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9 Powerhouse Adaptogens for Wellness and Vitality

9 Powerhouse Adaptogens for Wellness and Vitality

Do you ever feel like you're battling stress all the time? Stress can cause some serious damage to your mental and physical health—but adaptogens might be the solution.

Adaptogens can help your body adapt to stress and improve your overall health. Whether you’re looking for a way to increase energy, improve mood, or cope with day-to-day stress, these miraculous herbs, roots, and fungi might be the key. 

Article jumplinks:

What are adaptogens?

What are the benefits of adaptogens?

What is cordyceps?

What are the benefits of matcha?

What is ashwagandha?

What is holy basil good for?

What are the benefits of rhodiola?

What is Siberian ginseng good for?

What is lion’s mane?

What are the benefits of reishi mushrooms?

How can schisandra help the body?

Do adaptogens really work?

Can I take adaptogenic foods every day?

Are there any side effects of adaptogens?

How to consume adaptogens

Let’s delve deep into the world of adaptogens, where we investigate the science behind their stress-protective activity, their health benefits, and how to consume them.

What are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are active ingredients of certain herbs, roots, and mushrooms that have been used in traditional medicine to help the body cope with stress and boost general resilience. These phytonutrients (bioactive compounds from plants and fungi) help your body adapt and maintain homeostasis in stressful situations. 

They work by affecting the stress response system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and the sympathetic and parasympathetic neural systems. As a result of chronic stress, these systems can become overactive or underactive, which leads to health issues like insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, and problems with the digestive tract. With adaptogens supporting the HPA axis and regulating our neurological system, our body can adjust to physical and mental stressors. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, plants and fungi must have the following three qualities in order to be considered adaptogens:

  • When taken in normal doses, it is non-toxic
  • It aids in reducing stress on the body
  • It permits your body to rebalance (homeostasis)

Adaptogens are an effective tool for promoting general well-being, especially in the face of chronic stress. While they are mainly associated with their stress-protective activity, adaptogenic substances can have other positive effects. 

Benefits of Adaptogens

Adaptogens seem to provide incredible health benefits and may even help treat some medical conditions. Whether you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance, a chronic sufferer of hormone imbalance, or simply someone who wants to be at the top of their health game, adaptogens can help you achieve your goals. 

Here’s a quick rundown of all the ways adaptogens can boost your wellness:

  1. Improve focus and motivation
  2. Balance hormone levels, including cortisol (stress hormone)
  3. Fight fatigue caused by physical or emotional stress
  4. Boost the immune system
  5. Increase energy and physical stamina
  6. Promote mental performance impaired by stress
  7. Improve mood and stimulate mental health
  8. Improve gastrointestinal system
  9. Promote hair and skin health
  10. Fight cancer 

Adaptogens are frequently linked to the adrenal gland, an important part of the body's stress response system. The adrenal gland secretes chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in reaction to stress, which can lead to adrenal exhaustion. Adaptogenic plants are thought to support the adrenal gland's ability to handle stress and prevent mental exhaustion. They may function by controlling the generation of stress hormones, decreasing inflammation, and supporting the neurological system's reaction to stress.

Adaptogens are not a one-size-fits-all type of plant. Certain adaptogens are recognized for their energy-boosting performance, while others are better at relieving stress and fatigue. Some adaptogens have anti-inflammatory properties, promote sexual health, and help with digestion. 

We know you’re curious about the most phenomenal adaptogens out there and what they can do for your health. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of the 9 most common adaptogens that you can incorporate into your daily routine right now. 

1. Cordyceps Militaris: Mushrooms That Keep on Giving

Cordyceps mushrooms have been popular in traditional Chinese medicine and other Eastern medical practices for more than two thousand years. More than 20health benefits of cordyceps mushrooms make this fungus a powerful adaptogenic weapon for wellness.

Cordyceps militaris contains bioactive compounds such as cordycepin, adenosine, and polysaccharides. Their chemical structures differ, but their goal is the same: to promote brain health, improve athletic performance and stamina, raise energy levels, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote the immune system. 

Here are some reasons why Cordyceps militaris is our top adaptogen.

Cordyceps Mushrooms Against Diabetes

High concentrations of beta-glucans, naturally occurring polysaccharides, in the fungus’s cell walls boost our immune system, which protects us from viruses and illnesses. Beta-glucans activate immune cells by binding directly to their receptors and increasing immunological activity. One study suggested that polysaccharides such as beta-glucans have anti-tumor activity, while otherresearchers report on their ability to regulate blood sugar levels. 

