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.

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best adaptogens Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief
best adaptogens Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for...
best adaptogens The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
best adaptogens Moon Juice - Ashwagandha | Organic Adaptogen Powder for Stress Relief...
best adaptogens Organic India Ashwagandha, 400 mg, Veg-Capsules, 90 Count
best adaptogens Herb Pharm Certified Organic Ashwagandha Extract for Energy and...
best adaptogens Raw Wildcrafted Gotu Kola Extract, 2oz (56.6 grams) by The Raw Food...
best adaptogens ORGANIC INDIA Gotu Kola Sleep Aid, 90 Veg Capsules
best adaptogens Herb Pharm Certified Organic Gotu Kola Liquid Extract for...
best adaptogens Raw Wildcrafted Holy Basil Extract, 2oz (56.6 grams) by The Raw Food...
best adaptogens ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi - Holy Basil, 90 Veg Capsules
best adaptogens Organic India Green Tea|Organic India Tulsi Original Tea, 25 Infusion...
best adaptogens Herb Pharm Certified Organic Holy Basil (Tulsi) Liquid Extract for...
best adaptogens Organic Black Gelatinized Maca Powder, 16oz Grade AAA+ by The Raw Food...
best adaptogens Herb Pharm Certified Organic Maca Liquid- 1 Ounce
best adaptogens Maximum Strength Organic Mucuna Pruriens Extract 20:1 Powder (Contains...
best adaptogens Jing Herbs Reishi Extract Powder With Spores 50 Grams
best adaptogens Dragon Herbs Wild Reishi Mushroom Super Potency Extract - 2 Fl Oz
best adaptogens Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Reishi Mushroom Powder (4:1 Extract), 5.5...
best adaptogens Moon Juice - Reishi Super Mushroom Extract | Powerful Organic...
best adaptogens Rhodiola - 4 oz Jar
best adaptogens Herb Pharm Certified Organic Rhodiola Root Extract for Energy,...
best adaptogens Herb Pharm Certified Organic Shatavari Liquid Extract for Female...
best adaptogens (2 Pack) - Organic India - Org Shatavari | 60's | 2 PACK BUNDLE
best adaptogens Shaman Shack Herbs Three Immortals, 468 Gram
best adaptogens Moon Juice - Dream Dust | Adaptogenic Blend for Sleep
best adaptogens Four Sigmatic - 10 Mushroom Extract Blend Chaga, Lion's Mane,...
best adaptogens Sun Potion Yin Power - Tonic Herbal Formula for The Feminine (200g)

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:

Sale
Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief
  • Healing Arts Press
  • Winston, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Sale
Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for...
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Yance CN MH RH(AHG), Donald R. (Author)
The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
  • ISBN13: 9780446675062
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence!...

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

Moon Juice - Ashwagandha | Organic Adaptogen Powder for Stress Relief...
  • A Harmonizing Adaptogen To Help Boost Mood + Stamina, & Control Cravings*
  • Ashwagandha Is An Adaptogen: A Potent, Safe, & Corrective Superherb That Helps Protect Your Body From The Damaging...
  • 8:1 Concentrated Extract: 8 Pounds Of Ashwagandha Are Concentrated To A 1 Pound Powder In Crafting Moon Juice's...
Organic India Ashwagandha, 400 mg, Veg-Capsules, 90 Count
  • NATURAL STRESS RELIEF - Powerful adaptogen formula provides a quick natural way to relieve anxiety and insomnia
  • THYROID AND HORMONE BALANCE - Improve thyroid function and support reproductive health for men and women
  • REGENERATES ENERGY AND VITALITY - This rejuvenative tonic stabilizes blood sugar and boosts adrenal health
Herb Pharm Certified Organic Ashwagandha Extract for Energy and...
  • Expertly extracted to support energy and vitality
  • Prepared from the dry whole root of Certified Organic Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) plants
  • Rapidly absorbed liquid extract

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

ORGANIC INDIA Gotu Kola Sleep Aid, 90 Veg Capsules
  • A POWERFUL ADAPTOGEN SUPPORTING THE NERVOUS SYSTEM - Gotu Kola has long been used as a powerful adaptogen to support the...
  • HELPS CALM THE MIND AND EASE STRESS - This natural herbal formula eases stress, worry and feelings associated with fear,...
  • PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR SOUND SLEEP - Whether you have an occasional bout of sleeplessness or suffer from sleep apnea, Gotu...
Herb Pharm Certified Organic Gotu Kola Liquid Extract for...
  • Expertly extracted for support of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Prepared from certified organic whole herb of Centella asiatica plants.
  • Rapidly absorbed liquid extract.

