What Are Adaptogens? (and why you should add them to your wellness routine)

What Are Adaptogens? (and why you should add them to your wellness routine)

Adaptogens are experiencing a resurgence in the health and wellness space, but they are far from a trend or fad. Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants, known for their balancing and restoring properties. Rooted in ancient medical practices, these powerful herbs and roots have been backed by modern science for their capacity to help our bodies adapt to stress.
Learn more about the different types of adaptogens, their benefits and how you can include them in your wellness routine safely and effectively.

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are plants (often herbs and mushrooms) that serve as a powerful tool in managing stress and promoting internal balance. By supporting your internal systems, adaptogens can promote vitality, stabilize mood, and improve focus and productivity.
It's important to remember that adaptogens are designed to enhance our body's natural resilience to stress, not to provide a definitive cure. Additionally, the effectiveness of adaptogens improves when paired with a balanced diet and proper hydration. So, redefine your wellness routine with these resilience-boosting adaptogens and embark on a journey towards a more balanced, healthier life. Remember, a smarter daily health routine isn't about mere survival—it's about thriving.

How Do Adaptogens Work?

Adaptogens interact with the HPA axis, which is central to the body’s homeostasis (balance), stress responses, and energy creation. They help you resist and recover from the effects of everyday stress better than you would on your own.
Consuming adaptogens supports the HPA axis to balance our systems. For example, if there's too much of one hormone (think: cortisol), adaptogens help to balance it to a healthier level. Similarly, if there isn't enough of a hormone, they can help replenish it.

Popular Adaptogens


The Resiliency Adaptogen. Ashwagandha also known as Withania Somnifera is a shrub found in India, Africa, and the Middle East with a long history of use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.  It promotes vitality, rejuvenation, and longevity. Modern scientific research has investigated ashwagandha for its potential role in supporting mental health, reducing anxiety and depression, enhancing memory and cognition, and supporting adrenal gland function.

Active compounds

Withanolides are a group of naturally occurring steroidal lactones found in ashwagandha. They are believed to be the primary bioactive compounds responsible for many of the herb's medicinal properties. Withanolides have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating, and neuroprotective effects. Using ashwagandha with standardized levels of withanolides can help to provide consistent benefits.

Body Benefits

  1. Stress reduction Ashwagandha has been shown to possess adaptogenic properties, helping the body cope with stress and reducing stress-related symptoms. It may lower cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress.
  2. Thyroid Health Ashwagandha may help normalize thyroid hormone levels by stimulating thyroid function and increasing the production of thyroid hormones, such as T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine).
  3. Anxiety and Depression Studies indicate that ashwagandha may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It may have an anxiolytic and antidepressant effect, potentially due to its ability to modulate neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA.
  4. Cognition + Mental Performance May improve cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, and information processing. It may support neuronal health, promote antioxidant activity, and enhance cholinergic signaling, which is important for memory and learning.
  5. Anti-inflammatory Ashwagandha exhibits anti-inflammatory effects, potentially reducing markers of inflammation in the body. It may help alleviate symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
  6. Immune system modulation Ashwagandha has been found to modulate the immune system, potentially enhancing its response to infections and promoting immune function. It may have immunomodulatory effects on various immune cells.
  7. Sexual and reproductive health Ashwagandha may improve male fertility by increasing sperm count, motility, and quality. It may also support reproductive health in women by regulating hormones and reducing menstrual discomfort.
  8. Anti-aging Ashwagandha possesses antioxidant properties, which help combat oxidative stress and reduce cellular damage. This may contribute to its potential anti-aging effects and overall health benefits.
  9. Energy and vitality Traditionally been used as a tonic to boost energy levels and promote overall vitality. Some research suggests that it may enhance physical performance and improve muscle strength and endurance.

Tracking Your Response

In addition to symptoms, another method of tracking your response to adaptogens is through wearable data. Ashwagandha may help increase HRV (heart rate variability), sleep quality and your recovery index. Tracking your wearable data trends can help you determine the optimal dose and frequency of adaptogen use.

