Reduce stress with these scientifically-proven adaptogenic herbs
06/29/2019 // Tracey Watson // Views

Stress is woven right into the fabric of modern life. The Global Organization for Stress reveals some alarming statistics, including the fact that more than 50 percent of adults report that their stress levels have increased over the past year, 75 percent report moderate to high stress levels on an ongoing basis, and nearly 80 percent of all American workers report feeling stressed out at work.

Sometimes there are steps that can be taken to mitigate such stress, including counseling or perhaps a change in working environment. Lifestyle and other changes like eating well, exercising more and mindfulness activities can also help reduce stress or at least help us to better cope with it.

For many of us, however, stress is just a part of life that we cannot escape from and have little control over. Even if there is no escaping the things that stress us out, though, there is no need to turn to chemical medications to cope or to just continue feeling anxious and stressed out. As reported by the Food Revolution Network (FRN), there are at least four adaptogenic herbs that have been scientifically proven to combat stress, enabling us to better cope with the increasingly hectic pace of modern life.

What are adaptogenic herbs?

Stress is the body’s way of dealing with a stressful event or situation, and it releases hormones that can be lifesaving when we’re in danger. When the body is continually exposed to these hormones, however, as a result of chronic stress, inflammation develops, paving the way for deadly chronic diseases.


As explained by the Global Healing Center, adaptogens are natural substances that work with the body to help us adapt to stress and fatigue:

Adaptogens are a natural ally in dealing with persistent stress and fatigue because they work with regulating important hormones.

Adaptogens offer several other health benefits, including...

  • A boost for the immune system
  • Support for managing a healthy weight
  • Increased physical endurance and mental focus
  • Reduction in discomfort caused by poor health
  • Encouraging a balanced mood 

Adaptogenic herbs have the amazing ability to both calm us down and energize us at the same time, without causing over-stimulation.

There are many different adaptogenic herbs that have a proven track record as stress busters, but let’s take a look at just four of them.


Ashwagandha has been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine for over 2,500 years. It lowers inflammation, fights infections, and most importantly, combats stress, depression, exhaustion and nervous tension.

FRN reported:

In a 2012 study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, patients were given 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice a day for 60 days. … The participant’s scores of perceived stress dropped by 44% and their levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which goes up when stress levels are high) decreased by almost 28%.

Holy basil (Tulsi)

Holy basil is known as the “queen of herbs” and with good reason. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, it is a powerful weapon against stress.

A 2012 peer-reviewed study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that stress levels reduced by an average of 39 percent in patients receiving holy basil supplements.

Other studies have confirmed the same findings, and holy basil has even been recommended as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Lemon balm

Lemon balm has been used to combat stress for thousands of years, and is especially effective in combination with other herbs like chamomile and valerian.

A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine in 2004 found that participants given a 600 mg dose of lemon balm reported a reduction in stress and greater feelings of calm and alertness.


Curcumin has become a bit of a legend for its myriad of health benefits, but it is perhaps less well-known that curcumin also helps relieve stress and anxiety.

FRN reported:

Human studies are also showing its potential to fight stress. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology showed that taking 500 mg of curcumin twice daily, with fenugreek, considerably reduced stress, anxiety, and fatigue while significantly increasing the quality of life in people suffering from extreme occupational stress.

Supplementing with one or more of these powerful adaptogenic herbs can make a real difference to the stress we feel. Be aware, however, that they may not provide immediate relief. At times they may need to be taken for several weeks before the effects begin to be felt.

Learn more about these powerful herbs at

Sources include:

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