Occasional stress and anxiousness have become almost unavoidable occurrences in our daily lives — so much so that you may not even recognize everyday stress piling on until you feel buried beneath it. But even if you aren’t aware of your body’s stress response being triggered, its effect on cortisol levels can have implications on sleep health, cognitive health and more.

While there are myriad coping mechanisms for dealing with daily stress, the quest for natural remedies has led many to explore the potential benefits of adaptogens. But what are adaptogens? Can they really deliver the benefits they claim? And are all adaptogens equally adept at supporting healthy cortisol levels?

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are compounds derived from plants and mushrooms that are thought to offer health benefits like supporting optimal energy levels and helping your body adapt to everyday stressors and occasional anxiousness. They support a healthy stress response to help you feel balanced, calm and focused.

According to Cleveland Clinic[1], there are 3 properties plants or mushrooms must have to be considered adaptogens:

  • They must be non-toxic when taken in normal doses
  • They must help your body cope with occasional stress
  • They must promote a state of homeostasis, or balance, in the body

You may have heard of adaptogens like ashwagandha, ginseng, schisandra and rhodiola rosea, or adaptogenic mushrooms cordyceps and reishi. Adaptogens like shilajit and bacopa are lesser known, but also highly studied. While all of these ingredients offer benefits for a healthy stress response and overall wellness, each adaptogen exhibits unique properties that differentiate it and the benefits it provides.

Types of Adaptogens & Their Benefits

Ashwagandha: The Daily Stress Super Supplement

Ashwagandha is a staple herb in Ayurveda and its reputation as an adaptogen has popularized it around the world. Numerous studies have highlighted its benefits, demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing occasional stress and anxiousness. A randomized controlled human trial found that individuals taking ashwagandha extract experienced a significant reduction in daily stress and exhibited healthy cortisol levels compared to the placebo group.[2]

The active compounds in ashwagandha are believed to support the body’s stress response by influencing the adrenal glands and supporting normal, healthy cortisol levels. This powerhouse adaptogen also possesses antioxidant properties, helping to protect cells from oxidative stress.

American Ginseng: Enhancing Resilience

American ginseng is a well-known adaptogen that has traditionally been used by Native Americans for centuries. Studies have explored its stress-relieving potential, revealing its positive effects on cognitive function and mood. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study demonstrated that American ginseng was associated with improved calmness.[3]

The active compounds in American ginseng are believed to modulate the body’s stress response by influencing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This adaptogen also exhibits anti-fatigue properties, making it a valuable ally in managing everyday stress-related exhaustion.

Schisandra: Balancing Act for the Body and Mind

Schisandra chinensis, a berry with a long history of traditional Chinese uses, is renowned for its adaptogenic qualities in helping to support mind-body balance. Scientific research found that schisandra extract exhibited stress-reducing effects, supported cognitive performance and supported healthy cortisol levels in subjects experiencing occasional stress.[4]

Its adaptogenic actions are attributed to lignans — a group of polyphenols that demonstrate neuroprotective properties. However, schisandra’s unique ability to support various systems in the body, including the nervous and immune systems, makes it a versatile adaptogen.

Rhodiola Rosea: Energized and Enlightened

Rhodiola rosea usage documents back to traditional applications in Eastern Europe and Asia, and it has recently gained attention as a science-backed adaptogen to help reduce occasional fatigue and exhaustion. In a scientific review, rhodiola rosea was shown to significantly improve feelings of fatigue, improve cognitive performance and boost mood and overall wellbeing.[5]

There are several species of rhodiola, but adaptogenic benefits are primarily attributed to rhodiola rosea, which contains several compounds not found in other species. Rhodiola rosea is thought to work by helping to enhance the effect of neurotransmitters and support precursors of dopamine and serotonin.

Cordyceps: Stamina and Endurance

Cordyceps is a type of fungi that has been used for thousands of years across much of Asia, Europe and North America, and is a prized adaptogen among traditional Chinese herbalists. Its biologically active compounds have myriad uses, including promoting stamina, endurance and vitality. Cordyceps is also recognized for its incredible antioxidant and immune-supporting properties.

Often, adaptogens are combined in formulas to amplify or diversify benefits, and cordyceps is no exception. It’s commonly used alongside other mushroom-based adaptogens like reishi or lion’s mane mushrooms, and it can be paired with plant-based adaptogens like rhodiola rosea.

Reishi: “The Mushroom of Immortality”

Reishi mushrooms are another type of fungi prized for their adaptogenic benefits. Dubbed “medicinal mushrooms”, they are one of several varieties now captivating the attention of the scientific community, although they’ve been traditionally used for centuries. Reishi mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, and have been shown to benefit the immune system, promote vitality and deliver cardioprotective effects. In fact, the nickname for this mushroom is “the mushroom of immortality”!

Like cordyceps, reishi mushrooms contain a variety of biologically active compounds. In addition to helping reduce oxidative stress, they also help reduce occasional anxiousness by promoting a calming effect. Studies on further uses of this incredible adaptogen hope to uncover even more ways it can support overall wellness.[6]

Shilajit: Amplify Benefits With This Ancient Secret

An ancient adaptogen native to the Himalayas, shilajit is primarily comprised of fulvic acid, which is studied for its benefits on brain health. But the real power of shilajit lies in its ability to boost bioavailability of the other adaptogens and ingredients it’s consumed alongside.

Shilajit is a unique nutraceutical because its benefits may vary depending on the region it’s harvested from. It’s possible to find shilajit in regions of the Andes, Russia and Afghanistan, each with its own unique chemical makeup.

