8 Adaptogens To Take Now

If you’re a wellness warrior, chances are you’re already acquainted with adaptogens. Primed to reduce stress and balance hormones, it’s no wonder these powerful herbs are having moment, yet with dozens of so-called adaptogens out there, how to know where to start? Consider this your official guide.

What exactly are adaptogens?

Adaptogens come in the form of various plants and herbs which help rebalance the body’s stress responses. They're effective at helping the body adapt to stress, be it work stress, the changing of the seasons (which can affect the immune system) or emotional stress. Plus, they nourish the adrenal glands, stabilise blood sugar, restore blood pressure to a healthy level and even rebalance hormones.

Although only a recent addition to the Western wellness world, they’ve been used in Chinese and Indian ayurvedic medicine for centuries to boost resilience and energy in the face of adversity.

How do they work?

As Dr Frank Lipman explains, “Adaptogens are a bit like a thermostat. When the thermostat senses the room temperature is too high it brings it down and vice versa; similarly, adaptogens can calm you and boost energy simultaneously, yet without overstimulating, and can normalise body imbalances. By supporting adrenal function, they counteract the adverse effects of stress. They enable the body’s cells to access more energy; help cells eliminate toxic by-products of the metabolic process and help the body to utilise oxygen more effectively. In short, adaptogens are amazing.”

Who would benefit from taking them?

Pretty much everyone. While a go-to stress response (known as ‘fight or flight’) is vital to help us avoid life and death situations, a constant triggering of this extreme response on a daily basis think overflowing inbox, deadlines, meetings or a traffic jam isn’t healthy. When the body is living in a constant state of stress, the digestive system shuts down, energy is shifted from digesting food to the arms and legs for quicker movement and to the brain for quicker thinking.

In a nutshell, for anyone who experiences stress or fatigue on a regular basis, adaptogens could be the supplement you’ve been waiting for.

So where do you start?

There’s no right or wrong way to take adaptogens (whether you prefer a pill or superfood smoothie is your decision), however nutritionists agree on a daily intake for maximum benefit. If you don’t notice an immediate difference, be patient, adaptogens are powerful but slow acting so can take a few weeks to take effect.

Mushrooms 4 Life Organic Cordyceps, £19.99 | Bodykind


Dubbed the ultimate anti-ageing adaptogen, this mushroom is packed with antioxidants and can also help to decrease the speed of the processes that cause us to age.

Schisandra Liquid Drops, £14.80 | Eclectic Institute


A powerful natural skin tonic that protects the skin from sun, wind, environmental toxins and allergies, studies have also suggested it can prevent dermatitis.

Organic Maca Powder, £19.99 | Naturya


This Peruvian plant has been used for centuries as an energy tonic and fertility aid in both humans and animals, but can also work wonders to improve mood and regulate a healthy metabolism.

Wholistic™ Holy Basil, £16.96 | Pukka


This powerful adaptogen can help you adjust to emotional and environmental stress as well as boost brain power, the immune system and overall stamina. We love Pukka’s formula.

Chinese Astragalus Root, £18.99 | Solgar


Boasting strong immune-boosting abilities, this herb has been used to help restore immune function for people with weakened systems and also has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Sun Eleuthero, £21.95 | Sun Chlorella


Also referred to as Siberian ginseng, when it comes to mental endurance and supporting optimal energy levels, this adaptogen is a powerhouse.

Rhodiola Rosea Root, from £8 | Viridian

BEST FOR FATIGUE: Rhodiola Rosea

The fatigue-fighting properties of this adaptogen help build immunity and boost wellbeing. Studies have also suggested it can assist with memory and learning as well as safeguard against adrenal fatigue.

Food-Grown KSM-66 Ashwagandha Plus, £19.50 | Wild Nutrition

BEST FOR STRESS: Ashwagandha

Packed with chemical compounds called alkaloids, this potent herb can help to soothe frazzled nerves and the nervous system, keeping the stress hormone cortisol in check.

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