What are Adaptogens? They are a unique class of healing plants that help to balance, increase resilience, restore and protect the body, thus normalizing your physiological function. They have been shown to recharge the adrenal glands, which aids in the response to stress.

Here is a list of my six favorites that I recommend to my clients:

  • Ginseng- Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng) helps to improve mental performance and your ability to withstand stress, and it provides antioxidants.
  • Holy basil- the “elixir of anti-aging”, known for boosting the immune system, regulating hormone levels, and helping to fight fatigue and stress
  • Ashwaganda- (Indian ginseng) eases anxiety, boosts immunity and lowers cortisol levels
  • Astragalus root- boosts immunity and buffers the effects of stress. It may also reduce the ability of stress hormones like cortisol to bind to receptors
  • Rhodiola- (golden root) provides a buffer to stress related mental and physical stress and fatigue. It helps to relieve anxiety and combat aging. Rhodiola suppresses the production of cortisol and increases levels of stress-resistant proteins.
  • Cordycep mushrooms- reishi, shitaki, and maitake mushrooms are funguses with antioxidant properties. These funguses are not aptogens in the classic sense, but they have aptogenic, anti-tumor and immune enhancing properties.
  • Maca- a root vegetable from Peru that is known for increasing labido and normalizing horone levels.

Give any one of these adaptogenic herbs, and let me know what you think.



Lisa Dawes, registered dietitian/nutritionist, certified diabetes educator and integrative nutrition practitioner has over 15 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She is located in San Luis Obispo County, and specializes in the prevention and management of diabetes, pre diabetes and high cholesterol, sustainable weight loss, treatment and management of candida, leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and food allergies. Her office is based in Arroyo Grande, CA.

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