Bacopa: Adaptogen and Nootropic

Bacopa is a plant-based ingredient sought after in supplements for its nootropic properties. The term nootropic is used to describe any extract or compound that promotes cognitive function such as memory, concentration, creativity and healthy brain aging. However, if an ingredient also meets the 3 requirements of an adaptogen, it can be both an adaptogen and a nootropic.

The dual functionality of Bacopa not only supports focus, memory and overall brain health, but it can also help your body cope with occasional stress. As an adaptogen, it is studied to support healthy cortisol levels and is shown to have a calming effect without making you drowsy.[7]

How to Use Adaptogens for Everyday Stress and More

With so many adaptogens to choose from, how do you find the right formula to target your needs? That’s where we come in.

Formulated in accordance with our Perfect 10 quality process, which ensures the natural botanical ingredients in your products are both non-GMO and help support sustainability, Modere has formulated these science-backed adaptogens into a full range of advanced supplements to help target your unique goals.

Modere Axis™ Uplift: 1 Bioceutical Formula. 2 Types of Stress Support.

Product shot of Modere Axis Uplift

Formulated with powerhouse adaptogens ashwagandha, schisandra and American ginseng, Axis Uplift helps you adapt to occasional stress and supports healthy cortisol levels, so you feel cool, calm and collected. But oxidative stress in the form of free radicals constantly threatens your overall wellness too, so we formulated Axis Uplift with 3 types of Sicilian blood oranges scientifically shown to help reduce oxidative stress from your environment and reduce free radicals.*

If you’re looking for support to help reduce daily stress and occasional anxiousness, plus reduce oxidative stress and support healthy cortisol levels, choose Axis Uplift.*

Modere Endurance: Mushroom-Supported Stamina for Mind and Body

Product shot of Modere Endurance

Featuring a potent mushroom-plant combo of cordyceps, reishi and rhodiola rosea, Endurance helps you go longer, reach further and accomplish more by promoting stamina and vitality. Not only does this formula help you push your physical performance edge, but it also extends to support your mind-body connection and promote a state of balance.*

If you need an adaptogenic formula that supports energy and stamina, plus supports overall cellular health and wellbeing, choose Endurance.*

Modere Revitalize: Transform Ordinary Water With Supercharged Minerals

Product shot of Modere Revitalize

Natural, berry flavored Revitalize not only replenishes 7 essential minerals and trace minerals, but it also supplies fulvic acid from adaptogenic shilajit to help increase bioavailability, so your body absorbs more of the minerals you consume. This powerful daily supplement packet transforms ordinary water with supercharged minerals, supporting metabolism, promoting healthy energy levels and bolstering hydration.*

If you want to stay hydrated and incorporate an adaptogen into your routine, increase bioavailability of electrolytes with a boost from shilajit in Revitalize.*

Modere Go: Afternoon Slump, Meet Your Match

Product shot of Modere GO Fruit Punch

Modere Go increases alpha brain waves for a mindful state of zen-like concentration. It takes a holistic, bio-hacking approach to brain health with natural caffeine from green tea and 8 brain-boosting nootropics, including the nootropic-adaptogen hybrid bacopa. Along with a super-boost of clean energy, you’ll also get improved alertness, greater focus and enhanced cognitive function.*

Plus, Go is an excellent source of vitamin C, D3 and several B vitamins, delivering 11 vitamins and 5 minerals in total to support daily nutrition. Each single-serve packet mixes into water for a convenient and delicious way to support mental clarity without relying on sugary energy drinks loaded with synthetic caffeine.*

If you’re looking for an energy drink upgrade formulated with natural caffeine, nootropics and adaptogenic Bacopa, make the switch to Modere Go.

In the pursuit of holistic well-being, incorporating adaptogens into your routine can be a natural and effective way to reduce occasional stress and anxiousness, boost stamina, promote mind-body balance and improve focus. Scientifically supported adaptogens can offer a harmonious approach to help support healthy cortisol levels. What’s more, combining them with complementary ingredients may amplify their benefits, providing a comprehensive strategy for promoting resilience in the face of life’s daily challenges.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

[1] What are adaptogens & types. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/22361-adaptogens

[2] Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root … in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022. PMID: 23439798; PMCID: PMC3573577.

[3] Scholey A, Ossoukhova A, Owen L, Ibarra A, Pipingas A, He K, Roller M, Stough C. Effects of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on neurocognitive function: an acute, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Oct;212(3):345-56. doi: 10.1007/s00213-010-1964-y. Epub 2010 Jul 31. PMID: 20676609; PMCID: PMC2952762.

[4] Panossian A. Understanding adaptogenic activity: specificity of the pharmacological action of adaptogens and other phytochemicals. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Aug;1401(1):49-64. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13399. Epub 2017 Jun 22. PMID: 28640972.

[5] Ivanova Stojcheva E, Quintela JC. The Effectiveness of Rhodiola rosea L. Preparations in Alleviating Various Aspects of Life-Stress … Molecules. 2022 Jun 17;27(12):3902. doi: 10.3390/molecules27123902. PMID: 35745023; PMCID: PMC9228580.

[6] Ekiz E, Oz E, Abd El-Aty AM, Proestos C, Brennan C, Zeng M, Tomasevic I, Elobeid T, Çadırcı K, Bayrak M, Oz F. Exploring the Potential … Ganoderma lucidum. Foods. 2023 Apr 3;12(7):1512. doi: 10.3390/foods12071512. PMID: 37048331; PMCID: PMC10094145.

[7] Walker EA, Pellegrini MV. Bacopa monnieri. [Updated 2023 Mar 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK589635/