Dosing Ashwagandha

Just because a product contains an adaptogen like ashwagandha does not mean you will have a positive response. Dosing of adaptogenic herbs and standardization of the active compounds is key to experiencing benefits. A therapeutic dose ranges from 200-800mg per day depending on the type of ashwagandha.
If you’re interested in adding Ashwagandha into your wellness routine, sign up to learn more about Rootine’s newest adaptogen solutions coming soon!

Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)


The Stamina Adaptogen. Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng or Eleutherococcus senticosus, is an herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Eleuthero gained popularity in the 20th century as an adaptogenic herb for its ability to improve stamina, endurance, and mental clarity.

Active Compounds

Eleutherosides are a group of compounds known as triterpenoid saponins, which are considered the main bioactive constituents in eleuthero. These eleutherosides, such as eleutheroside B and eleutheroside E, are believed to contribute to its adaptogenic and stress-modulating properties.

Body Benefits

  1. Stress reduction - Eleuthero is commonly classified as an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body adapt to stress and promotes overall well-being. Supports adrenal glands, DHEA synthesis and HPA axis balance. It may support the body's ability to cope with physical and mental stressors, promoting resilience and balance.
  2. Improved Metabolism - A 2013 randomized control trial showed eleuthero lowered fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Research shows eleuthero can help regulate blood sugar in diabetic mice, likely through the mechanism of improved insulin signaling and glucose utilization.
  3. Lymphatic Health - Eleutherosides can support lymphatic function by increasing lymph flow and reducing edema. 50 volunteers with edema took eleuthero and saw a significant reduction in swelling within 2-4 hours after supplementation of this herb. A 2016 study found eleuthero powder significantly reduced edema within 2 and 4 hours after consumption in 50 healthy volunteers.
  4. Energy + Stamina - Research has shown endurance athletes have decreased stress markers while taking eleuthero and improved oxygenation. This leads to enhanced energy levels, increase endurance, and improve physical performance. It may help combat fatigue and boost vitality.
  5. Mental Clarity + Focus - Eleuthero is believed to have cognitive-enhancing properties, potentially improving mental clarity, focus, and concentration due to increasing blood flow to the brain. It may help combat mental fatigue and promote alertness, supporting overall cognitive function.
  6. Immune System Support - Eleuthero is thought to possess immune-enhancing properties, potentially boosting the body's natural defense mechanisms. It may help support a healthy immune system and promote resistance to infections and illnesses.
  7. Antioxidant - Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect cells from oxidative damage and reduce inflammation in the body. Research has demonstrated protection from bacterial assault and ionizing radiation.
  8. Bone Health - Rats given 100 mg of eleuthero daily for 8 weeks saw a 16.7 percent increase in femur bone density.

Tracking Your Response

In addition to symptoms, another method of tracking your response to adaptogens is through wearable data. Eleuthero may help increase HRV (heart rate variability), sleep quality and your recovery index. Tracking your wearable data trends can help you determine the optimal dose and frequency of adaptogen use.

Dosing Ginseng

An optimal dose of Eleuthero is key to a beneficial response and ranges from 150-400mg per day.
If you’re interested in adding Ginseng into your wellness routine, sign up to learn more about Rootine’s newest adaptogen solutions coming soon!



The Vitality Adaptogen. Rhodiola rosea has been used for centuries to increase physical endurance, work productivity, longevity, resistance to high-altitude sickness, to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, for gastrointestinal ailments, infections and nervous system disorders. Based on its long-term use in traditional medicine and numerous scientific studies, in 2011, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) herbal monograph on Rhodiola rosea L. rhizoma approved its traditional use as an adaptogen for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and a general sensation of weakness.

Active Compounds

Polyphenols, specifically Salidroside.
Salidroside is another important compound found in rhodiola. It is known for its antioxidant properties and potential benefits for cellular health. Salidroside is thought to protect against oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals and reducing inflammation. It may also support mitochondrial function and energy metabolism, contributing to enhanced physical performance and reduced fatigue.

