There are few people who haven’t been touched by the adaptogen trend. Whether you’ve just heard of adaptogens or have used them inadvertently (maca in your smoothie from your local smoothie bar) it’s unlikely that you haven’t had some experience with them.

We’ve broken down the trend to help you understand exactly what adaptogens are, what they can be used for and how to pick what ones are best for you.

We’ve included a list of our absolute favorite adaptogens as well as some recipes to help you easily and deliciously incorporate them in your life.

Comparison Table


No products found.

What’s an Adaptogen?

An adaptogen is defined as “(in herbal medicine) a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. A well-known example is ginseng.”

Adaptogens tend to be plant matter, whether its a root, a leaf, a mushroom or a bean. They are used for balancing out the body and particularly hormone balancing and stress relief.

What Are Adaptogens Useful For?
Are All Adaptogens the Same?
How Do I Know What Adaptogens Are Best for Me?

You can use adaptogens for a variety of issues. Some people take adaptogens to balance out their hormones which can result in more energy, more stable moods, and a raised libido.

Some people take adaptogens to help offset the stress they experience daily, whether it feels overwhelming or minimal. Other people take adaptogens to help with anxiety or more stressful emotional periods of their life.

Some people may even take adaptogens due to other properties such as expedited wound healing or blood sugar improvement.  

It’s important to note that not all adaptogens work the exact same for everyone.

While it may be the form you’re taking needs to be changed or the dose needs to be raised, it can also be that maybe it is not the right fit for the symptoms you are experiencing.

Experimentation or seeking out the advice of a health professional whether that’s an herbalist, naturopathic doctor, or a chiropractor are key ways to figure out what adaptogens are best for you.

All adaptogens are not the same, although most of them are considered to provide hormonal balance and stress relief. Some adaptogens are better known for increased libido, while some are known for their sense of anxiety relief.

Some adaptogens are considered more helpful for men while some are considered to be more helpful for women. It’s important to do some research to find out what adaptogens may be useful for your specific set of health concerns.

How Do I Take Adaptogens?

Adaptogens can be consumed in a variety of ways. Many adaptogens can be found in their dried form, either whole or powdered. Rose Mountain Herbs is a great resource for seeking out adaptogens in a more “close to their natural” form.

If you choose dried adaptogens you can make them into teas by steeping them in water or you can blend them into smoothies or soups. Adaptogens can also be found in more concentrated form just as powdered extracts and liquid extracts.

You can mix this either with water or into smoothies or soups. Adaptogens are also commonly available in capsule form if you prefer this method.

Many experts and herbalists have their own favorite form of herbs to take for a variety of reasons. The best form to take is always first and foremost, the one you’ll remember to take and use.

If you aren’t a smoothie person, then capsules is the best option. If you drink smoothies daily but don’t take many supplements, this may be the best option for you to remember.

Whatever will be easiest for you to incorporate into your daily routine is the best choice when it comes to making adaptogens part of your health routine.

Where Can I Find More Information About Adaptogens?

Some adaptogens have been studied, but not thoroughly or in large studies. Unfortunately, most adaptogens haven’t been studied extensively so the information available may have some evidence, but not much to support it.

Much of the information about adaptogens available may come from a mix of the cultures that use them as well as personal experience. It’s important to bear these things in mind when researching and reading about adaptogens so you can make an informed choice.

If you’re not certain whether or not an adaptogen is the right choice for you based on what you want to achieve or what medications you may be on, it’s always wise to consult your doctor, a pharmacist, an herbalist or a naturopathic doctor. 

Not all adaptogens may be researched enough to say they are safe to use in pregnancy or if breastfeeding, so consult with a professional if you are unsure. With this in mind, there are a few resources to check out when it comes to researching adaptogens and all they have to offer.

The internet is an amazing resource for research, especially when it comes to adaptogens. Many people share personal accounts of how adaptogens have changed their lives.

A resource that can be helpful for information on adaptogens is David Wolfe, who is a public speaker, nutrition guru, and an author of several books including one on superfoods that covers a few adaptogens.

Outside of the internet, there are a few great books that are more in-depth with information on adaptogens.

The following are some of our favorite books to gain a more thorough understanding of adaptogens:

No products found.

No products found.

No products found.

