Best Chinese Medicines logo

Best Adaptogens for Weight Loss & Improved Health

Let’s face it – there’s no magic pill when it comes to weight loss. Getting in shape takes an individual approach that’s designed for your body’s weight loss challenges and advantages.

That’s why adaptogens for weight loss can help! Unlike weight loss pills or special diets, adaptogens work with your body’s unique needs. With regular adaptogen use and a healthy meal plan and exercise routine, you can stop struggling to lose weight and slim down for good. 

Read on to learn more about why adaptogens are your best weight loss sidekick, and which ones could help you get fit naturally. 

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are natural substances (usually herbs and plants) that can help you improve your health and achieve your weight loss goals. They work by helping your body adapt by bringing all systems into balance. 

Unlike medications, adaptogens don’t force your body to change. They simply help the body function optimally and maintain healthy homeostasis. In the world of weight management, these effects could include balancing your hormones, burning more fat, releasing water weight, regulating your digestive function, fighting stress, quieting cravings, and more. 

Adaptogens are an integral part of traditional herbal medical systems like Chinese herbal medicine. In fact, you’ll find that many of the energy-boosting and weight-reducing herbs in TCM herbology are also classified as adaptogens! Learn more about the role of adaptogens in Chinese medicine here.

What are the Benefits of Adaptogens 

Adaptogens have a wide range of potential benefits, including weight loss. Here are a few of the ways adaptogens can help improve your health:

How Do Adaptogens Help with Weight Loss?

Weight loss can feel like an uphill battle, but research shows that herbal remedies (including adaptogens) can help you reach your weight loss goals faster! 

Adaptogens balance hormones

Thyroid hormone deficiency, estrogen dominance, androgen imbalance, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, cortisol excess – these are just some of the hormone imbalances that contribute to obesity. And unfortunately, losing weight is nearly impossible if your hormones are out of whack. Thankfully, many adaptogens can help. They have been shown to bring the body’s hormones back to a healthy balance so you can drop excess weight.

Adaptogens have stress reducing effects

Chronic stress causes an increase in circulating cortisol. Too much cortisol causes the body to hold onto excess belly fat (and keeps you reaching for the cookie jar after a long day’s work). By using adaptogens with your weight loss plan, you can reduce the amount of circulating cortisol and the negative effects of stress on your adrenal glands and nervous system. 

Adaptogens reduce inflammation

Inflammation and weight gain are closely intertwined. Excess inflammation in the body causes a build-up of swelling and fluids that makes losing weight more difficult. Excess weight only increases inflammation in the body, creating a vicious cycle. With adaptogens, you can naturally reduce inflammation and encourage healthy weight loss.

Adaptogens boost energy

Adaptogens help you feel naturally energized by reducing stress, fatigue, and brain fog.

Adaptogens may reduce cravings

Some studies suggest that adaptogens can help you reduce sugar cravings and control your appetite. 

Are There Any Adaptogen Side Effects?

When the term “adaptogen” was coined by Dr. Nikolai Lazarev in the 1940s, he gave a set of rules for any plant or medicinal to be an official adaptogen. All adaptogens are by definition: 

As such, most official adaptogens do not carry a risk of side effects. But, everyone responds to substances (even natural plants and herbs) differently. Some people may experience an allergic reaction or gastrointestinal discomfort after taking certain adaptogens. If you have allergies, speak with your healthcare provider before starting a new adaptogen and stop use if side effects occur. 

The Best Adaptogenic Herbs for Weight Loss

While many adaptogens help reduce stress and improve overall health, there are some that have a stronger effect on weight loss. Here are a few of the most effective adaptogens you can use to improve your health naturally:

Ginseng Varieties (Siberian Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, American Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng)

One of the world’s most famous adaptogens, ginseng is known to increase energy, enhance fat metabolism, and reduce fat absorption. It also helps improve your metabolism and thyroid function.

Find it in…


Astragalus, or Huang qi, is a commonly used adaptogen. It is best known for boosting energy, but can also assist with weight loss, mental and physical performance, and digestion. It is particularly helpful if you suffer from swelling and loose stools.

Find it in...

Schisandra Berry

Schisandra berry offers many helpful benefits for the body, including improving liver function. How does this help with weight loss? When your liver is bogged down, it cannot properly process fat for the brain and body to use nor can it detox your blood properly. As a result, excess fat is stored and the body becomes inflamed. Schisandra helps by clearing the toxins in the liver and promoting better fat metabolism.

Find it in...

Cordyceps mushrooms

Cordyceps is a powerful medicinal mushroom used to enhance athletic performance and maintain a healthy weight. With cordyceps, you can improve your endurance so you can exercise more efficiently and lose weight faster.

Find it in...

Lose Weight with Adaptogens and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Weight loss may be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. With Chinese medicine and adaptogenic herbs, you can help your body find balance and drop the excess weight easier, faster, and with longer-lasting results

Learn more about adaptogens on the blog, or discover our range of adaptogenic herbal medicines. 

Would you try adaptogens to lose weight and keep it off? Why or why not?

Share the Health Benefits of Chinese Herbal Medicine

About the Author

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine.

Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health.

Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *