The Effects of Adaptogens and Stimulants on the Body

The Effects of Adaptogens and Stimulants on the Body
June 2, 2022 Jackie Gomez


& The Effect They Have On Your Body


Being stressed is the worst. There’s no doubt about that. When you’re stressed, you likely look for a quick fix to get rid of that feeling. Maybe it’s a glass of wine, a puff of a cigarette, food, sugar or another vice you may have. The problem is that a lot of the things people turn to when they’re stressed are often unhealthy vices. 

Enter,  Adaptogens.. They’re primarily used as immediate stress relief. Before you go popping a handful of anything with ‘adaptogen’ written on the bottle, it’s important to know what you are taking. Let’s look at adaptogens and how they affect the body. 

What Are Adaptogens? 

Adaptogens are herbal pharmaceuticals that are used in Chinese and Western medicine. Adaptogens come in the form of herbs, roots, and other plants such as mushrooms. You can take them in supplements, put them in soup or drink them in tea. There are plenty of over-the-counter supplements that contain adaptogens. 

Turkey Tail | Yun ZhiMuch like the name states, adaptogens are meant to help your body ADAPT to stressful situations. They were first studied in WW2 to see if they could become a stimulant to help pilots keep their energy levels up. 

Simply put, adaptogens are meant to help your body maintain balance and stay energized when you’re stressed or fatigued. They are ancient medicines for modern stress relief.

How Do Adaptogens Affect the Body?

When you use adaptogens, they work as a stimulant in the body. This is how they are able to counteract stress. Considering the modern time we’re living in, you’ve likely been stressed. In fact, according to research, 47% of Americans reported an increase in stress levels since the beginning of the pandemic. Signs of stress can include: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure 
  • Headaches
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Chronic Aches and Pains
  • Menstrual Issues

As your body becomes stressed, it releases cortisol, also known as the ‘stress hormone.’ This hormone helps to regulate your body and bring you back to a state of balance. The problem is that it doesn’t last, and you’ll inevitably crash during the stages of stress, which are: 

  • Alarm
  • Resistance
  • Exhaustion

Adaptogens help your body stay in the resistance stage longer as you stop releasing cortisol. They can bring immediate relief and help you get out of fight or flight mode because they regulate a stable balance in the adrenal glands. Research has shown that adaptogens have several effects on the body, such as: 

  • Neuroprotective elements 
  • Anti-fatigue properties 
  • Antidepressant Effects 
  • Stimulants for the central nervous system

Adaptogens work by interacting with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland, otherwise known as the HPA axis. The HPA axis is essential to your body’s homeostasis. When you ingest adaptogens, the organic compounds work within the HPA axis to balance your system.

Types of Adaptogens 

Adaptogens are food and herbs. There are several different types to choose from when you decide to incorporate Adapatogens. 


Herbs for Spleen - Red GinsengGinseng is notorious for helping to improve memory and reaction times while also keeping you calm. It’s commonly found in teas and can also help to improve immunity. 


Ashwagandha is excellent for reducing stress and anxiety. It may cause you to become drowsy, so best to take it at night. 


Cordyceps is great for a stamina boost when you need a little kick. This adaptogen would be good if you have a lot of work to get done and are feeling burnt out. 

Eleuthero Root

This adaptogen will help to improve your focus and combat fatigue. If you have a chronic illness that causes you to be constantly tired, try eluthero root. 

Holy Basil

Holy Basil reduces physical as well as mental stress. It’s great for calming you down when your body gets into fight or flight mode and you can’t relax. 


Schisandra | Wǔ Wèi Zi

Schisandra boosts endurance and mental performance. If you’ve been struggling to focus on work or other projects, try this adaptogen. 


Believe it or not, licorice is also an adaptogen. When you’re feeling stressed, pop a licorice to calm yourself down. Be careful, because if you take too much it can increase your blood pressure. 


When you get stressed, fatigue is inevitable. Adaptogens like rhodiola are incredible at helping you combat fatigue. 


This potent adaptogen will help you manage stress. 

Are Adaptogens Beneficial to Your Health?

A study found that adaptogens can be used to promote general health and well-being. Adaptogens can also help with mental clarity, as well. So, if you’re dealing with brain fog , consider trying adaptogens. 

Are There Side Effects When You Use Adaptogens?

It’s important to remember that adaptogens are a temporary fix, like a bandaid while you focus on the bigger issue which is your chronic stress, fatigue, or whatever else you’re dealing with..

The energy boost and calming feelings may make you want to take Adaptogens all day everyday. There are, however, some side effects to consider, including:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach Upset
  • Diarrhea 

As with any supplements, adaptogens may have side effects. For example, ashwagandha can act as an immunosuppressant. So, for people who have autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis should not take it because it could make symptoms worse or only work with an Herbalist.

Licorice root can increase your blood pressure if you take too much of it. It’s important to do your research before taking adaptogens to make sure they will work with your body. While they have been used as natural remedies for many years, always consult with your doctor before taking new supplements. 

Adaptogens help your body to cope more effectively with the demands of everyday life. They provide a sustained sense of calm, and while they increase energy, with the exception of Chinese ginseng, they are non-stimulating.

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