Modern herbalists say adaptogenic herbs are plants with properties that exert a normalizing influence on the body, neither habit-forming, over-stimulating nor inhibiting normal body function, but rather exerting a generalized tonifying effect. They increase your resistance overall against physical, chemical and biological stressors.
Basically, adaptogenic herbs will give you sustained energy and vitality while allowing your mind to think freely, calmly and without excessive stimulation. Each herb can be taken on its own in the appropriate dosage depending on your specific requirements. Here the top 10 adaptogenic herbs:
Rhodiola rosea (Golden Root, Roseroot, Aaron’s Rod) is effective for improving mood and alleviating depression. Its effects are potentially mediated by changes in serotonin and dopamine levels.
Used for centuries in Asia and Scandinavia, Rhodiola is still relatively new to the Western market, but its popularity is growing, in large part because of what an incredibly versatile — and relatively inexpensive.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an annual plant native to the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia. It has been harvested and used by humans in the Andean Mountains for centuries.
Darker colored maca roots (red, purple, black) contain significant amounts of natural iodine, a 10-gram serving of dried maca generally containing 52 micrograms of iodine.
It is highly beneficial for reducing fatigue, enhancing energy and endurance, as well as being a superlatively effective adaptagen for everyday living. Maca contains 55 phytochemicals that are known to have vitality-enhancing effects in the body, in addition to being incredibly mineral dense and nutritious.
Maca has the ability to heighten libido and improve semen quality. Its favorable effects on mood, may decrease anxiety and improve sexual desire. The effects of Maca are due to the root’s unique nutritional profile, which provides optimum levels of nutrients utilized by the body’s endocrine system. It may even alleviate medication-induced sexual dysfunction caused by pharmaceutical antidepressants.
Ashwangandha (Withania somnifera) is one of the premier restorative herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known to help stabilize mood and support optimal physical and emotional well-being. It is also known to improve memory and focus and endurance. It is believed to reduce the effects of stress on the body. The berries and leaves of ashwangandhaare locally applied to tumors, tubercular glands, carbuncles, and ulcers.
Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis) is a deciduous woody vine native to forests of Northern China and the Russian Far East. Its berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. They are most often used in dried form, and boiled to make a tea. Medicinally it is used as a tonic and restorative adaptogen with notable clinically documented liver protecting effects. It supports the immune system, relieves anxiety, increases energy, and it can improve mental clarity. It’s sometimes called the “five flavors berry,” because it tastes sour, bitter, sweet, salty and acrid all at once.