The Best Vegan Adaptogen Supplements To Reduce Stress & Fight Against Anxiety, Including Best Products
Today’s modern world is stressful, right? So much to do in such little time. Long work hours, technological distractions, looming deadlines, traffic, your kids, your partner. The list goes on. Life is stressful.
Stress is an epidemic, and that’s a big problem. Why? Because stress leads to a lot of psychical issues and mental issues if left untamed. Stress is important and very natural, but too much can quickly become debilitating and not very pleasant to live with.
There are many easy to reduce stress, including taking more breaks, exercising, eating healthy, practicing mindfulness, doing yoga, and swapping your smartphone scrolling for books.
But, we could all do with a little extra help. Adaptogens are natural herbs that contain natural stress-relieving components. Adaptogens can help with both short-term and long-term physical and mental stress.
This guide will help you to understand each of the most common adaptogens you can buy, how to use them, and their full benefits plus any side effects to watch out for.
The Best Vegan Adaptogens Supplements You Can Buy
First of all, it’s worth noting that all adaptogens are naturally vegan as they’re herbs. However, some products that include adaptogens include non-vegan ingredients such as gelatin capsules.
NutriRise delivers one of the most potent Ashwagandha supplements on the market, with 1300mg per serving. It is 100% natural organic Ashwagandha and includes organic piperine (black pepper extract) for increased absorption.
The product is certified organic by UDAF and is vegan-friendly. There is no nasty stuff inside like preservatives, fillers, or other chemicals, either.
NutriRise Ashwagandha is highly rated with over 13,000 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.5 stars. Ashwagandha offers superior immune boost, hormonal balance & mood support. This product also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
Amazing Grass is an extremely popular and reputable supplement brand. They grow their own organic ingredients and have made a name for themselves in the green, healthy smoothie industry.
The Superfood Immunity powder is packed full of essential nutrients, antioxidants, plant compounds, and includes adaptogens like Himematsutake, Shitake, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps, Maitake & Reishi mushrooms for inflammation.
It also includes Astragalus, Olive Leaf, Elderberry & Andrographis to help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. Amazing Grass produces super clean products using only natural, non-GMO, and organic (where possible) ingredients.
The only downside is that Amazing Green products tend to be very expensive compared to others.
Four Sigmatic is a very popular brand that offers unique adaptogen blends using reishi, cordyceps, Panax ginseng, ashwagandha extract, amla, Schisandra, tulsi (holy basil), and gynostemma for immune & stress support.
The blend comes in a powder form that can be added to your smoothie or just water. The taste is earthy and gingery. All the ingredients are natural and wild-harvested, which means they have a higher nutrient profile.
You won’t find any carriers, fillers, preservatives, or artificial flavors. All ingredients are vegan-friendly and non-GMO.
Genius combines three powerful mushrooms ( Lions Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi) to create a potent combination of adaptogens. The product is designed to elevate immune support, improve brain cognition, reduce stress, and boost memory power.
Genius Mushrooms is a popular nootropic used by biohackers, entrepreneurs, and students to boost brain power during busy times.
Genius tests all their products extensively and never includes proprietary blends, artificial dyes, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, unnecessary fillers, or banned substances.
Swanson has focused on three key adaptogens (Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, and Ginseng) to create effective support for stress relief. Swanson is a GMP-certified manufacturer and holds itself to the highest standards.
Each product they create is tested for purity, potency, microbiology, and heavy metals/chemicals. You can be sure you are getting a clean and effective product here.
Swanson Stress Support is an excellent supplement for those with hectic lives looking to benefit from the power of adaptogens.
If you want to unlock the powerful (and scientifically proven) benefits of AshwagandhaAshwagandha, this supplement from Organic India will do the trick.
The ingredients are 100% natural and USDA-certified organic. Positive customers are in abundance, and all claim to have benefited from a boost in mood, endurance, vitality, and strength.
The Ashwagandha is grown using regenerative farming techniques. The company was the first to achieve LEED Platinum certification in India, a top standard of excellence and commitment to the wellbeing of the community, the environment, employees, and farmer partners.
Moon Juice is an innovative supplements brand that creates a wide range of products using adaptogens’ power for various health benefits. SuperYou is their unique adaptogen formula, which acts as a natural stress relief.
