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The Top 10 Adaptogens For Anxiety: Natural Stress Relief
Apr 17, 23
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Author: Sony Sherpa

The Top 10 Adaptogens For Anxiety: Natural Stress Relief

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 12 min read
The Top 10 Adaptogens For Anxiety: Natural Stress Relief

In modern society, stress appears to affect everyone in some way. While some stress is essential for survival, persistent, long-term stress has been linked to several health problems, including adrenal burnout, sleeplessness, PCOS, leaky gut, anxiety, and more. But how can we handle it?

We are fortunate to have access to the most potent superfoods and natural remedies available today. Adaptogenic herbs are one of the best ways to lower your stress and anxiety levels. They are a necessary component in managing stress, pressure, and anxiety.

Several herbs are available, some of which are pretty helpful at lowering stress levels and enabling you to go about your regular activities with little stress.

This article looks at the best adaptogens for anxiety and how to incorporate them into your diet for optimal health.

Benefits Of Adaptogens For Anxiety

Adaptogenic herbs affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to produce their effects. The body's stress response results from this clever feedback loop, which is vital for immunological control, metabolism, and mood.

The HPA axis, often referred to as the neurohormonal system, is a component of the endocrine system and connects the brain's hypothalamus and pituitary gland with the adrenal glands, which are the organs that secrete the stress chemicals adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline.

When taken, adaptogenic herbs' intelligence reads all of the system's abnormalities and tries to restore homeostasis.

The benefits from adaptogens help the HPA axis and effectively "buffer" the stress response by preventing cortisol release or releasing cortisol in chronically exhausted people. They cover the physiological reaction to stress, preventing us from entering the fight-or-flight mode, preserving cortisol, and supporting the adrenals, aiding in the recovery of normal function.

How Adaptogens Work?

How Adaptogens Work?

Ashwagandha root is among the most effective adaptogens for stress. It balances the stress response and sympathetic activity by modulating the entire HPA axis, buffering the communication between the brain and adrenals.

The Schisandra berry is another notable example. Schisandra increases the production of mitochondrial glutathione, our body's master antioxidant that guards cells and DNA against oxidative stress (damage), and increases the production of heat shock proteins, a type of communicator involved in cell protection.

Some energy-boosting adaptogens, like Siberian ginseng, work directly on the adrenals to preserve cortisol and avoid adrenal insufficiency. This prevents the symptoms of exhaustion, chronic fatigue, and burnout.

Because of this, the most effective adaptogens for stress work by triggering stress-defense mechanisms, which mitigate the harmful effects of prolonged stress exposure.

10 Best Adaptogens For Anxiety

The best remedies for stress are adaptogenic herbs, which have been used for millennia to support energy, combat exhaustion, and enhance cognition. The top ten adaptogens for anxiety are listed below.

1. Rhodiola Rosea Balances Hormones

Rhodiola Rosea Balances Hormones

Rhodiola rosea, which has a long history of usage in traditional medicine, is one of the best adaptogenic herbs. Clinical trials have shown that the root is effective in treating stress-related diseases.

This herb regulates our hormones, particularly cortisol. The cortisol levels in our bodies increase or decrease depending on what is necessary for homeostasis. Moreover, Rhodiola rosea benefits heart health and brain wellness.

Serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters associated with happiness, are also increased in the brain by Rhodiola. This may explain why it's frequently used as a natural antidepressant supplement because it can help boost energy levels and enhance mood.

2. Lion's Mane Mushroom Improves Brain Function

Lion's Mane Mushroom Improves Brain Function

Lion's mane mushroom(1) is one of the most effective adaptogens for anxiety. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that Lion's mane increases BDNF and NGF, two brain development hormones that enhance memory, cognition, and mood.

The mushroom is also an incredible antidote for mental exhaustion and brain fog. It is one of the greatest adaptogens for boosting mood, as well.

3. Holy Basil Helps Decrease Worry

Holy Basil Helps Decrease Worry

In India, holy basil is referred to as the "elixir of anti-aging" Although it possesses antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory qualities, it is most well-known for its ability to calm us down and improve the body's defense mechanisms against stress. It can even be the base for your usual morning smoothie.

Holy basil may help you eliminate stress, regardless of its physical, physiological, or mental cause. In addition, the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine stated that holy basil, or Tulsi in Hindu, which means "the incomparable one," has antidepressant properties similar to conventional antidepressants.

Daily tulsi tea drinkers claimed to be happier, less worried, and more friendly. They also reported having stronger libido, less brain fog, and better memory. In addition, animal studies have demonstrated increased speed, endurance, and metabolism after using Tulsi supplements.

Be cautious; the leaves are pretty bitter. Ayurveda practitioners advise steeping the leaves in boiling water and drinking the adaptogen as tea (the act of which can be calming and contemplative in itself). You can take tulsi in capsule form if you don't like the taste.

4. Siberian Ginseng Hastens Recovery

Siberian Ginseng Hastens Recovery

Eleuthero root, often known as Siberian ginseng, is one of the most effective adaptogenic plants ever. As a result, it's ideal for high-performing athletes, students, business people, and anyone who wants to be at the top of their game.

Siberian ginseng is one of the best adaptogens for boosting energy and immunity. Its extract aids in enhancing physical stamina and endurance, quick recovery, improved performance, and stress reduction.

5. Cordyceps Mushroom Combats Exhaustion

Cordyceps Mushroom Combats Exhaustion

Okay, this might sound strange, but Cordyceps isn't even close to being a herb. Instead, it is a particular kind of fungus. According to studies, specific proteins that cause inflammation are repressed when human cells are exposed to Cordyceps.

