Ripe Schizandra Berries, China. Photo by Chris Kilham

Natural Remedies for Stress: Adaptogens
Fox News: Health Talk
with Dr. Manny & the Medicine Hunter

The Medicine Hunter introduces Dr. Manny to some herbs that enhance the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve mental clarity. To qualify as an adaptogen, an herb must be completely safe and non-toxic, it must have broad uses for health, and it must specifically reduce stress, both mental and physical. To put it simply: Adaptogens help you adapt.

If you are interested in recommended adaptogen products, and to learn more about these wonderful herbs, visit our special Adaptogens section, or click individual names below to go directly to specific adaptogens.

The following herbs demonstrate significant adaptogenic activity:

  • Rhodiola rosea: A well studied adaptogen, Rhodiola defends the body overall, and protects general health and well-being. Its anti-stress and fatigue-fighting properties make it one of the most popular botanicals in all of Siberia.
  • Ashwagandha: Of all the medicinal plants used in India’s several millennia old tradition of Ayurveda, Ashwagandha, Withania somnifera, is the most highly prized.
  • Eleuthero: Employed in Traditional Chinese Medicine to invigorate sexual function, boost vital energy and normalize overall body functions, Eleuthero is classified as an adaptogen, enhancing immunity and vitality overall.
  • Schisandra: Schisandra is a potent general tonic, decreasing fatigue, enhancing physical performance, and promoting endurance. The berry counters stress by reducing the levels of stress hormones in the blood.
  • Panax ginseng: Ginseng is a tonic herb used for rejuvenate and invigorate. It is considered an adaptogen, providing non-specific protection against various mental, physical and environmental forms of stress.
  • Holy Basil: Holy Basil functions as an adaptogen, enhancing the body's natural response to physical and emotional stress. Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood, but rather, they help the body function optimally during times of stress.
  • Maca: Maca has been dubbed “Peruvian ginseng,” though it bears no relation to ginseng. But like ginseng, the root increases strength, energy, stamina, libido and sexual function.
March 2011