In holistic medicine, adaptogens – which are special kinds of herbs – are used to restore the body to homeostasis.
This much-needed balance in the body helps you to better handle stress, while fighting fatigue. (1)
Continual use of adaptogenic herbs will result in a strengthened immune system that is more capable of self-healing and less reliant on medicines. Here are the best kinds of adaptogens to try, and the benefits that come along with each.
The Best Adaptogens
Out of all the adaptogens, there are a few that get the most praise. Here’s a breakdown of the tried and true.
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Gynostemma is known as the most powerful adaptogen, containing the highest concentration of saponin on the planet! A saponin is a chemical that is both water – and fat-soluble, making it very easy to digest, and that’s what is responsible for the adaptogenic affect. (2)
This herb is a powerful adaptogen that can fight stress and obesity. Gynostemma also contains potent anti-aging, anti-stress, anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity benefits. (3) It’s also used as a digestive aid, a respiratory tonic, and an immune-regulator.
There are multiple varieties of ginseng: American, Asian, and Siberian.
American ginseng is a tan root with a calming effect, and also works as an anti-inflammatory. (4, 5) Asian ginseng, also known as Korean ginseng, contains different proportions of the medicinal compound and is more of a stimulant than a calming herb. Lastly, Siberian ginseng is used to improve energy levels, stimulate the immune system, and enhance longevity.
Traditionally, astragalus was used to treat diabetes and to help injuries heal. It also regulates the metabolism and fights fatigue, supplying our body with enough energy to function at its best.
Astragalus also improves circulation, and protects your heart, brain, kidneys, intestines, liver and lungs from disease. (6, 7) This is somewhat due to the fact that astragalus is a diuretic, increasing urination and aiding in detoxification.
Who Should Take Adaptogens?
The great thing about adaptogens is that they can adjust to the body to serve the function it needs. For example, if the body is in need of sleep, the adaptogen will help the body to relax. If the body is preparing to perform physical activity, it will help it to create energy. This makes adaptogens great for anybody, as their functions will serve fit to the individual’s needs.
Fun fact: Chinese Olympic athletes supposedly used adaptogens as “secret weapons” to gain a competitive edge.
As always, speak within your healthcare practitioner and do your research before you begin an herbal treatment.
The Bottom Line
Adaptogenic herbs treat the body as a whole, and will work within the body to deliver what is most needed. While they are safe to use, we recommend talking with your doctor to gain a deeper understanding of how you can best benefit from these therapeutic herbs.
(Read This Next: 6 Adaptogenic Herbs to Naturally Lower Your Cortisol)