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As seen on Oprah's Favorite Things!
Illustrations by Hannah Grace, John Ich, and A. Donato
If you’ve read our intro guide to adaptogens, you know that these potent plants have serious stress-busting powers, working with your body and mind to recalibrate and reset. But with seemingly endless options, figuring out where to start can feel daunting.
For that, we return to our adaptogen expert Dr. Kat Bodden. Here, she shares her four favorite adaptogens and the easy, effective ways to make them a part of your routine.
This Chinese Medicine herb can quell coughing, calms the heart (perfect for dream-disturbed sleep!), and is an aphrodisiac. It may also support liver health.
Take it if: Your stress is affecting your sleep or libido. It helped Dr. Bodden during her first year of med school, too. “I would wake up every morning brimming with stress, take a generous dose of schisandra tincture, do some deep breathing, and then be like, ‘Okay, I got this.’ It also tastes delicious, which is rare in the herbal medicine world.”
How: Place a dropper or two of tincture in sparkling water for a health-boosting mocktail.
It helps balance the immune system, build vitality, increase resistance to infection, stress, and toxicity, and boost physical performance.
Take it if: You’re feeling weak from chronic illness or chronic stress. It can also curb physical and emotional fatigue.
How: Add eluthero powder to chai tea—spices like cinnamon and ginger can help mask the strong flavor.
A hallmark of Ayurveda, ashwagandha helps increase longevity and vitality, improve mood, and is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and aphrodisiac.
Take it if: You’re stressed, anxious, depressed, overworked, or dealing with panic attacks. It’s also great for aging and memory issues.
How: Dr. Bodden recommends any of our SuperLatte blends—each includes organic ashwagandha extract.
Mushrooms like reishi can balance the immune system, improve wound healing, regulate blood glucose levels, have anti-tumor effects in certain cancers, and reduce coughing and wheezing.
Take it if: You’re stressed, anxious, burnt out, getting frequent respiratory infections, or struggling with insomnia.
How: She points to our SuperLattes. All four blends have organic extracts of reishi and lion’s mane mushrooms for well-rounded adrenal and immune support.
As incredible as adaptogens may be, Dr. Bodden explains that they’re one piece of the healing puzzle. Moving your body every day, cultivating a daily meditation or breathwork practice, and gratitude journaling are important, too. So is your food in more ways than you’d think.
“If you suffer from chronic stress, it’s important to include a diet rich in colorful vegetables, clean protein, and healthy fats. But how we eat is often-overlooked,” she says. “Eat in a calm, relaxed environment. Chew thoroughly. Minimize distractions. Keep mealtimes screen-free. And find a healthcare provider who respects you, validates your experience, listens, and views you as more than just your symptoms.”