The rise of adaptogenic herbs: ‘These herbs help mitigate stress & we live in a stressful environment’

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Agriculture

Interest in adaptogenic herbs is increasing, but how does industry communicate the benefits to consumers, and which herbs work this way?

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the inaugural Healthy & Natural Show in Chicago, Amy Keller, director of education and training at Organic India, told us that adaptogenic herbs sound like herbs that are too good to be true, but these herbs have been used traditionally for thousands of years in both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

“We generally tell consumers that they are bi-directional, which means if a person is really high strung it’s going to bring them down to a healthy normal level, but if they’re down in the dumps it’s going to bring them up.  They work both ways to help mitigate stress in the body,” ​she said.

“I think the interest in traditional methods of healing is growing in popularity because Western medicine is a one-size-fits-all approach, but these traditional modalities treat each individual as a unique person. I also think that these type of herbs help mitigate stress and we live in a very stressful environment.”

Keller noted that Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, Amalaki are amongst the most popular Ayurvedic adaptogenic herbs that Organic India works with on a daily basis, and awareness of these herbs is increasing around the world.

“I think adaptogenic herbs are difficult to understand even from a scientific perspective,” ​she added. “These plants have adapted in nature themselves over thousands of years. A lot of these herbs have grown in climates that are very hot or very cold or very high altitudes, so when you talk about the basic nature of a plant being able to adapt you can translate that into how it works in the human body in a really non-specific manner.”

Keller also discussed Organic India’s approach to farming and supply chain management. “We are a company that believes in regeneration,”​ she said. “We are committed to regenerative agriculture and we have converted tens of thousands of acres in India to organic farming. We also work with some of the most at risk populations in India, including women, widows, the elderly, and the illiterate, so it’s not just about traceability of where the herbs are grown and how they’re grown but also about the people in the supply chain.”​  

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