It has immune-boosting qualities and is a natural energy booster. As a result, we can manage stress and anxiety better with tremendous energy and a more robust immune system.

Cordyceps mushroom(2) is an ancient performance-boosting tonic that has been shown to speed up the breakdown of stress hormones and improve the body's ability to return to homeostasis by increasing nitric oxide levels.

The mushroom also attaches to adenosine receptors like caffeine without the latter's adverse effects on the adrenal glands. This increases energy and combats exhaustion.

6. Schisandra Berries Balances Stress Response

Schisandra Berries Balances Stress Response

The mild adaptogenic herb schisandra berry functions as a powerful antioxidant to buffer stress's catabolic effects and help balance the stress response. According to traditional Chinese medicine, Schisandra chinensis enters all twelve meridians and feeds all five organs. The berry is an exceptional adaptogen for stress and anxiety since it is a potent tonic to boost a person's overall constitution.

7. Pine Pollen Improves Adrenal Functioning

Pine Pollen Improves Adrenal Functioning

The adrenal glands need pine pollen powder, a potent restorative adaptogen rich in minerals and amino acids, to sustain normal stress levels and cortisol production. Pine pollen, which is high in vitamin C, provides further protection from stress and anxiety since vitamin C is essential for the adrenal glands' proper functioning.

8. Reishi Mushroom Relaxes The Mind

Reishi Mushroom Relaxes The Mind

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is one most well adaptogenic mushrooms for anxiety and reducing stress. A vital component for reducing stress and anxiety, Reishi mushroom is a naturally heart-opening, relaxing, and nourishing adaptogenic herb that hugs the HPA axis and enhances mood, anxiety, and sleep.

9. Licorice Root Keeps Cortisol In Check

Licorice Root Keeps Cortisol In Check

Licorice root stimulates the adrenal glands to produce the perfect quantities of cortisol. The adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline, generally known as the "fight or flight" response. The adrenal gland may become exhausted from needing to generate these chemicals when stress is chronic and constantly unabating. 

The root can be consumed or taken as a supplement, and it can help the adrenal glands get some relief from the constant production of hormones. Licorice root extract successfully takes over and stimulates the adrenal gland to produce cortisol and adrenaline in perfect harmony, thereby promoting an ideal level of cortisol and adrenaline in the blood.

Your body and mind will feel less stressed, less strained, and more tranquil and balanced due to this herbal "take-over." In addition, your mood will improve due to the physiological benefits of licorice root, helping you feel less agitated and apprehensive.

10. Ashwagandha Boosts Immunity

Ashwagandha Boosts Immunity

Ashwagandha(3) has various benefits and has long been praised for its ability to relieve stress. From ancient times, Ayurveda practitioners have utilized ashwagandha, which contains flavonoids and steroidal lactones known as withanolides. Withanolides boost immunity, energy levels, a positive view of life, and a healthy stress response.

The Ayurveda herb has been proven in trials to reduce elevated cortisol levels significantly. Since Ashwagandha root regulates and supports the entire nervous system, it spares the adrenal glands and maintains cortisol levels while still being a nutrient-rich source of iron.

More energy, better sleep, reduced exhaustion, normal blood sugar levels, and normal lipid profiles are just a few more incredible benefits. Ashwagandha has also been successful in boosting DHEA levels to counterbalance cortisol. Today, it's frequently used to treat high blood pressure, persistent fatigue, insomnia, and erectile dysfunction brought on by anxiety or exhaustion.

Tips To Add Adaptogens To your Diet

Tips To Add Adaptogens To your Diet

There are several different varieties of adaptogen supplements. Nevertheless, not every supplement containing adaptogens is the same. Therefore, it's essential to do thorough research to pick the best adaptogen supplement for you.

Here are the top 3 ways you can add adaptogens to your diet:

1. First, drink hot water with adaptogen powder on its own. Then, experience the complete flavor profile and reverence that these adaptogenic herbs represent by blending them in.

2. Make an adaptogen tonic that is similar to a health-promoting mushroom latte. Mix adaptogenic herb powder with hot water or plant-based milk to make a tasty, low-sugar, nutrient-rich adaptogen tonic ideal for everyday use.

3. Consider putting adaptogens in your drinks, whether this is your morning brew of bone broth,  tea, matcha, coffee, cacao elixir, or smoothie. When added to boiling water, the best adaptogen granules will quickly dissolve in liquids without impairing their structure or functionality.

FAQs About Adaptogens For Anxiety

Who Should Not Take Adaptogens?

Certain people should avoid adaptogen use. These include pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with high or low blood pressure, and diabetics.

Can Other Anxiety Supplements Or Medications Be Taken With Adaptogens?

Adaptogens can interact with your medications​​. As a result, they could impact how certain medicines work, including those used for diabetes, hypertension, diabetes, hypothyroidism, insomnia, and depression.

Are Adaptogens Safe To Take For Anxiety?

When used in appropriate doses, adaptogens are not toxic. It aids your body in overcoming stress. It enables your body to regain its equilibrium (homeostasis).

Key Takeaways

One of the best things we can do for our general health and well-being is to incorporate adaptogens into our daily lives. Rhodiola, Lion’s mane, Siberian Ginseng, Holy Basil, Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms, Licorice Root, Ashwagandha, Pine Pollen, and Schisandra are the most popular adaptogens for anxiety.

Incorporate these adaptogens into your diet and supplement regimen. These can help you relieve anxiety, reduce stress, and feel like the best version of yourself.

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia (1) 
  2. Beneficial Effect of Cordyceps militaris on Exercise Performance via Promoting Cellular Energy Production, (2)
  3. Natural Withanolides in the Treatment of Chronic Diseases, (3)

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