A 2016 animal study on rats with diabetes showed that three weeks of cordyceps treatments lowered blood sugar levels, increased insulin sensitivity, and even protected the animals’ internal organs from diabetes-caused damage. 

Cordyceps for Relaxation and Mental Health

Cordyceps is full of adenosine and cordycepin, which are two amazing bioactive compounds that can help relieve stress and anxiety. Adenosine attaches to the receptors in our brain that control mood and sleep and provide relaxation. 

Similarly, cordycepin elevates levels of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter that regulates mood and reinforces pleasant experiences. When dopamine levels are high, you are motivated, focused, and generally feel good. By raising dopamine, cordyceps can reduce the symptoms of mental disorders like anxiety and depression. 

Cordyceps for Healthy Heart

Clinical studies reveal that adenosine has a vasodilatory effect: it helps relax and widen blood vessels. Great news for people who suffer from high blood pressure: adenosine can lower blood pressure and enhance circulation in the blood.The vasodilatory nature of cordyceps might also explain its ability to improve sexual function (see below). 

Cordyceps militaris can protect the heart from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the arteries because it is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. 

“Himalayan Viagra”

Cordyceps militaris has been linked to better sexual function in men and women.Cordyceps increases testosterone levels in men. Testosterone is important because it regulates male sexual health, libido, sperm production, and erectile function. 

This adaptogen also contains nucleosides and other bioactive chemicals that promote fertility. According to research, cordyceps improves sperm production and motility in animal models. After taking cordyceps supplements for six weeks, the number of moving sperm cells, which are important for fertility and getting pregnant, went up.

Cordyceps increases blood flow to your sexy parts by expanding blood vessels, a dynamic known as vasodilation. More blood in your sexual organs means more good times. 

2. Matcha for Serenity

Matcha is a green tea powder that contains a combination of L-theanine and caffeine. These two compounds work together to generate a feeling of relaxed alertness and heightened cognitive function. Also called jade leaf tea, this vibrant green and earthy-flavored adaptogen has been a part of the ancient Asian tea drinking cultures for thousands of years. 

Because of its soothing, stress-relieving properties, matcha is classified as an adaptogenic herb. It also has powerful antioxidant effects. Matcha is particularly high in catechins, a type of antioxidant that helps protect your body from oxidative damage and prevent and treat chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

Matcha has been demonstrated to increase mental performance and boost energy levels. But the benefits of jade leaf tea don’t stop there. 

Sit Back and Matcha

Even though matcha has a lot of caffeine, it has a calming effect on the body and helps reduce stress and anxiety. A clinical trial suggested that matcha decreased stress levels in animal models and reduced symptoms of stress-induced anxiety. 

Matcha contains L-theanine, which helps reduce cortisol levels. Despite its powerful relaxing properties, L-theanine is not a sedative and does not cause drowsiness—though It may help you sleep better and fall asleep faster. 

Matcha May Stimulate Metabolism and Suppress Appetite

Matcha has been demonstrated to stimulate metabolism and help the body burn fat more efficiently. Remember catechins? According to recentclinical studies, these antioxidants enhance metabolism and the fat-burning process during exercise, making matcha an excellent addition to a weight-loss diet. Catechins combined with caffeine are a matcha made in heaven for burning calories and even reducing appetite. 

Matcha for the Heart

People with diabetes and other metabolic problems can also benefit from catechins.Antioxidants are crucial in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in diabetics since inflammation and oxidative damage can inhibit insulin resistance. This can lead to problems like nerve damage, kidney damage, and cardiovascular disease. 

According to research, matcha may also help lower blood pressure. Its chemical composition can relax blood vessels and enhance blood flow, two of the most important factors for a healthy heart. Speaking of a healthy heart, drinking matcha regularly can lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, significantly reducing the likelihood of heart disease. 

3. Ashwagandha for Balanced Hormones

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a popular adaptogenic herb in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It helps modulate the body’s response to stress by lowering cortisol levels and reducing the harmful consequences of stress on the body. 

Apart from alleviating stress, ashwagandha has been shown to improve cognitive function and sleep quality and boost stamina during physical activities. 