The ingredients are simple and include organic Ashwagandha, organic Amla, Shatavari, and Rhodiola. These four potent adaptogens will reduce stress while simultaneously boosting your mood, focus, and brainpower.
All ingredients are grown in the USA, are vegan-friendly, organic (where possible, and triple-tested for potency and purity.
Cortisol is the stress hormone released, which leads to typical symptoms of stress. LES Labs have designed a unique formula designed to regulate your cortisol levels. The product includes a potent combination of phosphatidylserine, magnesium, Ashwagandha, magnolia, and Rhodiola root extract.
The ingredients list allows the supplement to double up as both a stress reliever and a powerful nootropic that boosts cognition, focus, and memory.
You get a full 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not convinced, which is always a bonus. The reviews are in abundance and very positive. All ingredients are vegan friendly and free from nasty fillers, preservatives, and GMOs.
Truwild Adaptogens have managed to concentrate a potent mix of adaptogens into veggie capsules. The formula is specifically designed to act as natural stress relief, liver support & detox.
Inside each capsule, you get Maca Root powder, Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, Cordyceps, Astragalus, and Holy Basil.
The product is made in the USA and produced in a GMP and eco-friendly facility. You won’t find any chemicals, fillers, or synthetic stimulants. Ingredients are non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are herbs that contain complex compounds that can help you reduce stress and anxiety. The name “adaptogen” describes how the herbs help your body adapt to physical and mental stress.
Research suggests adaptogens work through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA is the body’s stress response center.
Let’s say you are under stress, your body will produce the stress hormone cortisol. Adaptogens are claimed to help balance out that hormone so your body can reduce stress.
When our body and brain are better able to adapt to stress, we can focus and work more productively. This, in turn, opens the door for a plethora of other health benefits that go along with decreasing stress.
Adaptogens have a long history of use within both traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. While there isn’t a tremendous amount of research on these herbs, there are thousands of years of people who swear by their benefits.
If you’re a stickler for science, then the idea of adaptogens probably won’t appeal to you. But if you’re relatively open-minded and trust the experiences of others, you should give adaptogens a go and let me know about your experience with them.
There is an increasing body of research to back the claims behind adaptogens to reduce stress, feelings of anxiety, and general wellbeing.
How Do Adaptogens Work?
When we get stressed, our body enters into general adaptation syndrome (GAS). GAS consists are three stages of response to the stressor:
Adaptogens can help the body prolong the resistance stage, which helps reduce stress. So, instead of crashing and burning under pressure, our body can stay alert and focused on the task helping us to avoid feeling underwhelmed,
Adaptogens get their name because they adapt our bodies to stress. When we get stressed, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol. This is natural and healthy, but too much cortisol leads to stress symptoms, which we would like to avoid.
Most adaptogen supplements help regulate the production of cortisol to fight off stress.
The Most Common Adaptogens
Below are the most common adaptogens used in traditional medicine and “new age” supplements such as nootropics.
Read more about ashwagandha here: A Guide to the Best Vegan Ashwagandha Supplements
Ashwagandha is by far the most famous adaptogen and one that has increased in popularity over the last few years. Ashwagandha is considered one of the most potent herbs on the planet and has been used for millennia in traditional Ayurvedic healing.
Those who are given or supplement AshwagandhaAshwagandha report significant improvements in stress levels, fatigue, anxiety, and focus. In traditional medicine, Ashwagandha was commonly used to boost energy, rejuvenate the body, and improve general wellbeing.
Research has found that Ashwagandha is beneficial for regulating cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by the brain, which brings on symptoms of stress.
Several studies have also found a clear link between the supplementation of AshwagandhaAshwagandha and reduced stress and anxiety symptoms. It has also been found to effectively help those suffering from depression.
Furthermore, studies have shown AshwagandhaAshwagandha can:
Turmeric is bright yellow because of the chemical Curcumin. Curcumin has been extensively studied and has shown it plays a significant role in metabolic and cell functions, plus it impacts over 100 molecular pathways.
Further studies have shown curcumin can help with inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, anxiety, and even muscle soreness.
Your body isn’t great at absorbing curcumin. One study found that piperine (a black pepper extract) can help your body improve curcumin’s bioavailability by as much as 2000% when consumed together.
