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Adaptogens to the Rescue! Help for Stress & Fatigue

Dr. Don Colbert – Are you familiar with adaptogens? Did you know there are herbal compounds out there that support reduced stress levels and more mental balance? Even in the face of stress conditions? That’s right, adaptogens are here, natural, healthy, and able to come to parent’s rescue this return to school season.

If you want to learn how these ancient herbs affect stress levels and fatigue, keep reading. They can help you change your outlook, perception, and reactions within weeks. What great news!

How Stress Affects Adrenals

When you are stressed, your immune system responds. It revs up and engages your adrenal glands, which release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

If the stressed were a vicious man-eating animal ready to attack, this would be a good thing as you would have more energy to respond appropriately by running for your life.

But, in the modern world, it’s usually not a predator. It’s more of the mental variety. It’s often chronic and not just once in a while. When your adrenal glands are constantly engaged, they get worn out. This is often called “adrenal fatigue” or “adrenal burnout.” Unfortunately, it may be associated with:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Significantly increased or decreased blood pressure
  • Low libido
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Leaky gut
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • More

This is why stress reduction is so important. This is why we write about reducing cortisol often. The mind, immune system, and overall health are all connected.

Luckily, spiritual practices and faith in God, lifestyle changes, and some herbal adaptogens can help.

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are herbal compounds that were initially defined as substances that enhance the “state of non-specific resistance” in our stress responses (1). In other words, they help us adapt to stress with a healthier response that does not fatigue our adrenals.

Specifically, they can lower our sense of stress. They can reduce our cortisol response. They can support immune system health, brain cells, energy production, sleep, and more.

Studies on Adaptogens

One review of adaptogens looked at over 24clinical trials to find if they could affect mental performance in humans ). A systematic review of these trials found that the adaptogens have a significant, beneficial, and specific effect on stress-induced symptoms under fatigue ().

For example, Rhodiola rosea significantly reduced symptoms of fatigue and improved attention after four weeks of repeated administration ().

Rhodiola rosea also inhibited the typical increase in cortisol in the saliva resulting in an improvement of cognitive function. This supported other studies that demonstrated optimal corticosteroid levels were linked to efficient cognitive function. It’s been established that cognitive impairment occurs with significant changes (upregulation or downregulation) of cortisol ().

Another review looked at 35 clinical trials including 6000 healthy participants aged 19-72. The goal was to determine if adaptogens would affect mental and physical performance in normal and stressful conditions like high temperatures, forced work periods, loud noise, motion sickness, inability to hear, heavy physical burden, hypertension, and more. The researchers found that there was an improvement in the physical and mental work capacities in all cases ().

What’s more, some of the most convincing evidence for the benefits of adaptogens is within their neuroprotective effects, effects on cognitive functions and mental performance in fatigue, and the efficacy in chronic fatigue and depression (). In fact, evidence points to adaptogens’ potential benefit in supporting brain health within neurodegenerative disorders (,,,,,).

How Parents’ Stress & Fatigue Can Affect Students

Stress happens. It’s part of the human experience. In fact, According to the American Psychological Association’s 2017 Stress in America survey, more and more adults report stress as an interference with their own physical and mental health (12). In fact, approximately 33% of adults reported sleeping issues, 32% reported headaches, and 27% reported an inability to concentrate due to stress. Additionally, 47% of adults reported losing patience with or yelling at their partner, and 46% reported similar behavior with their children because of stress.

As for 2020? Stress has only increased.

When parental stress chronically overflows into a child’s life, it affects the child’s mental health as well.

Parents should not feel guilty about their stress level. That only adds more stress! Instead, it’s important for parents to do what they can to manage adult stress, starting with prayer, talking to their children, and taking steps in their lives to better manage or confront it.

These steps can include our 10 Habits to Reduce Cortisol Naturally, 7 Tips for Peace Amidst Return to School Stress, and these adaptogens to help.

Adaptogens for School Stress & Fatigue

Three adaptogens stand out to help you fight school stress and fatigue.


The roots of ashwagandha, also referred to as Indian Ginseng, have antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and aphrodisiac properties. The plant contains potent chemicals such as choline, alkaloids, fatty acids, amino acids, and withanolides that work as a rejuvenating element to help fight the effects of daily stress and to boost the body’s immunity. It stimulates your body’s ability to resist stress and maintain homeostasis to treat disorders such as high blood pressure, sleep disorders, and hypertension.

In fact, ashwagandha has been found to:

  • Support healthy cortisol levels, even up to a 30% reduction in chronically stress adults (131415).
  • Block stress pathways in the brain, reduce symptoms of chronic stress, and improve difficulty sleeping insomnia (16)
  • Support memory and brain function even after injury or degeneration (17, 18)
  • May help reduce depressed moods and symptoms (19)
  • Support thyroid health by promoting optimal thyroid-stimulating hormone and T3 levels (20)
  • Promote healthy blood sugars (21).
  • Support optimal cholesterol levels (22).
  • Support healthy testosterone levels and reproductive health in men (2324).
  • Promote strength, increased muscle mass, and reduced body fat (2526)
  • Support immune function and decreased markers of inflammation including C-reactive protein, even up to 36% (28293031)


As described above, studies have linked Rhodiola root to improved mental and physical performance, even when subjects are under stress.

Rhodiola Rosea Root is also referred to as the Golden Root, and has been used as a natural remedy against anxiety and stress since ancient times by the Russian and Chinese practitioners. The active constituents of Rhodiola are tyrosol, rosavin, antioxidants like gallic acid, essential oil, and several classes of alcohol.

When the body’s stress response increases hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol, Rhodiola can work to help our brains adapt and normalize these levels.


GS15-4 Korean Ginseng Root is the world’s most potent and fully balanced adaptogenic herb. In fact, it manages stress and cortisol by bringing the body into homeostatic balance.

When the herbal compound is specifically “GS15-4,” it has undergone an enzyme fermentation process to improve the rate of absorption. This allows the body to more efficiently use its active ingredient, ginsenoside. Like other fermented foods and compounds, it displays increased absorption, compounded nutrients, and more efficient use by the body.

The adaptogenic properties of GS15-4 Korean Gingseng Root include anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, anti-allergy, and hepatoprotection. It supports stress and fatigue and helps the body normalize hormones under stressful conditions.


If you think these 3 adaptogens could help your stress levels, our formula is likely a great match for you. It combines balanced and potent levels of all three in one easy supplement.

Divine Health’s Living Serene 3 supports your body’s response to stress to help you feel energized, balanced, and strong, mentally, and physically.

You don’t have to go through this school year feeling fatigued and frazzled!

The Bottom Line

Life is certainly tough, but God has given us many tools too have balance, peace, and only healthy levels of stress. AS we move into the return to school season, take steps to care for yourself and stress levels. Adaptogens are certainly a tool that will help.

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For more articles by Dr. Colbert click here.

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