Manage Your Stress + Improve Digestion With These 5 Adaptogenic Plants

Yogis have been bettering their mind-body health with Ayurvedic herbs for centuries, but the modern wellness world is only now beginning to realize the many benefits of adaptogens.
Since ancient times, people have instinctively turned to plants to heal, support the immune system, and improve overall well-being. Although the term “adaptogen” wasn’t coined until just a few decades ago, the plants that science now recognizes as adaptogenic were commonly used in Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine.

What is an Adaptogen?

Adaptogens are super-herbs or plants that promote vitality. They help your body manage stress and restore balance. Ultimately, they help your body adapt, especially your immune system.

Some adaptogenic plants are stimulating and may be beneficial for improving physical endurance and cognitive function, while others leave you feeling calm, yet energized.

Most of all, many people are now turning to adaptogens to support the adrenal system in protecting the body from the damages of stress. You may even be using some balancing, restorative or fatigue-fighting adaptogens already without knowing it.

How to Add Adaptogenic Plants to Your Diet

Adaptogens can be consumed in the form of tinctures, supplements, and powders. You can also find them in a wide range of snacks and beverages for on-the-go use, or add them in powder or tincture form to your morning shake. Whether you want to cultivate calm or need an energizing boost, snacks enriched with super herbs make perfect additions to your yoga or gym bag.

Here are 5 common adaptogenic plants that can help you manage stress and support your immune system:


1. Ashwagandha

This adaptogen is revered as the “super herb of Ayurveda.” It is one of the most widely prescribed adaptogens because it is so versatile. It can be used to strengthen the immune system after sickness, improve cognitive function, boost physical endurance, speed up recovery, and enhance relaxation. It is so rejuvenating that it is often called “Indian ginseng.”
Due to its bitter taste, Ashwagandha is generally taken in capsule form, as a supplement.

2. Maca

In the high altitudes of Peru’s Andean Mountains, the precious maca root has been used for centuries to boost vitality, stamina, energy, and support healthy hormones. Today, many athletes turn to this super herb to help them perform their best.
Maca powder makes a delicious addition to a smoothie or your morning latte.

3. Holy Basil

Closely related to sweet basil, holy basil is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and incredibly antioxidant-rich. This botanical helps the body fight fatigue and function at its best in response to stress (physical, emotional or environmental).
Holy Basil is usually consumed in tea or in capsule form.


4. Ginseng

Asian ginseng is perhaps one of the most well-known adaptogens, found in everything from drinks to candies. It has been proven to boost one’s mental performance and ability to handle stress. Ginseng is also rich in antioxidants and helps to naturally lower blood pressure. Its botanical genus is Panax, which means “all-healing” and stems from the “panacea.”
Ginseng is consumed as a supplement, in teas, and in powder form.

5. Reishi

Sometimes called the “Mushroom of Immortality,” Reishi is one of the most prized medicinal mushrooms in the world. It is known to support healthy immune and cardiovascular functions, assist the liver in detoxification, and promotes healthy aging.
Reishi mushrooms can be found in powder form, dried, in capsules, and even in hot chocolate.

Support Your System

Given common exposure to environmental pollutants and stressful lifestyles today, it is important to support your body, especially your immune system. A well-rounded and healthy lifestyle may include adaptogenic herbs and plants, healthy eating, and a regular yoga practice. Find the right prescription for your happiness and health.

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Laura McQuarrie

Laura is a writer who is passionate about the power of plants and essential oils for health, wellness and vitality. She loves DIY-ing everything she can, making shapes on her yoga mat and enjoying the great outdoors with her lovable Golden Retriever Leon.


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