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

Organic India (Capsule and Tea

ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi - Holy Basil, 90 Veg Capsules
  • CLAIM THE BENEFITS - Our formula is optimized to give you the most of Tulsi's extensive health benefits
  • REJUVENATIVE HERB - Holy Basil helps provide a healthy stress reponse when dealing with anxiety
  • POWERFUL ADAPTOGEN - Tulsi is famous for improving the immune system, stamina and endurance
Organic India Green Tea|Organic India Tulsi Original Tea, 25 Infusion...
  • Manufacturer: - Organic India
  • Indications: - all types of stresses, to feel relaxed, energizing, to boost stamina, to improve digestion and...
  • Dosage: - 1 infusion bag to be infused in 120 ml hot boiling water for one time use, and to be taken 2-3 times daily
Herb Pharm Certified Organic Holy Basil (Tulsi) Liquid Extract for...
  • Expertly extracted to promote energy and vitality.
  • Rapidly absorbed liquid extract.
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO.

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

Herb Pharm Certified Organic Maca Liquid- 1 Ounce
  • Promotes healthy sexual libido and function
  • Expertly extracted from the certified organic dried root of Lepidium meyenii plants which are grown for us in the...
  • Rapidly absorbed liquid extract.

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

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Maximum Strength Organic Mucuna Pruriens Extract 20:1 Powder (Contains...
  • Micro Ingredients Organic Mucuna Pruriens Powder,16 Ounce, High Concentration and Vegan Friendly.
  • Powerfully Supports Energy, Stamina, Endurance, Strength and Libido.
  • No GMOs, No Preservatives, No Sugar, No Artificial Colors, No Flavors, No Additives, No Soy and No Gluten.

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

Dragon Herbs Wild Reishi Mushroom Super Potency Extract - 2 Fl Oz
  • NATURAL - These mushrooms are not planted or wildcrafted by humans. They grow where they will, where they are perfectly...
  • PURE - 100% wild Red Reishi mushroom, mountain-collected (Changbai Mountain, Manchuria). There are no additives of any...
  • LONGEVITY - Classically called the “Mushroom of the Immortals”
Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Reishi Mushroom Powder (4:1 Extract), 5.5...
  • Terrasoul Superfoods Red Reishi Mushroom 4:1 Extract Powder, 5.5-ounce Pouch
  • Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • Reishi Mushroom 4:1 Extract Powder is concentrated to ensure maximum digestibility
Moon Juice - Reishi Super Mushroom Extract | Powerful Organic...
  • Reishi Is A Powerful Brain Tonic, Long Used To Energize & Enhance Mood, And Support Concentration*
  • An Adaptogenic Mushroom, Reishi Is Traditionally Used To Help The Body's Capacity To Handle Stress & Support A Healthy...
  • 100% Organic

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

Herb Pharm Certified Organic Rhodiola Root Extract for Energy,...
  • Liquid herbal extract to support and promote energy, endurance and stamina*
  • Easily absorbed liquid engages your senses of taste and smell to help your body recognize & use herbs
  • Prepared from the Certified-Organic and/or sustainably wildcrafted root of Rhodiola rosea plants

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

Herb Pharm Certified Organic Shatavari Liquid Extract for Female...
  • Expertly extracted for women's reproductive system support.
  • Prepared from certified organic root of Asparagus racemosus plants.
  • Rapidly absorbed liquid extract.

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

Shaman Shack Herbs Three Immortals, 468 Gram
  • Rishi, Shilajit, and Orcus
  • uplifts the spirit
  • full spectrum nutritional substance

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.

Moon Juice - Dream Dust | Adaptogenic Blend for Sleep
  • Dream Dust Is An Adaptogenic Blend Of Tranquil Superherbs & Chamomile Flower That Help Combat The Effects Of Stress To...
  • Helps Promote Better Sleep*
  • Helps To Alleviate The Effects Of Stress And Tension*

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.

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.

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Sun Potion Yin Power - Tonic Herbal Formula for The Feminine (200g)
  • Organic and Wildharvested Tonic Herbs for Women (and Men!).
  • May Support: Immunity, Creative Energy, Hormonal Balance, Mental Clarity, Stress Relief
  • May Support: Cellular Regeneration, Radiance, Healthy Circulation, Emotional Equilibrium, Libido

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

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