with stress and anxiety. Much research has claimed this herb has calming, elevating effects and improves memory functioning, especially in young adults. According to one 2018 review, ginseng may be one of the treatments for fatigue in people that have a chronic illness.

More studies showed this herb aided in reducing blood glucose levels, ulcer index, creatine kinase, adrenal gland weight, serum corticosterone, and triglycerides. From the study results, scientists concluded that this herb possesses major anti-stress properties and will be effective in treating stress-induced disorders.

6. Licorice

This adaptogen is well known for increasing endurance and energy. Also, it has boosting effects on the immune system and supports the health of the gut. Licorice may affect your potassium levels and blood pressure. And for that reason, you should take conventional licorice in cycles consisting of 12 weeks. However, the case is different if you are using DGL licorice, as this herb is safe even for long-term use. If you are a hypertension patient, it's better to ought some other adaptogens.

If you are searching for adaptogenic herbs for hormone balance, licorice root may be your best option. In a study, licorice has shown some hormone levels regulating effects that are related to stress, such as cortisol. The study also noticed this herb's potential for preventing ulcers. A few other potential benefits of licorice may help with fat reduction and reduce testosterone and androgen hormones in women.

Which Adaptogenic Herbs Will Be Best For You?

Adaptogenic herbs, although known for stress relieving effects, have different effects based on which adaptogen you are using. So, how will you know which adaptogens will work for your condition? You simply need to see what problem you have and what you are seeking from the herbs. Some may help you energize, while some may give you relaxing effects. We also have some that offer both these effects, such as Ashwagandha.

Let's see what these herbs have for you:


Potential benefit

Potential side effects

Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera

may lower anxiety and stress

may upset the stomach; must avoid during pregnancy


may avert mental and physical fatigue

may cause excess salivation, dry mouth, or dizziness

Eleuthero Root or Eleutherococcus senticosus

may enhance focus and avert mental fatigue

may upset the stomach and cause a headache

Ginseng or Panax quinquefolius

may boost calmness, memory, reaction time, and immune system

may upset the stomach and cause a headache

Licorice root or Glycyrrhiza glabra

may fight fatigue

may reduce potassium, cause high-level blood pressure, and potentially unsafe for cardiovascular or kidney disease; must avoid in pregnancy

Astragalus or Astragalus membranaceus

may fight fatigue

may react with drugs that help the immune system

Turmeric or Curcuma longa

may lower depression

mostly safe if taken in a small amount

Cordyceps or Cordyceps militaris

may increase stamina

may cause throat discomfort, nausea, headache, allergic reactions, dry mouth, abdominal distention, and diarrhea; avoid if you have RA, lupus, or multiple sclerosis

Schisandra berry / Magnolia berry or Schisandra chinensis

may increase mental performance, working capacity, and endurance

may cause breathing difficulty, restlessness, and sleep problems

Goji berry or Lycium barbarum

may enhance mental and physical performance, energy, well-being, and calmness, is able to improve sleep

might cause allergic reactions

Tulsi / Holy basil or Ocimum sanctum

may lower mental and physical stress, depression, anxiety stress, can enhance thinking and memory

mostly safe for use; however, more studies are needed.

Jiaogulan or Gynostemma pentaphyllum

may lower stress and enhance endurance

generally, no side effects

How Can You Add Adaptogenic Herbs To Your Diet?

There is no way you will directly ingest adaptogenic herbs. Therefore, these adaptogenic herbs come in the form of tinctures, capsules, and powders. Furthermore, recently there has been a big uproar in the adaptogens-infused foods, tonics, and drinks market. There are common cases where you can even find adaptogenic mushrooms, through which you can even prepare mushroom tea. Using turmeric root with it can be more beneficial for your health.

Remember that each adaptogen has a different use and works differently from person to person. Hence, try to carefully read the instructions specified on that particular product you are using. If it's your first time as an adaptogens user, using a low dose of them is recommended, which you can increase as you become more familiar with them.

Experts recommend using adaptogenic herbs for short periods, i.e., about six - 12 weeks. Changing the adaptogens, you are using on a monthly basis can be beneficial, as your body can get more exposure to different compounds. One of the best ways to add adaptogens to your daily diet is tinctures. They are quite easy to use and can be taken any time of day since they can be carried. You can order Shea's Apothecary ADAPTO CALM TINCTURE to experience the blend of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs.

Can You Consume Adaptogens Through Teas?

Teas are also another great way to consume adaptogens. With each sip, you can experience a feeling of reduced stress. There are a few adaptogenic herbs that you can dry, steep, and grind in hot water; the process is quite similar to how you make your favorite tea.

You can find a wide range of tea blends available in the market that have adaptogenic herbs as the primary ingredient. Not to mention, read the label carefully to see the tea's intended effects. There will also be mentioning how you should steep that tea and how often you can drink it.


So, this was the list of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs. These herbs are highly effective for stress and can also enhance your athletic performance. Furthermore, their additional benefits include better memory, improved concentration, greater immune functioning, and so on. Which adaptogenic herb will be best depends on your condition and what works best for you. Consulting your doctor is important before using any adaptogenic herb for your condition.

Visit Shea's Apothecary if you are interested in herbs, tinctures, and teas that can help with stress, anxiety, and other health conditions. Our tinctures have all the adaptogenic herbs that can shield your body against stress. Furthermore, our products work to improve your overall health.


Which Is The Most Powerful Adaptogen?

If you are searching for the most powerful adaptogen, you should try ginseng, Rhodiola, ashwagandha, and Eleuthero root.

In Total, How Many Adaptogenic Herbs Are There?

There are around 70 forms of herbal plants that are classified as adaptogens.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Too Many Adaptogens?

Your body can easily accept adaptogens. However, taking too much can cause some minor side effects, including:

  • Nausea

  • Allergic reactions

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal pain

  • Diarrhea

66 views0 comments


bottom of page