Herbes adaptogènes: la solution de la nature face au stress ! - MYCELAB

Adaptogenic herbs: nature's solution to stress!

What are adaptogenic plants?

This article aims to better understand what adaptogens are and what they can do for us.

Scientists agree that adaptogens are among the most powerful allies we have in countering the effects of some of the biggest health problems we face in the modern world.

Did you know that stress is the most Googled term as a health problem? And adaptogens have been scientifically proven to offset the effects of stress on our bodies.

Who are they ?

Adaptogens are an amazing class of super plants and fungi that help our bodies defend against stress . These are herbs that have the power to tone our body and bring it back to its homeostatic balance ( physiological balance within the body) , thus creating a non-specific response helping it to resist stress. Studies have confirmed that medicinal herbs and mushrooms are key to reducing stress and improving our attention and endurance in the face of fatigue .

Adaptogens work systemically (throughout the body) in the body to help balance, restore and protect it. To be considered an adaptogen, an herb must be:

  • Non-toxic (harmless and without harmful side effects)
  • Non-specific (meaning it works holistically in the body)
  • Have a normalizing effect on the body by helping it maintain homeostasis.

Before we continue, we want you to know that “adaptogenic” is a term that is often thrown around without much scientific basis!

How do they work?

Adaptogens interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (axis which connects the central nervous and endocrine systems and consists of interactions between the hypothalamus , the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, it controls stress responses) and the sympathoadrenal system, both of which are involved in the body's response to stress.

Adaptogens can change hormone production and physiological responses to stress to ensure that your body—from your mind to your immune system to your energy levels—is functioning as it should.

Adaptogens provide specific support to our adrenal glands : the glands that manage our hormonal response to stress and help us cope with anxiety and fatigue.

The benefit of the latter has been discovered and used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. In fact, it lies in the fact that they respond specifically to your needs , adapting their function to the needs of your body.

What are the best adaptogenic herbs?

Each adaptogen has a slightly different function. Here are some adaptogens and their functions on our body:

  • Adaptogens for long-term stress: 

Ashwagandha and Korean Ginseng relieve long-term sources of stress and the hormonal imbalances that may result.

  • Adaptogens for Acute Stress and Anxiety:

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus), Schisandra help to alleviate stress reactions caused by flight or fight.

Schisandra, on the other hand, improves liver function and gastrointestinal problems.

  • Adaptogens for immune health:

Reishi strengthens the immune system. Siberian Ginseng is used to strengthen the immune system, physical endurance and sexual health.

The many benefits of adaptogens include:

Adaptogens help the body adapt (hence its name) to the toxic effects of stress and adapt their functions to the specific needs of our body to improve our health.

  • They support and nourish our adrenal glands:
  1. helping us manage our hormonal response
  2. helping us manage our neurotransmitter response to stress
  3. helping us cope with anxiety and fatigue
  • They stimulate your central nervous system without side effects, unlike some popular central nervous system stimulants.
  • Some adaptogens:
  1. help us strengthen your immune system;
  2. lower blood pressure;
  3. increase libido;
  4. provide us with a high intake of antioxidants;
  5. help the body and mind adapt to all stressors;
  6. provide sustainable energy;
  7. restore hormonal balance;
  8. relieve fatigue and anxiety;
  9. improve mental performance, physical endurance, fertility, circulation, and represent an excellent tonic for the central nervous system.

Do we need them?

Adaptogens do not treat a specific condition. Instead, they are intended for anyone looking to improve their overall well-being .

Most consumers will know if they feel optimal through: better sleep, a healthier appetite, better elimination, better intestinal transit, better resistance to stress or even better libido.


  1. A. Panossian, G. Wikman; Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity Pharmaceuticals (Basel) . 2010 Jan; 3(1): 188–224. 
  2. Marina Davydov 1, AD Krikorian; Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. (Araliaceae) as an adaptogen: a closer look - Journal of Ethnopharmacology 72 (2000) 345–393
  3. Thakur AK et al. ; Adaptogenic potential of andrographolide: An active principle of the king of bitters (Andrographis paniculata) - J Tradit Complement Med. 2014 Dec 19;5(1):42-50.
  4. SK Kulkarni⁎, Ashish Dhir; Withania somnifera: An Indian ginseng - Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 32 (2008) 1093–1105
  5. Chang, M. & But, P. Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica : 199-200. Hong Kong: World Scientific, 1986.
  6. Dharmananda, S. “Astragalus,” Bestways , 30-32, 66-67, March 1988.
  7. Yang, YZ, et al. “Effect of Astragalus membranaceus on natural killer cell activity and induction with Coxsackie B viral myocarditis,” Chin Med J , 103(4): 304-7, 1990.
  8. Zhos, KS, et al. “Enhancement of the immune response in mice by Astragalus membranaceus extracts,” Immunopharmacol, 20(3): 225-33, 1990.
  9. Vollala VR, Upadhya S, and Nayak S. Enhancement of basolateral amygdaloid neuronal dendritic arborization following Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2011;66(4):663-71.
  10. Vollala VR, Upadhya S, and Nayak S. Enhanced dendritic arborization of hippocampal CA3 neurons by Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats. Rom J Morphol Embryol. 2011;52(3):879-86.
  11. Rajan KE, Singh HK, Parkavi A, and Charles PD. Attenuation of 1-(m-chlorophenyl)-biguanide induced hippocampus-dependent memory impairment by a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera (BESEB CDRI-08). Neurochem Res. 2011, Nov;36(11):2136-44.
  12. Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, and Tuchida T. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009, Mar;23(3):367-72.
  13. Mori K, Obara Y, Moriya T, Inatomi S, and Nakahata N. Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. Biomed Res. 2011, Feb;32(1):67-72.
  14. Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Nylander M, Wikman G, and Panossian A. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study of single dose effects of ADAPT-232 on cognitive functions. Phytomedicine. 2010, Jun;17(7):494-9.
  15. Reay JL, Kennedy DO, and Scholey AB. Effects of Panax ginseng, consumed with and without glucose, on blood glucose levels and cognitive performance during sustained 'mentally demanding' tasks. J Psychopharmacol. 2006, Nov;20(6):771-81.
  16. Christopher Hobbs; Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, and Culture (1986).
Back to blog