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Adaptogens. Herbs for Stress

Herbs for Stress – ‘The Adaptogens’

Many people that come into the clinic have stress related issues.  For these people the Adaptogens can work wonders.

We all have different tolerances to stress and what may seem stressful to one person isn’t necessarily so for another. Stress can have an impact on many aspects of our health and wellbeing.  Adaptogens are plants that have the ability to increase our resistance and help us cope with stressors.  Adaptogens may also help to increase physical performance and enhance mental function.

Adaptogens exert an effect on the endocrine system, as well as the immune system and the central and sympathetic nervous systems. They have stress-protective effects, and also have antioxidant activity and may be helpful in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, various psychiatric and neurological conditions

Adaptogens are very useful herbs and work well as general tonics improving stamina and overall health, especially for stressful conditions, fatigue, concentration, and recovery from illness. I use Adaptogens in the clinic to help to reduce stress reactions and to prevent or delay of the exhaustion stage of stress. I use them to aid recovery for those individuals who are unwell as a result of stress, chronic fatigue, anxiety & depression, depleted immunity and with increased physical or mental demands.  There are many wonderful adaptogens, here are a few.

My 5 favourite Adaptogens

1. Eleutherococcus senticosus

Adaptogens - Siberian GinsengAlso known as Siberian Ginseng, this herb helps to improve circulation, improve mood and protect the immune system. It increases resistance to a wide range of stressors. It is used in exhaustion and poor immune function for conditions such as viral related chronic fatigue (e.g. Epstein Barr & Cytomegalovirus).

2. Withania somnifera

Adaptogens - Indian Ginseng- WithaniaYou may have heard this herb called Ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng.  It is found widely in Africa, south-eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle east. It is an adaptogen used for nervous exhaustion particularly that caused by stress. It is an important herb for sleep disorders, adrenal exhaustion, and recovery from illness.

3. Schisandra chinensis

Adaptogens - Schisandra chinensisThis herb is known to increase physical and mental endurance and useful for poor memory and concentration. It is a nerve tonic and protective to the liver. It is good for nervousness and anxiety and all nervous system disorders. It is also used for acute or chronic liver disease.

4. Panax ginseng

Adaptogens - Korean ginsengPanax or Korean ginseng, this adaptogen is useful in weakness, loss of physical stamina, exhaustion and tiredness. It helps to improve concentration and memory. It is useful in depression, chronic immune deficiency, cardiovascular disease among others. It must be used with caution and not in high blood pressure, pregnancy, insomnia, or if overstimulated. It should be avoided with many medications, and so should only be taken with the guidance of a qualified health care professional.

5. Rhodiola rosea

Adaptogens - Rhodiola roseaRhodiola is a great herb for fatigue, mental or physical exhaustion. It is used to improve mental performance, concentration and memory, particularly when under stress. It increases physical endurance and productivity. It is useful in depression, anxiety, chronic immune deficiency and in post viral support. It may be useful in erectile dysfunction and impotence.


If you’re experiencing some stress in your life, and would like some support, call me on 0403755584

Angela McTaggart
Qualified Clinical Naturopath
Brunswick Naturopathy

Angela McTaggart - Naturopath, Brunswick Naturopathy