Ashwagandha decreases oxidative stress and improves physical strength and stamina. It is believed that ashwagandha strengthens the body's resilience to physical stress by improving the stress response, decreasing inflammation, and increasing oxygen use and energy production. 

Ashwagandha for Balanced Hormones

We love ashwagandha because it’s a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Clinical studies revealed that this ayurvedic herb can treat chronic diseases like arthritis and IBD mainly by reducing the number of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins of the inflammatory cells. When inflammation is present in the body, cytokines encourage immune cells to migrate to the site of injury or infection, causing them to generate more inflammatory cells. This can cause tissue damage, so reducing the number of cytokines is important. 

4. Holy Basil: the Anti-Inflammatory Saint

Holy basil, or tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), is an ayurvedic herb and a seriously potent adaptogen. It is often used as a tea, tincture, capsule, and spice, primarily to relieve headaches, fevers, and flu. Holy basil can be a welcome addition to your daily regimen due to its nutritive compounds and bioactive chemicals. 

  • Eugenol is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic essential oil.
  • Rosmarinic acid is an antioxidant that helps prevent cellular damage.
  • Ursolic acid is a triterpenoid with anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting effects.
  • Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene that has anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties.

As you can see, holy basil is packed with phytochemicals that fight inflammation and boost the immune system. As an adaptogenic herb, Ocimum sanctum helps reduce stress and anxiety by regulating our body’s response to stress. It is also believed it can improve mood and boost mental clarity. 

Essential oils found in holy basil have antibacterial properties. They aid in the battle against bacterial and respiratory infections, which can cause bronchitis and pneumonia. Hundreds of years of holy basil use in herbal medicine have shown that it can bring relief from respiratory ailments. A clinical review of the effects of holy basil on respiratory health suggested that the herb’s ingredients might be highly effective in treating respiratory disorders, such as coughs, colds, asthma, and bronchitis. 

5. Recharge Your Batteries with Rhodiola 

Adaptogens like Rhodiola rosea may increase your body’s resistance to stress, allowing you to cope better during stressful times. This bitter-tasting root contains a long list of molecules responsible for its adaptogenic effects. 

  • Rosavin is the major active ingredient in rhodiola, and it is thought to help reduce fatigue and enhance physical endurance.
  • Salidroside is a chemical with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that may also help you kick off after a long day.
  • Tyrosol, proanthocyanidins, and gallic may help protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.

Rhodiola grows in Europe, North America, and Asia but can be found around the world. Here are a few reasons why you should include rhodiola rosea in your diet, wherever you are. 

Improved Mental Health and Focus

Rhodiola can raise levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters necessary for regulating mood. By increasing serotonin and dopamine, rhodiola can improve mood, alleviate anxiety disorders, and even boost concentration. These neurotransmitters are also in charge of your motivation and focus, so keeping their levels high benefits not only your mental health but also your productivity. 

Positive Effects on Cognition

Rhodiola has been shown to also boost cognitive function. A review of animal studies revealed that it may improve memory and learning. Researchers believe this is directly associated with its ability to increase blood flow to the brain. If you’re in need of fresh oxygen and boosted levels of glucose in your brain, rhodiola rosea is your girl. 

Say Goodbye to Stress and Fatigue

We already said rhodiola boosts energy and makes you less tired. What we didn’t say is that this adaptogenic herb is a popular dietary supplement among athletes and health enthusiasts. 

study of 100 people with chronic fatigue showed that the participants experienced significant improvements in mood, concentration, stress, fatigue, and the overall quality of life after only one week of taking rhodiola supplements. 

6. The Healing Powers of Siberian Ginseng

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), often known as Siberian ginseng, is an adaptogenic herb used in traditional medicine for boosting energy, improving physical performance, and promoting mental alertness. The active chemicals in Siberian ginseng help the body adapt to stress and improve overall health and well-being, earning this plant native to China, Japan, and Russia a place among the most powerful adaptogens. 

Eleutherosides are the primary compounds of eleuthero. They are bioactive immunoregulatory chemicals that boost our immune system, protect us from colds and flus, and make us live longer and be healthier. Other molecules, like polysaccharides, lignans, and flavonoids, help the immune system work better by being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. 

