Adaptogens, stress and anxiety: what is the relationship?

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

Stress and anxiety are increasingly common symptoms today and are directly linked to sleep quality, food choices and population routine. Therefore, the demand for potential medical and alternative solutions that can help to have a better quality of life has increased, suiting stress and anxiety levels. But where do the adaptogens come into this story?

What are adaptogens?

Adaptogens comprise a category of herbal medicines and nutritional products promoting adaptability, resilience, and survival of the body in the period of stress. In addition, its intake affects nitric oxide levels, lactate levels, blood glucose levels, cortisol levels, plasma lipid profile, liver enzymes, etc. In this way, it also improves possible stress-induced diseases such as anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, cognitive disorders and even diabetes.

How can adaptogens help?

The intake of plant adaptogens is not associated with serious side effects. At low doses, function as gentle stress modulators, activating adaptive stress-response signaling pathways to cope with severe stress. Therefore, it is related to the prevention of premature aging and maintenance of good health and vitality.

Unlike synthetic adaptogenics, natural ones are extracts with a very rich phytochemical composition and this combination of different substances is what allows them to perform so many functions. Recent studies report that the intake of plant adaptogenics such as root extracts of Eleutherococcus senticosus, Schisandra chinensis root, Rhodiola rosea root is associated with affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and some stress mediators.

Clinical practice

Thus, the use of adaptogens along with an adequate diet of macro and micronutrients has a modulating effect on the response to stress and anxiety in living organisms. The easiest way to consume and extract these compounds is in the form of powder, capsules or teas. The most common adaptogen plants for stress relief are: Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), tulsi herb (Holy basil), golden root (Rhodiola rosea), maca root (Lepidium meyenii). Remembering that so far ANVISA does not authorize the prescription to nutritionists of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), a plant widely disseminated by its adaptogen function.

In addition, it is not recommended to use in people with heart disease, pregnant women or during breastfeeding and drug-nutrient interaction with other medications such as antidepressants should be observed.


Study Suggestion:
Understand All About Adaptogens – Science Play

Watch the video on Science Play with Rodrigo Duprat
: Nootropics and Adaptogens: Strategies for Mind Optimization

Article: Todorova V, Ivanov K, Delattre C, Nalbantova V, Karcheva-Bahchevanska D, Ivanova S. Plant Adaptogens—History and Future Perspectives. Nutrients

. 2021; 13(8):2861.

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