The Best Adaptogens

The term adaptogen encompasses a broad variety of plants and their matter, so it can be hard to narrow down the field to figure out what adaptogens to try. We’ve narrowed down the list to what many consider the absolute best adaptogens available on the market.

While there are countless other valuable adaptogens, the following list consists of the most medicinal, accessible and usable adaptogens for most people to try.

Take a look at the following adaptogens and their uses to gain a better understanding of how they may benefit your health immediately.

Name: Ashwagandha

What it is

Ashwagandha is a plant whose various parts have been used to cure a variety of ills. It has a long history of use in India, and its root is what is often used in medicinal applications.

Believed to help with 

Ashwagandha has long been used as a male fertility aid as it’s thought to boost testosterone and increase sperm count. It’s also used to alleviate stress and anxiety, and is believed to boost strength and stamina.

​​​​The Best Brands

No products found.

No products found.

No products found.

Name: Gotu Kola

What it is

Gotu Kola is a leafy green herb that’s related to parsley. It’s considered a highly spiritual herb and has a long history of use in India as well as China.

Believed to help with 

Gotu Kola has a plethora of purported uses. One of its most well-known uses is for improving cognitive function. It is thought to improve memory, enhance focus and promote mental clarity and some studies even back this up!

It’s also used to treat anxiety and depression and alleviate stress. Additionally, Gotu Kola is thought to improve circulation and therefore also aids in wound healing as well as reducing inflammation.

​​​​The Best Brands

No products found.

No products found.

No products found.

Name: Holy Basil, Tulsi

What it is

Holy Basil is a fragrant and leafy green herb that has a long history of use in India.

Believed to help with 

Holy Basil is believed by some to be a highly spiritual herb. It has a wide array of uses, with the relief of stress, mild depression and anxiety while promoting calm and focus being the most well known.

It is also thought to help boost the immune system and expedite wound healing.

​​​​The Best Brands

No products found.

Organic India (Capsule and Tea

No products found.

No products found.

No products found.

Name: Maca

What it is

Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable that has a history dating back to Incan times.

Believed to help with 

Maca is well known to help improve libido, and many people take it for this in addition to hormonal balance. Additionally, it’s thought to boost fertility in both men and women.

It is noted for its ability to increase stamina as well as help one feel more energetic without stimulants such as caffeine. It’s also noted to boost one's mood and may help alleviate feelings of anxiety or depression.

​​​​The Best Brands

No products found.

No products found.

Name: Mucuna Pruriens 

What it is

Mucuna, also known as Velvet Bean, is a fuzzy legume pod.

Believed to help with 

Mucuna is one of the highest concentrations of L-Dopa, therefore it’s often used for a powerful mood boost and is helpful with depression and anxiety. It’s also used for improving focus, lowering stress and increasing libido. 

​​​​The Best Brands

Micro Ingredients

No products found.

Moon Juice

Sun Potion

Name: Reishi

What it is

Reishi is a medicinal mushroom and perhaps one of the most well-known thanks to its long history of use in traditional Chinese Medicine.

Believed to help with 

Reishi has had several studies done and has been shown to help boost immunity, potentially help fight cancer, help fight stress and potentially help with fatigue.

According to Four Sigmatic, may support restful sleep as well, so may be useful as a bedtime adaptogen. Reishi is also exceptionally high in antioxidants, perhaps lending to its reputation as a tool for longevity.

​​​​The Best Brands

No products found.

No products found.

No products found.

No products found.

Name: Rhodiola

What it is

Rhodiola is an herb and its roots have been used for thousands of years.

Believed to help with 

Rhodiola is a well-loved herb used for its ability to increase energy while also helping to boost mood. It’s often used to combat anxiety, depression and feelings of stress. 

​​​​The Best Brands

Shaman Sha​​​​ck Herbs

No products found.

No products found.

Name: Shatavari

What it is

Shatavari is a species of asparagus with a long history of use in India.

Believed to help with 

Shatavari is often thought of as a woman’s herb as it helps boost fertility, helps regulate hormones, boosts libido and boosts milk supply. It’s also a helpful ally in alleviating anxiety and depression, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties.

​​​​The Best Brands

The Raw Food World

No products found.

No products found.

Name: Shilajit

What it is

A sticky black tar made up of broken-down plant matter and minerals found in India and Nepal.

