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Exploring the Power of Adaptogens: What You Need to Know

According to the Cleveland Clinic, adaptogens are herbs, mushrooms and other plants that help your body adapt to stress, anxiety, fatigue and overall wellbeing.

Adaptogens can help restores communication between the body and brain, bringing our hormones back to homeostasis balance.

Despite there being studies surrounding popular adaptogens like Lion's Maine and ashwaganda, they are still not FDA approved or regulated. Adaptogens could react with medications and impact how they work. For example, they could cause increasing blood pressure, decreasing blood sugar levels, disrupting sleep patterns, increasing thyroid activity and counteracting antidepressants. You could also experience gastrointestinal issues if you take too much like bloating, diarrhea or constipation, nausea and vomiting.

As a registered dietitian, I can't safely recommend any of these substances for any aliments or overall health. That would be better suited to a functional medical practitioner or an herbalist. There is one brand that I do love and have used in the past called Cured Nutrition. Their products contain cannabinoids, mushrooms and adaptogens that are third-party tested for the absence of harmful contaminants like microbials, pesticides and heavy metals.

Here are some popular adaptogens, what they claim to do to the body and possible effective doses:

  • Ashwagandha: combats stress, supports focus and energy during the day. Dose: 200mg daily.

  • American ginseng: immune system support, helps reduce inflammation, combats stress and boosts nervous system activity. 200mg per day.

  • Maca root: helps you feel more invigorated, can boost mental and physical energy, reduce stress, support mood, and libido. Dose: start with 1000-1500mg daily, if you don’t notice a difference in a week bump it up to 2000mg.

  • Rhodiola Rosea: supports athletic endurance and recovery time, and immune systems. Dose: 200mg daily.

  • Cordyceps: an antioxidant rich mushroom that helps boost natural energy by boosting the body’s ability to produce ATP. Dose: half tsp ground powder daily.

  • Holy Basil known for supporting relaxation and clarity of thought. Dose: 200mg twice daily but if you get groggy on that drop it down to 100mg once or twice daily.

  • Reishi for relaxation and immune health plus autoimmune issues. Dose: 1500mg daily for a month to notice an effect.

  • Lions mane: a mushroom shown to reduce inflammation and boost immunity, decrease anxiety and depression, improve cognitive and heart health.

  • Chaga: a nutrient dense mushroom rich in vitamins and minerals that can help slow down aging, lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, fight inflammation, lower blood sugar, and support immunity.


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