Restorative Properties of Adaptogens

Learn about the restorative and revitalizing properties of adaptogens and the recipes that incorporate their power to improve general wellness and beauty.

| August 2018

  • Holy basil
    Holy basil is an herb that is classified as a Rasayana, promoting vitality and youthfulness and a resistance to illness.
    Photo by Getty/warayoo
  • amla berries
    Amla is an herb that is classified as a Rasayana, promoting vitality and youthfulness and a resistance to illness.
    Photo by Getty/sommail
  • shatavari
    Shatavari is an herb that is classified as a Rasayana, promoting vitality and youthfulness and a resistance to illness.
    Photo by Getty/ben-bryant
  • Book cover
    “The Complete Guide to Adaptogens” by Agatha Noveille is a guide to adaptogens, a unique herb class that improves your body’s reaction to emotional and physical stress. Recipes included focus on promoting and increasing energy, stamina, endurance, and mental clarity to enhance mental and physical health.
    Cover courtesy Simon and Schuster

  • Holy basil
  • amla berries
  • shatavari
  • Book cover

The Complete Guide to Adaptogens (Simon and Schuster, 2018) by Agatha Noveille is a guide to learning about the many different adaptogenic herbs that improve your body’s reaction to emotional and physical stress.  Reader’s can gain access to safe, all-natural and long-term use recipes for improving sleep, mood, mental focus, general wellness and beauty.

What Are Adaptogens?

The concept of plants with revitalizing or restorative properties that can enhance health has been around for thousands of years, although “adaptogen” is a modern word that has only been used to describe them since the 1940s. Many of the herbs that we know as adaptogens today were first used generations ago in Ayurveda (the traditional system of herbalism in India) and in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

In Ayurveda, for example, herbs such as amla, shatavari, and holy basil are classified as rasayana herbs. Rasayanas are herbs that increase vitality and are believed to promote youthfulness and increase resistance to illness. In modern herbalism, we use these three herbs along with many other rasayanas as adaptogens.



One of the concepts of traditional Chinese medicine groups herbs into three categories based on their actions and safety of use. Many herbs in the first category, sometimes translated as “superior” herbs, are valued for their tonic and harmonizing influence on overall health. Many herbs that we know as adaptogens today belong to this class of herbs, such as he shou wu, eleuthero, and schisandra.

So how did we come to describe these herbs as adaptogens? In the late 1940s, the government of the then-USSR instructed its scientists to create a substance that could be used to increase the performance of the country’s athletes, military personnel, and even elite chess players, so that they could dominate and excel in every international arena.



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