Mental Health

Beat Physical and Mental Stress With These Two Adaptogens

Adaptogens are amazing plant based natural substances that help our body adapt to stress. They are known to normalise metabolic functions and restore balance. Read on to know how we can benefit from adaptogens..

By Hima
28 Jun 2022

Adaptogens are herbs that help our body adapt to life’s stress. These plant pharmaceuticals help our body to recover from both short-term and long-term physical and mental stress, says a paper published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Journal, 2022. Also a research paper from MDPI Pharmaceuticals Journal, 2019 shows that adaptogens aid in combating fatigue, depression, and anxiety.


How do Adaptogens Work?

Our body’s response strategy to stress is called general adaptation syndrome (GAS). This is a three step response which begins with alarm, progresses to resistance, and then the final step is exhaustion after response. What adaptogens do is that they hold off exhaustion or prolong the resistance period thereby helping us to soldier through stress.


In a bigger sense, adaptogens help us fight instead of crashing down during stress by attaining an equillibrium (homeostasis) in our mental state. They achieve this by increasing or decreasing chemicals within the body, says a paper published in the American Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, 2021.


For instance, a common down side of stress is cortisol, a hormone that the body releases to tackle stress. However, when the body releases a huge quantity of cortisol, it leads to weight gain. At this juncture, an adaptogen helps you tackle the stress and reduce the release of cortisol hormone. Adaptogens also have the potential to deal with other health issues like pain, digestive complications, insomnia, cognitive impairment, and many more shows a study in Nutrients Journal, 2021.


Two Adaptogens To Add to Your Diet



Tulsi is a potent adaptogen that is found in every Indian household. Of all the herbs, tulsi shows promising effects in relieving physical, chemical, metabolic, and psychological stress, says a paper published in National Library of Medicine Journal, 2017.


1. Tulsi helps to counter physical stress by increasing endurance with enhanced metabolism.

2. Tulsi helps fight chemical stress with its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Tulsi helps ease metabolic stress by normalisation of blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipid levels in the body.

4. Tulsi also has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. It induces a positive effect on memory and cognitive function, shows a paper published in Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 2019.


Related Story: Seven Adaptogen-Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet



Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that helps deal with stress, shows a paper published in the Cureus Journal of Medical Science, 2019. Ashwagandha is also commonly known as Indian Ginseng.


1. Ashwagandha possesses chemicals that help calm the brain and aids in treating multiple brain disorders, says a paper published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2020.

2. Ashwagandha is also known to counter stress by lowering blood pressure, shows studies in the Journal of Ethnomedicine, 2017.

3. This shrub is also known to tackle insomnia and anxiety by controlling the mediators of stress such as cortisol.

4. Ashwagandha reduces the activity of hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (the part of the body that controls stress response) thereby helping our body deal with stress, shows a paper published in The Journal of Medicine, 2022.


Related Story: The A-Z of Indian Superfoods: Ashwagandha


Even though science is backing up with evidence regarding the benefits of adaptogens, it is highly advisable to consult a health professional before adding it in our diet regime. Because of the broad nature of adaptogens, it could make difficult to understand which herb to use for what purpose. Thus, it is advisable to talk to your doctor before using it.





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