The Many Benefits of Herbal Adaptogens

“Feel better! Have more energy! Live longer!” Sounds like a late night infomercial, or the claims made for patent medicines in the late 1800’s, doesn’t it?

But in truth, there is a class of herbs that will increase your energy, help to prevent disease, and even likely extend your lifespan. These herbs are called “adaptogens”, and I recommend them to everyone for increasing vitality and well-being.

Adaptogens got their name from their unique ability to buffer the effects of stress—they actually help the body adapt more readily to the demands of life. Everyone experiences stress, whether it’s everyday worries about work, money, and relationships; the physical demands of athletic competition; or the emotional and physical stressors of chronic illness.

herbal adaptogens


When confronted with stressors, the body rallies by increasing blood pressure and heart rate, quickening breathing, and dumping glucose into the bloodstream to meet the increased demands; at the same time non-essential systems such as immune function and digestion are suppressed. When the crisis subsides, all systems are designed to return to normal.

But we were never meant to endure the long-term, daily stressors that so many of us encounter in modern life. Under conditions of chronic or severe stress, the body loses its ability to return to normal, healthy functioning. The result is the degenerative, debilitating diseases of modern life: cancer, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, depression, diabetes, and hypertension are just a few of the conditions that have been clearly linked to stress.

Obviously, learning to manage stress is essential for immediate and long-term health. At the same time, because it’s impossible to avoid life stressors, it’s important to do everything possible to mitigate the damaging effects. Herbal adaptogens act to normalize homeostasis, optimize metabolism, and improve resistance to a variety of adverse factors. These special herbs contain a wide range of active constituents such as polysaccharides and flavonoids that fortify immune response. They act as biological response modifiers in host defense mechanisms against cancer and other chronic diseases and help protect the bone marrow, neuroendocrine and endocrine system (including the adrenal glands), as well as the liver, kidney, brain, and other vital organs during chemotherapy and radiation.

Adaptogens, besides having stress protective, anabolic effects also possess profound anti-toxic, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory and trophic properties that normalize numerous gene pathways and enhance recovery from stress.

I’ve been using and recommending herbal adaptogens for more than 25 years in my practice as a clinical herbalist. About ten years ago, Ben Tabachnik (a highly respected Russian scientist) and I worked together to develop two comprehensive herbal adaptogenic blends—Power Adapt and Vital Adapt—which we  designed to meet the needs of a wide range of people.

Both Vital Adapt and Power Adapt are prepared from a combination of super concentrated, carefully selected herbs that enhance optimal health and protect against age-related diseases, chronic illnesses, and acute illnesses such as colds and the flu. All of the herbs used in Vital Adapt and Power Adapt have been highly revered as traditional tonic herbs (used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine), and their use is supported by an enormous amount of recent scientific research that not only validates their historic usage, but also gives us new insights into their overall benefits.

Although you can expect to experience an improved sense of well being within a couple of weeks of taking Vital Adapt or Power Adapt, most of the benefits are apparent after at least six months of use. Tonic herbs are deeply nourishing, and work by steadily and gently building vitality while restoring and replenishing body systems.

Vital Adapt is a comprehensive health promoting formula and is considered a “yin” formula because it enhances vitality and essence; in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the herbs are considered to tonify the Heart, Liver, Lungs, Kidneys and Spleen. It is a powerful antioxidant and deep immune system restorative compound, and increases energy without being overly stimulating. Vital Adapt is well balanced and suitable for anyone who desires to reduce stress and achieve optimal health, and can be used on a continual basis.

Power Adapt is considered a “yang” and “Qi” formula, because it provides deep nourishment to the Spleen and Kidney systems. It is well suited as an energy endurance enhancer. Anyone undergoing extreme physical exertion will find Power Adapt will provide increased energy and stamina. Power Adapt should be administered intermittently as needed with the guidance of a health care professional. Both Vital Adapt and Power Adapt may be taken together.

Vital Adapt and Power Adapt are formulations, not single herbal extracts, and their effectiveness is based on the formulation as a whole and the synergy that exists. I have found it true that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. A unique process, yielding a highly concentrated, potent medicine, is used to extract each of the selected herbs in these formulas. The herbs are further concentrated by a cold-water percolation technique to maintain and preserve all of the important active constituents. This process contributes to the high quality and effectiveness of the herbs.

Whether we are mostly healthy or faced with a serious illness, adaptogens are ideal as our primary, daily supportive health supplement because of their multi-faceted beneficial effects.

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9 Replies to “The Many Benefits of Herbal Adaptogens”

  1. Hi, to all you wonderfull people, I read all this wonderfull info re cancer, but staying in South Africa it all seems out of our reach! I lost my daughter to cancer at age 40 and try to get info on alternative treatments, but books and meds are out of reach re costs and not being available. Also not so clued up to use computer. I print what I can to read!! thanks, Engela

  2. Hi Donnie,

    Could you give me an idea of what you mean by Power Adapt being taken “intermittently”?

    I’m low T and my M.D. recommended Natura Health (as well as a couple of other makers) as trusted makers of products. He gave me a list of supplements that could be helpful in raising my testosterone levels.

    I’ve found them in Night Gain, Botanabol and Power Adapt and am taking these on a 2-month regimen until my next blood test. Power Adapt has pantocrin (Deer Antler) which is one of things my doctors says could be helpful. Thanks for any insight you can provide. Love this blog!

    1. Hi John, Power Adapt can be taken intermittently – rotating with Vital Adapt or other herbal formulas depending on client needs as advised by their practitioner. Formula rotations can be seasonal or recommended during times of acute symptoms such as illness and fatigue.

  3. Are adaptogens ok for everyone? See below:

    Doing my homework, I found that heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) is activated by rhodiola and responsible for its adaptogenic processes. HSP70 is upregulated in some cancers and HSP70 also assists in viral capsid formation during some types of viral infection. (see below.) Thus one can assume there may be some circumstances where use of adaptogenic herbs that upregulate hsp70 may be inappropriate, such as in some cancers and in people with some viral infections.
    1. A two-week administration of Rh. Rosea extract leads to an increase in the levels of inducible Hsp70 and constitutive Hsc70 proteins in liver, hippocampus and left heart ventricle. These results are indicative of an increase in nonspecific resistance and the activation of adaptogenic processes. Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2013;76(2):23-7. [Evaluating adaptogenic properties of Rhodiola rosea extract in human mononuclear cell culture and rat tissues]. Andreeva LI, Boĭkova AA, Nikiforova DV.
    2. Hsp 70 directly inhibits apoptosis.[8] HSP 70 is overexpressed in malignant melanoma[10] and underexpressed in renal cell cancer.[11][12]
    3. During viral infection, the 72 kDa cellular chaperone heat shock cognate protein (hsc70) binds VP1 posttranslation and colocalizes with VP1 to the nucleus, thereby suggesting a role for ≈70-kDa heat shock protein (hsp70) family chaperones in regulating the quality and location of capsid assembly. PNAS, vol 100, no. 18: Chaperone-mediated in vitro assembly of Polyomavirus capsids,
    Laura R. Chromy*, James M. Pipas†, and Robert L. Garcea

    1. Hi Demetra – This is the beauty of herbal medicine. It does the opposite thing in healthy cells verses cancer cells. HSPs are just one example of this. Please see your email for more information I’d like to share with you.

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