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Best Adaptogens for Energy

Do you struggle with fatigue? Or want to wake up each day with more “pep in your step?” If so, adaptogens for energy could help you gain the energy you crave.

Adaptogen herbs are a natural way to relieve stress, boost your energy, and live with more vitality. They can help nearly anyone have a healthier life – from the chronically fatigued to the busy go-getters to the high-performing athletes among us.

Want to see if adaptogens for energy can help you? Read on to learn how adaptogens work and the best adaptogens to try if you want to improve your energy levels. 

What are Adaptogens for Energy?

We live in a high-stress, busy modern world. Unlike our ancient ancestors, who had more time to rest and experience boredom, most of us struggle to even find five minutes of downtime in our hectic schedules. It’s no wonder we are stressed, anxious, sleepless, and exhausted!

Thankfully, nature has provided us with many natural remedies to manage stress and boost our energy: adaptogens. 

What is an adaptogenic herb?

Adaptogens are plants and fungi (often called “adaptogenic herbs”) that help our bodies function optimally. In most cases, they help us respond to stress more easily. Depending on the type of adaptogen, they may also have other functions such as improving immunity, calming the mind, or boosting energy.

What does adaptogenic mean?

These special herbs are called adaptogens because they help us adapt. Biologically, this often means maintaining homeostasis. They do not force actions on the body but rather support the body to keep a normal temperature, a balanced mood, normal organ functions, proper detoxification, a robust immune response, and a healthy hormone balance. 

How do adaptogens work?

According to scientific research, “Adaptogens increase the state of non-specific resistance in stress and decrease sensitivity to stressors, which results in stress protection, and prolong the phase of resistance (stimulatory effect). Instead of exhaustion, a higher level of equilibrium (the homeostasis) is attained the heterostasis.” 

Put simply, adaptogens improve how our bodies respond to stress so we aren’t as bogged down. When the nervous system isn’t overwhelmed trying to manage stress, we have more energy and resources to support all our organ systems and functions. 

What are adaptogen benefits?

If a stressful day at work or with the family has left you feeling physically exhausted – despite not moving much – you’ve felt the effects of stress on your energy levels. Mental stress can tax our energy just as physical stress (or activity) can. 

When we are stressed, we are more likely to feel tired, lethargic, and foggy-headed. This is due to the amount of energy your central nervous system spends when trying to manage stress. 

Stress also increases inflammation in the body and increases the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) your adrenal glands release. This throws your other hormones out of balance, which can drain energy even more. Over time, this chronic stress can lead to long-term chronic fatigue or adrenal fatigue. 

Adaptogens for energy can help us revive low energy levels by getting to the root of the problem: stress. 

Adaptogens help the body combat stress, respond to stressors, and recover from stress more efficiently. With less energy spent on managing the negative effects of stress, we naturally have more energy to spend on other things. 

Different Uses for Adaptogens

Adaptogens have been used by ancient medical systems (like Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine) for centuries to promote healing and longevity. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, adaptogens are often called tonics because they tonify – or enhance – the body’s qi (energy). 

But there are many different uses for adaptogens. Below are some of the most common reasons people seek out adaptogens for energy. Read on to find the best adaptogen blend for your health goals: 

Best Adaptogens for Energy

Panax Ginseng

Ginseng is one of the best-known herbs for energy. In fact, this adaptogen is known for its wide range of benefits, including increasing concentration, memory, mood, and stamina. Ginseng is commonly used in Chinese medicine to boost qi, the body’s life force. The more qi we have, the better equipped we are to combat stress, heal, and feel well. You can experience the benefits of Panax ginseng in formulas like Sheng Ling Bai Zhu Tang (great for low energy with digestive upset), Ren Shen Jian Pi Wan (great overall energy booster), or Chrysanthemum Ginseng Herbal Broth + Soup Kit (great for infusing your diet with natural energy).


Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom that is best known for its powerful energy-boosting effects. It is particularly prized by athletes who use this adaptogen to recover from intense training and enjoy peak performance. It can also be helpful for boosting bedroom performance and libido. Real Mushrooms Cordyceps-M Powder and Capsules help you build your qi resources so you can take on each day feeling energized and powerful.

Best Adaptogens for Mental Focus and Memory 

Lion’s Mane

When it comes to memory, lion’s mane mushroom is the go-to choice. Lion’s mane is an anti-inflammatory mushroom that helps reduce oxidative stress and damage to the brain. This herb can be used as a brain tonic to prevent memory loss, boost your memory capacity, or even improve conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Use Real Mushrooms Lion’s Mane Powder or Capsules to protect your brain and memory.

Best Adaptogens for Mood


Ashwagandha is an important adaptogenic herb in Ayurveda, the traditional form of natural Indian medicine. This herb has been used for thousands of years to relieve stress, increase energy, improve concentration, and boost mood. Rather than take a single adaptogen like ashwagandha, Chinese medicine recommends using a formula like Xiao Yao Wan to holistically balance mood. Xiao Yao Wan is one of the best-known Chinese herbal formulas for regulating mood. It works to ease stress, so irritability and frustration don’t build up. This formula also builds qi (energy) and blood so the body can easily bounce back from future stressors. 

Best Adaptogens for Stress and Anxiety 

Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea, or hong jing tian, is an adaptogen and Chinese herb used to improve stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies show this adaptogen herb can significantly improve the quality of life for those living with chronic fatigue. A daily dose was shown to improve stress symptoms, fatigue, mood, and concentration. A formula like Gui Pi Tang has similar effects to Rhodiola rosea. It boosts Spleen qi to promote energy and reduce fatigue, all while nourishing the heart to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.


Stress and anxiety can steal your sleep and wear on your energy. Thankfully, an adaptogen like reishi helps reduce anxiety and improve sleep so you can wake up feeling calm and refreshed. Add reishi to an evening tea (like Reishi Liver Tea), or take a few reishi capsules after dinner to promote rest and relaxation before bed.

Best Adaptogens for Weight Loss and Digestion 

The better your digestion, the more energy you’ll have. These adaptogens for energy also support good gut health and help you lose excess weight that’s draining your energy.

Holy Basil

Like all adaptogens, holy basil has stress-relieving properties. But it is also known for its ability to lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and protect your stomach. If you can’t find holy basil, try Bravo Tea Dieter’s Slimming Tea. This blend of adaptogenic herbs has a similar effect as holy basil in a sippable daily formula.


Chaga is one of the best adaptogens for weight loss. This medicinal mushroom works by supporting your gut health to improve the absorption of nutrients and heal the gut lining. It can also reduce stress on the digestive system that contributes to weight gain such as bloating, food allergies, and constipation. Our Real Mushrooms Chaga Powder and Capsules are a great way to get the benefits of chaga.

Ditch Stress and Fatigue with Adaptogens for Energy

Stress can give you a headache, weaken your immunity, and even make your hair fall out! But before you notice those signs of too much stress, you’ll probably notice your energy is low.

Don’t wait until you’re exhausted to get the support you need. Adaptogens for energy and Chinese herbs are natural and effective ways to improve your whole-body health – starting with better resilience to stress and a boost in energy.

Read all about adaptogens here, discover our adaptogenic mushroom line here, or shop our energy-boosting adaptogens and Chinese herbal formulas for fatigue!

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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.

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