Women's Health

How Adaptogens “Hack” Your Stress Response

These herbs and roots are said to help reaction to and recovery from physical and mental stress.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that adaptability is paramount to survival. But sometimes we need a little help in that department. Enter adaptogens, a group of herbs reputed to help you adjust to and recover from physical and mental stress.

When faced with a stressor, your body goes through a three-stage response: alarm, resistance and exhaustion. Adaptogens “hack” your stress response, so to speak, by acting on your adrenal glands to produce an anti-depressive and anti-fatigue effect. This helps keep you in the resistance phase for longer — allowing you more clarity and energy before you peter out — after which they can help quell the severity of the exhaustion phase.

Here are some well-researched adaptogens to try.

Adaptogen Effects
American Ginseng Boosts memory, calmness and immunity
Ashwagandha Reduces stress and anxiety
Cordyceps Boosts stamina
Goji Berry Increases energy, and physical and mental performance
Licorice Root Reduces stress
Rhodiola Rosea Staves off physical and mental fatigue
Tulsi/Holy Basil Reduces physical and mental stress and anxiety
Turmeric Boosts brain function and reduces depression