Adapt To Stress With Adaptogens by Cynthia War, Counselling Psychologist


Have you ever asked yourself how you handle stress and fatigue? Do you deal with it by venting with friends or do you prefer keeping to yourself during these times? Do you use pick-me-ups like caffeine or sugar or are you the kind of person who sticks to eating leafy greens and fruit? Well, whatever you do to combat stress or fatigue, I hope it works for you. But for those of us who have tried but seen no result, there seems to be something else in the market that we can try.

herbAs we know, the adrenal system is in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. Adaptogens are a unique group of herbal ingredients that may be of benefit to the health of your adrenal system. Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood, but rather, they help the body to function optimally during times of stress. To put it simply: Adaptogens help you to adapt. Though the effects may initially be subtle and take time to make themselves felt, they are seen.

Adaptogenic herbs:

Ashwagandha: Also called Indian ginseng, studies show that those who take this herb ginsengenjoy dramatic improvements in how they handle and feel stress. It’s also taken to keep the mind sharp and for energy.





indian-gooseberryIndian gooseberry or Amla: An anti-stress, immune-balancing adaptogen that also supports us in emotional and cognitive wellness, amla is one of the world’s best herbs to support a healthy balance in digestion. It is a strong source of vitamin C and also reduces clogging in the arteries by boosting good cholesterol or HDL.




Holy Basil or Tulsi: Holy basil functions as an adaptogen, enhancing the body’s natural response to physical and  emotional stress. It so deeply supports healthy metabolism from the stomach and liver to the cell and mind, and because healthy metabolism is key to health in general, that tulsi is certainly amongst the most overall useful adaptogens, a gem amongst gems.



Long PepperIndian Long Pepper: The fruit of the plant is used to make medicine. It is sometimes used in combination with other herbs in ayurvedic medicine to improve appetite and digestion, as well as treat stomach-ache, heartburn, indigestion, intestinal gas, diarrhoea and cholera. It is also used for lung problems including asthma, bronchitis and cough.


licorice root

Licorice Root: Yashtimadhu in Sanskrit and mulethi or jethimadhu in Hindi, this herb has traditionally been used to promote many aspects of wellness, including normal metabolic function. An anti-viral, an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory herb, the licorice root aids with the failure of the adrenal glands. Since the failure of the adrenal glands is common with stress, the licorice root also helps with stress.



Rhodiola: 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. It is found in the cold regions of North India and is locally known as “solo” in Ladakh.



All these herbs sound healthy and good for us but there is always a chance that it might not work for you and me. For whatever reason, we could be using them wrong, we could be allergic to the herb themselves, we could even be given the wrong herbs at times, you never know. Remember to keep an open mind. Consult family or friends who may have had experience in using adaptogens, talk to your doctor about using them too. You can also read all about these herbs in the references provided below.




Note: None of the information in this article is to be construed as medical advice. This article is purely one that provides information for the readers, the author is in no way trying to influence anyone to buy and use adaptogens.



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  • Priti Srinivasan
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