Adaptogens that Help Anxiety, Depression and Sleep

These days, in America anyway, it seems that we all run our nervous systems like thoroughbreds in the Kentucky Derby. The reasons for anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep are often varied, complex and complicated. Adaptogens are often great health-boosting tools for people experiencing the burden of a depleted and overly taxed nervous system.


In recent years, there has been a revival of both interest in natural wellness and the “mainstream” consumer looking for ways to take control of their own well-being. Thus, herbal medicine is coming back into the American conversation (though it never left in other countries/cultures with strong herbal medicine traditions).

Since anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders are often combined with lifestyles that promote more “go” activity than wellness activity, adaptogen use (often in the form of adaptogenic teas) is on the rise and is commonly used for all three of these ailments.


Anxiety, depression and lack of sleep are often caused by one another. They create a cyclical effect that is hard to break loose of, making it difficult to do the work necessary to move out of these states.

As you work to address the root causes of this trifecta, adaptogens can offer support in easing the severity of the cycles enough so you can begin the other efforts involved.

What to Prioritize Before using Adaptogens
Consider the following helpful tips before you start your use of adaptogens:

  • Personal lifestyle choices (your family environment, career choice, etc.) are most critical for all three of these afflictions.
  • No matter how many adaptogens you take, you’re not likely to see big changes in your anxiety, depression, and sleep if you stay in cycles of unhealthy mental and emotional patterns.
  • Avoid the following: eating nutrient-void foods, getting up and going to bed with no physical activity throughout the day, making no time for fresh air and sunshine, having lack of community and inspiration.


Adaptogens for Anxiety
Common adaptogens used to provide relief from anxiety are:

Adaptogens for Anxiety

Adaptogens for Depression
For mild antidepressant support, you might find the following useful:

Adaptogens for Depression

Adaptogens for Sleep
Those with insomnia might use the following:

  • Asian ginseng
  • Ashwagandha
  • Eleuthero
  • Rhodiola
  • Schisandra
Adaptogens for Sleep


Please note that while adaptogens are generally considered safe, it’s best to understand what herbs will work best with your overall person and your constitution.

For example, you just read that rhodiola can act as a mild antidepressant. However, if you have bi-polar disorder, rhodiola can induce manic episodes. Also, ginseng can act as a stimulant, so may not work for you for sleep while it’s helpful to others.

So, it’s important to understand the bigger picture of herbs and what will work best for you or a particular product. This can be done with more effectiveness when you work with an experienced, skilled herbalist to help guide you when discovering an herbal recipe for you or when formulating a product to sell.

If you’re interested to learn more about adaptogens or any of the adaptogenic products we offer, continue browsing more of our articles on our Herbal Insights blog.