Western, Indian and Chinese Adaptogenic Herbs

Adaptogenic herbs are herbs that improve the human body’s capacity to deal with stress and other kinds of changing circumstances. The consumption of said adaptogenic herbs has been highly popular in certain parts of the world, such as Asia, for decades and decades already.

As far back as the 1940s, scientists in the West started to research adaptogens and began to see what all the fuss was about. With this list of adaptogenic herbs, you will become more familiar with their properties. We will cover Chinese, Indian and American herbal adaptogens, as well as give a short summary of what they are and what they do.

Indian Herbs

indian herbs

Amla or Amla Root:

The amla is the Indian gooseberry, and it is both an anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant. Its main benefit is that it is believed to strengthen your circulatory system.


The ashwagandha is winter cherry and the Indian ginseng, and it is has a wide variety of uses. It is believed to help your adrenal glands, take care of muscle spasms, calm your anxiety and improve insomnia or any stress-caused lack of sleep.


The guduchi is the Indian tinospora. It possesses two main benefits, first, it supports the function of your liver, second, it is known to normalize and improve the function of your immune system.

Holy Basil:

Holy basil is the sacred basil, and it has three main benefits for somebody taking it. It helps to calm down your nervous system, it works to adjust the levels of cortisone hormones, and it also helps to lower blood sugar and normalize sugar in the blood.


Licorice is used to do three things: It works for a healthier immune system, it works for a better HPA axis system, and it also helps to lessen any inflammation of one’s digestive system, including the colon, intestines and stomach. Note that licorice can have an effect on the blood pressure, and has been known to increase blood pressure, at least slightly, in most people.


Shatavari is better known as the Indian asparagus. It is well known to be a nutritive tonic for the purposes of dealing with chronic fatigue issues and the immune system.


Shilajit is an adaptogenic herb that is believed to aid in both the lowering of one’s blood sugar levels and also one’s total cholesterol levels. It helps overall with the blood.

Chinese Herbs

chinese adaptogenic herbs

Asian Ginseng:

Asian ginseng is also called Chinese ginseng or Korean ginseng, and it stimulates your central nervous system and helps you with issues like adrenal exhaustion. Ginseng is often used in Chinese medicine as an overall health tonic and for relief of many maladies.

Astragalus or Astragalus Root:

Astragalus is basically milk vetch. It is an adaptogenic herb that assists in the supporting of one’s immune system and is also known to help with heart issues.


Codonopsis is also referred to as the Asian bellflower and dang shen. An immune tonic, codonopsis assists with one’s digestive tract, and it also assists with the creation of red blood cells in the human body that help with both tiredness and anemia.


Cordyceps is a type of Chinese caterpillar fungus, and it is a tonic for both your kidney and your lungs. Its benefits are that it treats fatigue and normalizes your immune system. It is often found in teas.

Eleuthero or Eleuthero Root:

Eleuthero is also known as Siberian ginseng. It is a tonic for both your immunity and your adrenal functions. It is said to improve a person’s stamina during physical stress and exercise, helps with recovery time, and may also counteract the effects of various types of fatigue.

He Shou Wu:

He Shou Wu or Fo-ti is a tonic that is meant for your blood, liver and kidneys. One of its benefits is that it can have the effect of calming down a person’s nerves.


This particular adaptogenic herb is said to improve both the cardiac function and the immune system of people. It is also renowned as a relaxing nervine for conditions such as anxiety, stress, agitation, headaches and even for insomnia.

Licorice Root:

The licorice root has been widely used for a long time in Chinese medicine, having been used for more than 3000 years already. An antiviral, an antioxidant, an immunomodulator, and an anti-inflammatory herb, the licorice root aids with the failure of the adrenal glands. Since the failure of the adrenal glands is common with stress, the licorice root also helps with stress. Note that licorice can increase blood pressure in people taking it in any form.


Lycium, also known as either the wolfberry or Goji, is a nutritive antioxidant. It is known to fortify your immune system and even lower your blood sugar levels. The wolfberry is grown in China and known to be a highly potent antioxidant.

Prince Seng:

Prince Seng or pseudostellaria is an adaptogenic herb that has a reputation for both improving and also supporting the body’s immune system. Find out 10 best herbs to strengthen your immune system.


Reishi actually refers to the reishi mushroom, which, when taken, can help regulate the body’s immunological reaction, soothes the nerves, and also calms one’s mind. It is often prescribed to improve immune function.


Schisandara is really Chinese Magnolia vine, and it balances your immune, nervous, and endocrine systems. It is also said to relieve asthma, palpitations that come from stress, and anxiety.

Western Herbs

american adaptogenic herbs

American Ginseng:

American ginseng is said to fix imbalances in the HPA axis, takes away fatigue, provides energy to the central nervous system, improves one’s stamina, and enhances the immune system.


Rhaponticum is the maral root that boosts one’s immune system, normalizes the blood sugar levels, and helps in overall performance. A heart tonic, this adaptogenic herb aids recuperation from sickness and prevents depression, weight loss and sleep difficulties.


Rhodiola or golden root helps to regulate the immune function of a person, and it takes away a person’s tiredness. A slight nervous system tonic, rhodiola is known to balance stress-connected cortisol hormone levels, shields the heart, and finally improves one’s brain function.