Body Benefits

  1. Stress reduction - Rhodiola is commonly used as an adaptogen to help the body adapt to and cope with stress. It may reduce stress-related symptoms and improve mood. Research suggests that rhodiola may modulate the stress response system, regulate cortisol levels, and enhance the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
  2. Energy Support - Rhodiola has been studied for its potential to reduce fatigue and improve physical and mental energy. It may enhance physical performance, increase endurance, and reduce symptoms of fatigue. Rhodiola's adaptogenic properties may help optimize energy production and utilization in the body.
  3. Mental Performance - Rhodiola has shown promise in enhancing cognitive function and mental performance. It may improve attention, focus, and memory. Rhodiola's ability to modulate neurotransmitters, increase blood flow to the brain, and protect against oxidative stress may contribute to its cognitive-enhancing effects. Cognitive cerebral functions, such as associative thinking, attention capacity, speed of visual and auditory perception and short-term memoryR. rosea administration was found to stimulate the noradrenalin, serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) It also enhanced the effects of these neurotransmitters on the brain by increasing the permeability of the blood–brain barrier to precursors of dopamine and serotonin [25]. Additionally, the literature data indicate that R. rosea may stimulate the synthesis, transport, and receptor activity of opioid receptors and peptides such as the β-endorphins.
  4. Depression + Anxiety - Rhodiola has been investigated for its potential antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. It may help alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Rhodiola's ability to modulate neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation, and enhance stress resilience may contribute to its mood-regulating properties.Encouraging results exist regarding the use of R. rosea herbal preparations in treating mild-to-moderate depression, and generalized anxiety
  5. Immune Modulation - Rhodiola has been found to have immunomodulatory effects, potentially enhancing the immune response and promoting overall immune health. It may increase natural killer cell activity, which is important for immune surveillance and defense against infections.
  6. Antioxidant + Anti-inflammatory - Rhodiola exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may protect against cellular damage, reduce inflammation, and support overall health. It may scavenge free radicals and inhibit inflammatory pathways, potentially benefiting various health conditions.
  7. Strength + Endurance - Studies have explored the potential of rhodiola to improve physical performance and enhance endurance. Rhodiola may increase oxygen utilization, improve mitochondrial function, and enhance energy metabolism, leading to improved exercise capacity.Reduced fatigue: Rhodiola has been studied for its ability to reduce fatigue and enhance endurance. It may help mitigate the effects of physical and mental fatigue, allowing individuals to perform better during prolonged physical activities or strenuous exercise.Oxygen utilization and VO2 max: Rhodiola supplementation has been found to positively influence oxygen consumption and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max), which are important factors for endurance performance. Rhodiola may enhance oxygen delivery to the muscles and improve the efficiency of oxygen utilization during exercise. Delayed onset of fatigue: Rhodiola may delay the onset of fatigue during physical exertion. Studies suggest that rhodiola's adaptogenic properties, stress-reducing effects, and modulation of neurotransmitters may contribute to its ability to enhance endurance and delay fatigue.Recovery and exercise-induced muscle damage: Rhodiola has shown potential in reducing muscle damage and promoting recovery after intense exercise. It may help minimize exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammation, supporting faster recovery and reducing muscle soreness.
  8. Fertility under stress - Hormonal balance: Rhodiola has been studied for its potential to modulate hormones involved in the reproductive system, such as cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. By supporting hormonal balance, rhodiola may help optimize fertility and improve reproductive health. Antioxidant actions to improve egg quality and hormonal vitality.
  9. Antinociception (pain perception) - Rhodiola has been suggested to have neuroprotective and neuromodulatory effects, including potential interactions with opioid receptors and neurotransmitters involved in pain perception. These mechanisms may play a role in its potential analgesic properties, but more research is needed to confirm and understand these effects.

Tracking Your Response

In addition to symptoms, another method of tracking your response to adaptogens is through wearable data. Rhodiola may help increase HRV (heart rate variability), sleep quality and your recovery index. Tracking your wearable data trends can help you determine the optimal dose and frequency of adaptogen use.

Dosing Rhodiola

An optimal dose of Rhodiola is key to a beneficial response and ranges from 100-500mg per day. It is also important to consider your adaptogen mix as many herbals have synergist effects where you can use combined lower doses for maximum benefit.
Discover the benefits of these adaptogens for yourself and upgrade your wellness routine. Remember, a smarter daily health routine is not just about staying healthy; it's about thriving. Start your journey towards a happier, healthier life today.
If you’re interested in adding Rhodiola into your wellness routine, sign up to learn more about Rootine’s newest adaptogen solutions coming soon!