Believed to help with 

Shilajit is a powerhouse, and while it’s classification as an adaptogen may not be unanimously decided, it is worth mentioning. It is used to aid focus, strengthen immunity, increase energy, increase fertility, increase libido and detoxify the body. It’s extremely high in minerals as well.

​​​​The Best Brands

The Raw Food World

Shaman Shack Herbs

No products found.

The Best Adaptogenic Blends

The term adaptogen encompasses a broad variety of plants and their matter, so it can be hard to narrow down the field to figure out what adaptogens to try. We’ve narrowed down the list to what many consider the absolute best adaptogens available on the market.

While there are countless other valuable adaptogens, the following list consists of the most medicinal, accessible and usable adaptogens for most people to try.

Take a look at the following adaptogens and their uses to gain a better understanding of how they may benefit your health immediately.

No products found.

Moon Juice offers a variety of powders in canister and packet form that are blends of adaptogens. An example is their “Sleep Dust”, which includes the adaptiveness Schisandra as well as Ashwagandha as well as other sleep boosting herbals.

They offer a wide variety of blends including Sex, Power, Brain, Spirit and Beauty. They also offer an adaptogenic protein powder. All powders can be mixed with plant milk or smoothie.

No products found.

Four Sigmatic is a company that focuses on medicinal mushrooms and making them accessible for all people. This company offers a variety of mushroom-based packets, including their elixir line.

While some of the mushrooms are considered adaptogens themselves, their elixir line also features other adaptogens depending on what the blend is for.

They offer elixir blends in Think, Chill, Be Well, Get Going and Beauty featuring adaptogens such as Reishi, Tulsi, Schisandra, Chaga, and Eleuthero. You can mix the packets into water, plant milks or smoothies.

No products found.

Sun Potion is an ultra trendy company that uses high-quality ingredients to create single as well as blends of adaptogens to promote a thriving existence. Their blends such as Yin Power and Green Adaptogen offer quite a variety of adaptogens for a mental boost as well as stress relief.

Adaptogen Recipes For Everyday

You can easily add adaptogens into your daily health practice by incorporating them into smoothies. The following recipes are suggestions for how to use a few specific adaptogens, but feel free to omit some of the adaptogens or swap in whatever ones you’re currently using.

Recipe: Brain Booster Smoothie

This smoothie tastes rich and delicious and includes some brain-boosting adaptogens for a mood boost as well as increased focus and energy thanks to the raw cacao powder.

Serves 1

  • 16 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 serving (according to package) mucuna
  • 1 serving (according to package) gotu kola
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 frozen banana or half an avocado

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve over ice for a delicious latte-like treat!

Recipe: Calming Evening Elixir

This warm evening elixir will help you relax and feel calm after a long day. It helps alleviate stress while also promoting a sense of focus and clarity. What could be a better way to end a day?

Serves 1

  • 16 ounces unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1 serving (according to package) holy basil OR 1 tea bag of holy basil
  • 1 serving (according to package) reishi
  • A few drops liquid vanilla stevia OR 1 tbsp of coconut sugar

Warm the cashew milk over medium heat. Add in your adaptogens and sweetener and whisk until well mixed. Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe: Energizing Fertility Booster Pudding

This smoothie will give you a little pep to your step and put you in the mood!

Serves 1

  • 1 tbsp maca powder
  • 1 serving (according to package) of either ashwagandha OR shatavari
  • 8-12 ounces coconut water (depending on desired thickness)
  • 1 serving (according to package) shilajit - optional
  • 1 tbsp raw hemp seeds
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Add all ingredients to a food processor or high powered blender and blend until thick and smooth.

Recipe: Coldbrew Adaptogenic Latte

This drink is so delicious and so energizing, and mood uplifting that it could easily become your daily beverage. Best of all, the adaptogens may help to offset the effects of caffeine on your adrenals, meaning your body will thank you!

Serves 1

  • 8oz favorite or homemade cold brew
  • 8oz unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 serving (according to package) mucuna or gotu kola
  • Sweetener if desired

Blend all ingredients together and serve over ice! Alternately, you could simply carry your favorite adaptogen tincture with you at all times and simply add it to your latte or cold brew that you purchase while you’re out for a quick and easy boost!

Featured Image via Pixabay

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This