15 Adaptogens to Ease Stress & Anxiety

Our bodies are well equipped to handle short term stress. Survival mode kicks in to protect us until the danger passes. Long term stress, on the other hand, is highly damaging to body and mind. It contributes to hormone imbalances, mental disorders, heart attack, stroke, pain, and other diseases. Adequate exercise, solid sleep, fresh air, sunlight, and meditation can help release stress, but there are also many adaptogenic herbs, mushrooms, and other foods that can also protect yourself from stressors and the damage they can do.

During these stressful times, we need our well-being more than ever. This list hopefully helps.

Ashwagandha

This traditional ayurvedic herb has been used for thousands of years to reduce stress and strengthen the body’s response to stressors.

Astragalus

Being studied for its benefits in anti-aging, astragalus also protects against cellular stress by shielding telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that dictate when cells are too old to reproduce.

Cordyceps

These unusual mushrooms are supposed to help balance hormones, control stress, and promote longevity.

Siberian Ginseng

Long considered a tonic for well-being, this ancient root can raise energy levels as well.

Holy Basil

Related to the basil you’re used to in Italian dishes, but with a long history of spirituality, healing, relaxation, and soothing medicine attached to this herb.

Turmeric

This relative of ginger is one amazing superfood. It is being studied for its ability to protect the body from chemotherapy stress, its effects on mitochondrial biogenesis, and its pain management, to name just a few.

Reishi

Another mushroom that is supposed to help the body combat stress, promote healthy sleep, and boost the immune system.

Rhodiola

This flowering herb has long been used to increase endurance and counter stress related depression. It may increase focus and concentration too.

Eleuthero

This root has a beneficial effect on hormones, but it may have a ton of other benefits from increasing energy, augmenting focus, stabilizing blood sugar, enhancing exercise, and protecting nerves.

Licorice

More than just a candy flavoring, this root also reduces stress. It is found in many calming teas.

Goji

Known as an antioxidant superfood, these berries also boost energy, focus, and well-being.

L-Theanine

This natural ingredient of green tea improves focus, concentration, well-being, and energy levels. It’s at its highest concentrations in a good ceremonial matcha.

Bacopa

This herb is being studied for its effects on stress and anxiety. It may reduce cortisol levels while elevating mood, focus, and memory.

Wild Yam

This ancient tuber may help balance hormones, especially in women.

Maca

This root raises energy levels and is said to enhance sex drive and fertility, mainly by balancing hormones and reducing stress.