Some of the health benefits of Siberian ginseng include: 

  • Improving cognitive function
  • Enhancing physical performance
  • Managing diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and enhancing insulin sensitivity
  • Reducing stress and fatigue by boosting our energy levels and adaptability to stress

Siberian ginseng is generally considered safe. Some individuals may experience mild side effects, such as headaches, disrupted sleep, and problems with digestion. These symptoms are common in people who’ve never consumed eleuthero before. If you want to include this miraculous plant in your health regimen, begin with lower amounts. Beginners are recommended to start with an eleuthero tea or tinctures for the mildest effects. 

The Healing Powers of Siberian Ginseng

7. Lion’s Mane for Cognitive Clarity and Mental Boost

Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is an adaptogenic mushroom. It’s been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, but in the past few decades, it’s become highly sought-after in the west. 

These medicinal mushrooms are high in antioxidants and can help protect our internal systems, like our gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Ongoing research reveals that lion’s mane may even improve athletic performance. 

Lion’s Mane for the Brain

Lion’s mane is a friend to our cognitive health. Studies seem to suggest that adaptogens like lion’s mane are linked to improved cognitive functions and stronger neuronal cells. In addition, lion’s mane can even alleviate symptoms of ADHD by increasing focus and stimulating the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) proteins. 

Another neuro-friendly property of the lion’s mane is its ability to slow down the progression of dementia and alleviate the effects of a stroke. A 2011 study looked into the impact of Hericium erinaceum on nerve injury recovery. The results showed that regular ingestion of lion’s mane could stimulate the regeneration of injured nerves. 

Lion’s Mane for Mental Health

The lion’s mane seems to help with anxiety and depression and alleviate the symptoms of other mental disorders. As an adaptogen, the fungus helps us cope with stress, but it also reduces depressive and anxious behaviors by aiding the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus. 

Anti-Cancer Properties

The lion’s mane contains cerebrosides, a group of monoglycosylceramides important for the function of animal muscles and nerve cell membranes. These compounds might be able to slow down the growth of cancer cells. A 2015 study showed that the cerebrosides found in the lion’s mane fruiting bodies inhibit the formation of new blood vessels that would supply cancer cells with blood. 

2013 study revealed the mushrooms’ anti-metastatic activity. It appears that its bioactive compounds induce apoptosis (cell death) in lung cancer patients, inhibiting the cancer cells’ ability to spread and infect healthy tissues. 

8. Reishi Mushrooms: the Fungi for Wellness

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), sometimes known as the "fungus of immortality," is a true adaptogenic powerhouse and one of the greatest fungi for chronic pain. Many people use it for its anti-cancer effects, since this medicinal mushroom has been proven to be particularly useful for breast cancer. According to a study published in Cancer Letters, reishi mushrooms can inhibit the growth of bladder cancer cells.

Reishi mushrooms are high in antioxidants, which help enhance the immune system and reduce inflammation. Research on their immunoregulatory effects suggests that adaptogens can regulate the production of cytokines by enhancing bone marrow macrophages. Reishi also contains polysaccharides and beta-glucans, both of which have anti-cancer potential. 

Reishi is an excellent addition to your diet if you want to get rid of fatigue and depression and increase sleep quality. Combining reishi with other therapeutic mushrooms, such as lion's mane and porcini mushrooms, may increase their brain-boosting effects.

9. Schisandra Chinensis for Health and Longevity

Schisandra Chinensis, often known as the "five-flavor berry," is an adaptogen native to China and Russia. It has been used to improve physical and mental performance, boost immunity, and treat a variety of diseases. 

Among the beneficial substances found in schisandra are lignans, schizandrin, and schizandrol. These chemicals have been touted for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective properties. 

Deoxyschisandrins have been demonstrated to boost overall well-being and support the body's ability to adapt to stress, placing the five-flavor berry among other powerful adaptogens. Schisandra has also been used to stimulate cognitive performance, improve liver health, prevent damage to the liver (hepatoprotective), reduce inflammation, and increase endurance. 

Despite being a fruit-bearing vine, schisandra isn’t typically used as food. The most popular way to consume it is to make a tea with dried berries or powdered extract. 

Schisandra Chinensis for Health and Longevity

Do Adaptogens Really Work?

As herbal supplements, adaptogens have gained popularity in recent years due to their ability to help us cope with stress. Several studies show that adaptogens may work by altering the molecular mechanisms of the stress response pathways. 

Although research on the effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system is still in its early stages, thousands of years of use in traditional herbal medicines speak volumes. Most of the adaptogens on our list are staple ingredients in cuisines across the globe. 

