Superherbs: All About Adaptogens

By Danielle Sobel – September 1, 2017
Photo by Weston Carls

Whether you’re feeling stressed or your immune system is begging for a reboot, these natural supplements aid in your body’s response to stress and other ailments.

This little fungi has been buzzing around the wellness scene but has actually been used in Asia for thousands of years. A variety of mushroom, reishi is unlike the kind you’ll find in a sauté or a soup. Touted for its medicinal properties, reishi has been known to detoxify the liver, promote longevity, and help with chronic fatigue. 

Also known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha is a powerful herb known for its restorative properties. When taken over a period of time, ashwagandha has been known to decrease stress, help you focus, reduce anxiety, and help support and protect your immune system. 

This Peruvian superfood’s popularity has recently skyrocketed. Used in everything from baking to lattes to smoothies, maca is a powerful root that increases energy, balances your hormones (great for the ladies!), and boosts libido. Unlike coffee, maca doesn't give you those 'jitters' so it’s a great way to wean yourself off caffeine.

Astragalus is an ancient root used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Recent studies suggest that Astragalus may protect our telomeres from degradation. In simpler terms, it is great for aging and longevity! Additionally, it is beneficial for the liver, spleen, asthma, high blood pressure, and lowering blood sugar levels. 

He shou wu
Another ancient Chinese herb, he shou wu is known for tonifying our blood, increasing libido, and is highly anti-inflammatory. He shou wu has demonstrated the ability to strengthen the membranes of red blood cells, help them grow, and increase circulation. 

Looking for a little boost to beat the brain fog? Look no further than rhodiola. Not only has rhodiola been shown to improve brain function and decrease depression, but bonus: it's also known for helping to burn fat and increase athletic performance. Hello, miracle herb. 

Creams and peels and masks are great, but what about anti-aging from the inside-out? Cordyceps is our go-to when it comes to the ultimate anti-aging herb out there. With its ability to fight free radicals and combat stress, this mushroom is a powerhouse when it comes to getting your body back in equilibrium. 

Holy Basil
As most of these herbs on the list, holy basil is another great option if you're looking for a way to chill out. Also known as tulsi, holy basil helps combat adrenal fatigue (an issue a lot of us have but are unaware of!), reduce acne inflammation, balance blood sugar levels, and reduce cortisol. It’s delicious and widely available in tea form!

Adaptogen Latte

Here’s a morning recipe to keep you energized but focused and calm throughout the day. No crash, no jitters—just clean energy. Drink in the morning or for a midday pick-me-up! 

1/2 cup coconut milk (heated up on stove) 
1/2 cup coffee (organic!) 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp ashwagandha 
1 tsp maca *optional
1 tbsp manuka honey (or maple syrup)

Heat up coconut milk on stove, add adaptogens, vanilla, cinnamon and sweetener to blender. Blend until frothy and enjoy! 



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