Herbalists use the word “adaptogens” to describe an increasingly popular class of plants that, as the name suggests, help you adapt to physical or mental stress. Look for these adaptogenic herbal supplements on store shelves.  


Himalaya Organic Ashwagandha

A leader in Ayurveda-based, pharmaceutical-grade herbal medicine products, Himalaya is a 85-year-old family company distinguished by its line of certified USDA organic single herbs, such as Holy Basil, Bacopa and Garcinia. One of Himalaya's best-sellers, Organic Ashwagandha, is often used to equalize energy and stress levels without being a stimulant. We also like this company for its commitment to farmers through fair trade cooperatives.  

Gaia Herbs Holy Basil Leaf

Gaia grows its own organic herbs on its North Carolina farm, and this is the most concentrated holy basil you can get. Traditionally used to release deep-seated emotions, grief and sadness, holy basil leaf today is employed to reduce stress-induced hypertension, enhance mood, relieve anxiety and support adrenal function. 

Jarrow Formulas Ashwagandha

Studies with the KSM-66 brand of ashwagandha usually use 300 mg twice a day, and this formula offers exactly that. Beware of supplements that use less than the dose tested in studies!

Michael’s Naturopathic Programs Adrenal Factors Stress Support

Although ashwagandha is the most popular adaptogenic herb, the most studied is eleuthero (formerly known as Siberian ginseng). This formulation contains both, as well as B vitamins for energy and licorice for nourishing the adrenals. 

Natural Factors Stress-Relax Serenity Formula

The other heavy hitter in the ashwagandha ingredient world is called Sensoril. It has higher levels of the active ingredient (withanolides), extracted from the whole plant. Studies show stress relief occurs in chronically stressed people at 250 mg per day—the amount found in one capsule here. 

Nature’s Formulary Chyawanprash

A daily teaspoonful of this herbal jam with meals has been used for centuries in India. Featuring Indian gooseberry (among 40 other ingredients), chyawanprash helps with stress and immune function, and is also a rejuvenating tonic.