What are Adaptogens? Are they really healthy?

What are Adaptogens? Are they really healthy?

I am falling in love with Ayurveda. The more I read, the more fascinated I get. Ayurveda is not about a diet; it is a lifestyle, a way of seeing and living life; nevertheless, food is a big chunk of their approach.


Herbs like turmeric, ashwagandha, rhodiola, ginseng, maca root, cordyceps, holy basil, and other plants known as adaptogens have taken over Instagram and are a hit in wellness sites. Adaptogenic herbs are the real deal—promising to boost the immune system, increase mental focus, encourage a balanced mood, and even combat high stress. They adjust to one’s needs – providing more energy or reducing stress.


Their complex compounds help our bodies mediate or adapt to physical or psychological stress by interacting with our cellular systems. For instance, if our body produces too much cortisol (stress hormone), adaptogens step in to balance that out.


These herbs are part of a list of favorites in Ayurvedic medicine and have been used for thousands of years. Most diseases have inflammation at their roots—and adaptogens have inflammation-reducing properties.


These herbs are easy to find and can be added into our diet in food form—drinking holy basil tea or using turmeric as a seasoning, tea, adding a teaspoon powder into shakes —which is usually a safe option.


Poor-quality supplements are an issue since low-grade products could have lead or other impurities in them. Still, different adaptogens can have different drug interactions and might not be suitable for everyone. For example, ashwagandha might negatively impact pregnancies and interact with high-blood pressure medications.


Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement or herb—especially if you’re on hard-core prescription drugs like me.


I have adopted a few of them, taking them daily to help control my pain, my fatigue and regulate my mood. Anything I can do to avoid Celebrex and more Prednisone, I am in!


Have you tried any of this? How do you feel?

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2 thoughts on “What are Adaptogens? Are they really healthy?

  1. I’m curious as to how you feel after taking those Adaptogens, because everything I read was suggesting to stay away from ashwagandha when you’re living with SLE due in parts to the fact that it boosts your immune system. Let me know, thank you.

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    1. Hi Fatima, I take a lot of adaptogens every day, and they do wonders for me. I have not had a bad flare in a while.
      My Ayurveda teacher ( and doctor ) prescribed me a bunch of supplements and herbs, and they have been very effective in giving me energy while reducing my stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha is not the only adaptogen I take every day. Look for an integrative doctor who understands the broad aspect of auto-immune disease. Talk to a specialist who knows well their field and the condition. My suggestion is not to believe in everything you read on the internet. Wishing you well!

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