A Cheat Sheet to Using Adaptogens to Lower Stress, Increase Energy, and Improve Digestion

Ease anxiety, boost libido, reduce bloat, enhance your skin's natural glow — do any of these benefits sound too good to be true? Well, they're not. These are all very real benefits of some magic little plants and herbs called adaptogens.

Dr. Will Cole, DC, a functional medicine practitioner from Pennsylvania, told POPSUGAR that what makes this plant family so special is that "they have a common bond of having a balancing impact on your body's immune system and hormones." Dr. Josh Axe, DC, a major proponent of natural health, echoes Dr. Cole's belief in adaptogens, especially in their ability to keep your cortisol levels in check.

Research has shown when cortisol levels are high, there is a correlation in weight gain and inflammation. Dr. Axe also said that healthy cortisol levels are the key "to looking younger, feeling younger, and being healthy." Both are fans of taking adaptogens, encouraging their patients to consider adding them to their wellness regimens for optimal well-being, as they can help lower stress levels, increase energy, and boost immunity.

If you're interested in introducing adaptogens into your own wellness regimen, this guide is a great place to start.

Ashwagandha — the Mood-Boosting Anxiety-Killer

Rhodiola — the Coffee Alternative

  • Boosts alertness/mental performance
  • Boosts seratonin levels, boosting mood
  • Can help with symptoms of depression
  • Supports adrenal fatigue
  • Commonly used as a coffee alternative

Pearl — Your Skin's Fairy Godmother

  • Rich in minerals and antioxidants
  • Great source of amino acids
  • Great for your skin
  • Helps keep hair nourished

Maca — the Powerhouse (in and Outside of the Bedroom)

Schisandra — the Liver-Lover

Cordyceps — the Fountain of Youth

Holy Basil — the Stress Slayer

Ginger — the Anti-Inflammatory, Immunity Booster

Ginseng — the Ancient Chinese Weapon

Astragalus — the Immune Booster

Licorice Root — the PMS Problem-Solver

He Shou Wu — Your Friend . . . With Benefits

As you can see, adaptogens are a very powerful natural medicine, and with their growing popularity, they can now be consumed in a variety of ways. Whether it's in a powder form, like with Moondeli, Sun Potion, or Moon Juice blends; topped on toast or blended in your morning shake with spreads like Pearl Butter; or simply dropped into your favorite smoothies with liquid tonics like Bioray, they're popping up all over! Which adaptogens are you eager to try out?