Adaptogens are a saving grace in our post-industrial world plagued by toxins and overstimulated sympathetic nervous systems. Adaptogens, as most people know them, are handy for stressful times. They help the body “adapt” to life’s surprises and mishaps. In this piece, we detail “what are adaptogens?” as well as how to use adaptogens to improve health.


What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are herbs and other supplements that improve our resilience to physical and emotional stress. Again, they’re usually herbs, though one will find that some mushrooms, foods, and resins act as adaptogens as well.


The best way to deepen our investigation of adaptogens is to go ahead and explore a few that are commonly used. 

Ashwagandha 

Ashwagandha is an herb essential to Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of healing. Usually consumed in tea, tincture, or powder form, ashwagandha is most commonly used to bolster energy levels while reducing cortisol, a stress hormone associated with anxiety. Here is one study showing these benefits of ashwagandha. 

Goji Berries

Delicious and versatile, goji berries have gained some serious traction for both their flavor and researched health benefits. But did you know they’re adaptogenic?


It’s true; goji berries have been studied for their impressive abilities. One study, for example, found that goji berries “increased ratings for energy level, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, calmness, and feelings of health, contentment, and happiness.”


If that’s not enough to make you dump a handful over your morning smoothie, then we don’t know what is!

Shilajit

Shilajit is a resin sourced from high altitudes in the Himalayas, and has only recently reached wider popularity as a powerful adaptogen and one of the most important remedies to Ayurveda.


Shilajit resin is rich in minerals and fulvic acid, a humic compound formed through decomposition. Fulvic acid is extremely medicinal and has been shown in research to enhance immune health and aid nervous disorders. Some other fun perks, though more research is needed, include fulvic minerals’ capacity to help altitude sickness, reverse anemia, boost testosterone, and bolster athletic performance. 

Medicinal Mushrooms

By far some of our favorite adaptogens, medicinal mushrooms include varieties such as reishi mushroom, turkey tail mushroom, lion's mane mushroom, and chaga mushroom.


All of these species of mushroom tend toward improving cognition, heightening immunity, preventing cancer, improving energy levels, and dampening the effects of stress.


Cordyceps mushroom is a good one to look at for its adaptogenic abilities. Favored by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for stress-relief, a recent study in Current Developments in Nutrition (CDN) found that cordyceps can effectively be used as a functional food to prevent anxiety and depression. 


Our Shroom #5 Cordyceps Mushroom Extract 10:1 is a good supplement to look at for protecting yourself against DNA oxidation while promoting overall well-being and mood. Our mushrooms are grown by small Chinese farmers that have been growing mushrooms in green countryside mountainous regions for generations. Mushrooms are grown in greenhouses with controlled light, water and air conditions to ensure optimal mushroom growth.

Creating a Good Adaptogenic Routine

A good routine with adaptogens begins with good lifestyle habits. You can implement specific daily habits that, like the adaptogens listed above, can help wipe out stress and anxiety. To get you on track, here are some tips for harnessing an overall “adaptogenic lifestyle”. Then, we’ll get into strategies for implementing adaptogenic herbs/substances into your life. 


  • Cold showers seem promising for eliminating stress. Try taking one in the morning.
  • Also, have you seen the research on breathwork? Super powerful stuff! 
  • You can’t go wrong with eliminating stress and other “negative” emotions through clean eating. Get rid of sugar, seed oils, industrial grains, and packaged foods and see results!
  • Fitness, fitness, fitness. Try plenty of walking every day. 3 days of 30 minutes to-an-hour of intense exercise per week is effective for most people. Make adjustments according to your own fitness and physical abilities. 


With good daily habits in place, you set the foundation for effectively implementing the power of adaptogenic herbs and substances into your life. Here are some tips for using adaptogens in your daily routine.


  • Is a hot drink such as a coffee or tea an uncompromisable part of your morning routine? Well, good! This provides the perfect opportunity to consume adaptogens. Adaptogens like medicinal mushrooms and shilajit go well in coffee, where the taste is hardly identifiable.
  • For consistency’s sake, opt for tinctures rather than teas when taking adaptogenic herbs. Keeping a tincture on hand of, just say, ashwagandha, increases the likelihood of taking it consistently. 
  • Create an evening routine with adaptogens. Certain adaptogens like holy basil (tulsi) and eleuthero are especially calming and can help sleep.
  • Remember that this article does not constitute medical advice. Always check with your doctor before using new herbs, especially if you’re on any medications.