While more research is needed to completely understand adaptogens' effects on the nervous system, there is evidence that they can be a beneficial tool for those looking to maintain their general health and wellness. 

Before adding adaptogens to your regimen, as with any supplement, consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you are using medications or have underlying health conditions.

Can I Take Adaptogens Every Day?

Taking adaptogens every day is perfectly safe as long as you don't exceed the suggested daily amount. In fact, adaptogens are most effective when taken continuously on a regular basis. You may help your body cope with stress better, increase mental clarity and attention, and promote general well-being by including adaptogens in your daily routine. 

Keep in mind that adaptogens are not a quick fix and must be used with patience and persistence to produce results. 

Adaptogen Side Effects

Adaptogens are generally regarded as safe and well-tolerated, and they come with low to nonexistent risks and side effects. They are natural ingredients—roots, spices, herbs, and mushrooms—that have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. 

Listed below are some of the possible side effects of adaptogens: 

  1. If you’re just starting out, your body is probably not used to adaptogenic foods. You might experience mild digestive side effects like nausea, bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. These are more common at larger doses, so start by introducing small amounts of adaptogens to your diet.
  2. Some adaptogens may interact with specific medications, so if you are taking any medication, you should consult with your health care specialist before using them.
  3. Overstimulation is another potential negative effect, especially if you take energizing adaptogens later in the day. This can result in problems sleeping, agitation, or anxiety. If your goal is to have a productive day, take your energy-boosting dose earlier in the morning. We recommend sleep-friendly ones, like ashwagandha, before bed. 
  4. Some people may have an allergic reaction to adaptogens. If you discover any signs of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the adaptogen immediately and seek medical advice.

How to Consume Adaptogens

The effects of adaptogens vary depending on the way they are consumed. They come in many forms and dosages, which can impact their effectiveness. Some adaptogens may be more potent when eaten raw. Other types of adaptogens produce the best effects when mixed in drinks or tinctures. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways to consume adaptogens. 


Capsules or pills are the most common and easiest way to consume adaptogens. They are easily transportable and can be taken with you on the go, making them an efficient option for busy—or lazy—individuals. Adaptogenic plants marketed as dietary supplements also provide an exact and reliable dosage. This is particularly important for people who use adaptogens for special medical reasons. Adaptogenic capsules can contain a single adaptogen or a blend, but one thing is certain—they don’t taste very good. 


Taking adaptogens in food is a popular method of including them in your diet. You can use adaptogens as a spice to add flavor to your recipes. Traditional cuisines around the world already employ most adaptogenic herbs. Ginseng is the star of Korean dishes, matcha tea is an ancient part of Japanese tradition, and ashwagandha and turmeric are staples in Indian cuisine.

Using adaptogens in a broth or soup is another healthy way to ingest them. For example, reishi mushrooms can be cooked in water to form a nourishing and immune-boosting broth. Adaptogenic roots, herbs, and mushrooms can also be added to stews, stir-fries, desserts, smoothies, juices, or other foods, which allows for a versatile and easily customizable method of consumption.

Cooking adaptogens may reduce their potency, so add them near the end of the cooking process or consume them raw if possible. 


Adaptogenic tinctures are highly concentrated extracts made by steeping adaptogenic herbs in alcohol, glycerin, or vinegar. Because they are very concentrated, tinctures should be taken in small amounts, a few drops at a time, and always mixed with water, juice, or other beverages. 

This is a practical and effective way to absorb adaptogens and all their active compounds. You can combine tinctures to create your own personalized adaptogenic blend that will address a specific health condition. 

Despite their convenience, many health enthusiasts choose other methods of consumption. Adaptogenic tinctures usually have a strong, bitter taste that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. 

Adaptogenic Tea

Adaptogenic herbs can be made into a tea that can be consumed hot or cold. Sipping tea is a great way to unwind and relax, making it an obvious choice for anyone seeking a natural way to relieve stress. 

Our matcha cordyceps tea will take your tea-drinking experience to a whole new level. 

Adaptogenic teas are made by letting the herbs sleep in hot water for several minutes, but certain teas may require longer steep times or even specific preparation methods to maximize their benefits. With our tea, you can enjoy an unparalleled infusion of vitality and flavor within seconds. Simply take a teaspoon of powder from our Mushroom Matcha 30 Serving Jar, whisk it in the hot liquid of your choice, and you’re good to go. 