Maca root has become a common ingredient for superfood blends and powders. Maca Root originates in Peru and has been used for herbal medicine for thousands of years.
It’s believed that Maca Root can help balance hormones, reduce anxiety, boost energy, improve memory, and even increase your libido. However, there is little reliable research behind the Peruvian root.
One thing we do know for sure, it’s packed with nutrients including vitamin C, copper, potassium, and iron. Some of these are essential nutrients difficult for vegans to attain in their regular diet.
Maca Root also contains compounds called anthocyanins. Research has shown these compounds to be protective against certain chronic diseases.
Ginseng is one of the better-studied adaptogens. We know for sure that ginseng, when consumed regularly, can help:
- Reduce inflammation
- Benefit brain function
- Boost the immune system
- Fight tiredness and boost energy
- Lower blood sugar
Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and to this day, millions worldwide use ginseng for the above benefits.
There is a difference between American and Asian ginseng. American ginseng is better for its relaxing properties, while Asian ginseng is more invigorating.
Jiaogulan, also known in the scientific world as Gynostemma Pentaphyllum, is a herb native to Thailand and other Southeast Asia countries. In China, it is known as the “herb of immortality” as they believe it can prolong life.
While we can’t guarantee it will make you live longer, some evidence-based benefits are worth considering.
Jiaogulan was found to relieve stress and protect against stress-related anxiety disorders.
Rhodiola Rosea is a plant that grows in mountainous regions of both Europe and Asia. The Rhodiola roots contain all the power, and its benefits are well-studied.
Rhodiola Rosea has been found useful for reducing stress, fighting fatigue, and improving brain function. A randomized trial that looked at a large group of hardworking men found that Rhodiola helped increase the men’s mental work capacity.
Have you seen the trend of people drinking mushroom coffee? They’re not eating shiitakes, but rather the remarkable Cordyceps mushroom.
How To Take Adaptogens
Adaptogen supplements come in two forms, powder and capsules. The powder can be incorporated into your smoothies, soups, oats, or just downed with water (be warned – they might not taste good unless flavored). The capsules can be swallowed with water.
It’s important to always follow the dosage recommendation provided by the brand you bought it from. Instructions are typically added to the back or side of the package.
Do not be tempted to overdose with the belief it will “double” the benefits. Adaptogen formulas are carefully designed over years of testing under expert guidance.
The time of day for taking adaptogens is also essential. Your particular product should give you guidance on this. If not, adaptogens with energizing properties should be taken at night and those with calming effects taken at night.
For example, AshwagandhaAshwagandha is excellent for the evening as it improves sleep quality. Whereas Rhodiola will wake you up, so it’s best to take it before 3 pm.
Do Vegans Need Adaptogens?
There is no need to consume or supplement adaptogens if you are vegan. However, if you are struggling with stress and anxiety or just want a serious health boost, you might want to consider taking adaptogens.
The people driving the trend in adaptogens are typically biohackers, health gurus, functional doctors, and entrepreneurs with hectic lifestyles.
If you decide to take an adaptogen supplement, do your research and read articles like this to ensure you are buying quality. The supplements industry is full of cheap and inferior-quality products that are just quick cash gimmicks.
The supplements industry lacks thorough regulation, so it’s critical to be a savvy consumer.
What Are the Side Effects of Adaptogens?
Because adaptogens is an umbrella term for many different herbs, it’s hard to say the side effects. Instead, before taking any adaptogen or adaptogen supplement, make sure you research the side effects first.
Side effects for most adaptogens are not typical for regular people. However, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or menopausal, side effects are worth knowing about.
Knowledge is power, so do as much research as possible. If you are unsure or have a particular health condition, speak to a medical professional before taking any adaptogen product.
Never take adaptogens as a cure for all your ailments and a solution to optimal health. Yes, they can have profound health benefits, but they should be supplemented alongside a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
Adaptogens are great for anyone who works under a lot of stress with long hours. Or those who simply want a boost of nutrients, plant compounds, and antioxidants. Always buy quality and pay a little more if you can. Cheap and inferior supplements won’t provide the same health benefits.
I’m really interested to hear about your experiences with adaptogens. Please feel free to drop a comment below and tell me about your experience using them.