Mushroom Matcha - 30 Serving Jar

Adaptogens FAQ

What foods are high in adaptogens?

Adaptogens are found in a variety of foods, including herbs, spices, and mushrooms. Ashwagandha, holy basil, rhodiola, eleuthero, and licorice root are some of the most popular adaptogenic foods. Mushrooms such as reishi, cordyceps, and lion's mane are bursting with adaptogenic properties and bioactive compounds. Adaptogens can also be found in spices such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. 

These foods can be eaten as part of a well-balanced diet to support the body's stress response and promote overall wellness. So, the next time you go grocery shopping, stock up on adaptogenic foods!

Can my dog eat adaptogenic mushrooms?

The effects of adaptogenic foods do not stop with humans. While it’s not a good idea to give raw mushrooms to your dog, there is no reason why your pet can’t enjoy the benefits of adaptogenic fungi. Some of them might even be used as treatments. 

The turkey tail mushroom was shown to improve the survival rate of dogs with cancer. A randomized, double-blind study found that dogs that suffered from hemangiosarcoma (a highly malignant canine cancer) and were treated with turkey tail capsules had a reduction in metastases and an increased lifespan. 

While some mushrooms are beneficial for dogs, others are toxic and can cause serious damage to your furry friend. Also, dogs may react differently to adaptogens than humans do, so start with moderate doses and regularly monitor your dog's behavior and health. 

Are adaptogenic mushrooms drugs?

Adaptogenic mushrooms are not drugs. They have no effect on your perception or sensory experience. Adaptogenic foods, including mushrooms, are natural chemicals that have been used in traditional medicine for generations to help the body adapt to stress and maintain balance. 

in the conventional sense. Unlike pharmaceutical medications, adaptogenic mushrooms are generally harmless and non-toxic, with harmless side effects. Functional mushrooms can boost focus and memory and help with physical and mental health problems. They do it by maintaining your body's homeostasis without making you euphoric.

Do adaptogens make you look younger?

There is no scientific evidence that adaptogens can make you appear younger. But they may indirectly help you look younger by getting rid of stress-related skin problems like acne and eczema. Adaptogens like rhodiola and schisandra may help your hair grow in a healthy way and stop stress-induced hair loss. 

Do adaptogens increase estrogen?

Adaptogens may be able to help regulate estrogen levels in women, bringing low estrogen up and high estrogen down. They work with the endocrine system to control and balance hormones. When they are out of balance, hormones can affect your health and lead to issues like fatigue, problems with weight management, and mood fluctuations. With peri- and postmenopausal women, levels of estrogen fluctuate constantly, causing a wide range of accompanying symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings. In one study, reishi mushrooms showed estrogen-like activity and helped regulate hormonal levels in female rats. The treatment with adaptogenic fungi could also work for hormone-related diseases like osteoporosis. 

Is L-theanine a nootropic or an adaptogen?

L-theanine is considered a nootropic rather than an adaptogen. Nootropics are chemicals that improve cognitive function such as memory, focus, and learning ability, whereas adaptogens strengthen the body’s adaptability to stress and maintain balance in stressful situations. 

L-theanine is an amino acid found largely in green tea that has calming properties but doesn’t make you sleepy or drowsy. Its ability to improve mood, cognitive performance, and sleep quality has made it a prominent constituent in many nootropic products. 

Some researchers believe that L-theanine has adaptogenic qualities due to its capacity to modify the stress response and aid hormonal balance. L-theanine also boosts GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which helps to alleviate stress and anxiety and promote sleep. While L-theanine is primarily thought to be a nootropic, it also has powerful adaptogenic properties.

How many adaptogens are there?

While it is difficult to put an exact number on adaptogens, researchers estimate that there are over 100 adaptogenic herbs identified to date. This is a rough estimate based on the number of different plants and herbs that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and other herbal practices around the world. New research continues to reveal possible adaptogens from previously unknown sources, such as mushrooms and algae. 

Apart from our top nine listed here, here are a few more common adaptogens:

  1. Chaga mushrooms
  2. Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng)
  3. Maca
  4. Amalaki
  5. American ginseng
  6. Turmeric
  7. Goji berries
  8. Licorice root
  9. Shilajit 
  10. Astragalus root


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