Adaptogen Herbs Boost Immune Function

Adaptogen Herbs Help You To Resist Infections, Viruses, and Bacterial Infections and Boost Your Immune Function. Adaptogen herbs are considered tonic herbs. Adaptogen herbs are taken in addition to improving your negative health factors such as a junk food diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, smoking, and drinking. Over time adaptogen herbs start rebuilding tired and weakened cells, tissues, and organs. They must be used every day and over time help your body to work more effectively and efficiently. You cannot be sick for weeks or months and expect to be well immediately. It just does not work that way.  

Adaptogen herbs work effectively to bring the body’s systems back into balance, into working properly.  Adaptogens are to be taken like food, not an herb to begin when you feel yourself getting ill.  Adaptogen herbs help to lessen stress and help you to drop excessively high cortisol levels.  If sleep is an issue, these herbs will help you to sleep better naturally and positively.

Ashwagandha is one of the important adaptogen herbs and  is used by drs in India to improve the health of their patients.
Ashwagandha one of the most revered Adaptogens for health.

Adaptogen herbs usually are grown in countries like India or China. They are not a magic wand and take days, weeks, or months in some cases to work.

How can Adaptogens work to improve body systems and functions?

“Adaptogens work at a molecular level by regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. These are involved in the stress response. They work by hacking the stress response in the body. “ .


Adaptogens for instance do not raise or lower blood sugar or blood pressure but act to NORMALIZE these functions.  These herbs work to strengthen the whole body and its different processes.


” The available studies suggest that adaptogens really are helpful in decreasing symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion and maybe most helpful when used alongside other therapies for people with chronic and acute medical conditions. ” .


Can you take Adaptogen herbs along with prescription drugs?

Adaptogens make the body’s organ systems such as the heart work more efficiently. Over time they may even help the organ systems become healthier. If for instance you are taking a medicine for your heart or to lower your blood sugar or blood pressure, you may find that you need to lower your medication dosage.


If you are not being supervised by a doctor, you could end up taking a higher dose of medication than needed. If for instance, your blood pressure lowers significantly, then your supervising doctor can lower the dosage of your medication.  If the medication dosage is too high at that point, it can cause issues to your health.


  • Adaptogen herbs can affect prescription drugs like Warfarin or Aspirin.
  • If you take blood pressure drugs or drugs to lower your blood sugar, taking herbs can cause negative interactions with your prescriptions….talk to your doctor first. 
  • If you are on prescription drugs, you need to clear this with your doctor first.


Again, to restate this important message …read below 

Do not take herbs, even adaptogen herbs at the same time as prescription drugs unless being supervised by your physician. They can interact with each other causing you to need less of the drug.  You may need less of your blood pressure meds or blood sugar medication when taking adaptogen herbs.  Taking both without supervision could lead to an overdose of the prescription drug or could lower your blood pressure or blood sugar to a point of being too low.  

Do not give to children or take while nursing or pregnant unless you clear it with your doctor first.

Adaptogen book by David Winston and Steven Maimes. All about adaptogen herbs
Learn all about Adaptogen herbs and their health benefits.

Visit my Book Page where you can buy Adaptogen Books

Herbs that are considered adaptogens must have the following attributes listed below:

#1 Adaptogen Herbs must be safe and non-toxic when used over a long period of time. Safe for almost anyone to use daily for weeks or months at a time. Many of these are used as food.
#2 Adaptogen herbs must have properties that normalize body functions; and improve the body’s ability to deal with stress.
#3 The adaptogen must influence various body systems overall to work healthily; these herbs possess several different substances that work together to help to increase the health of all the different body systems.

I have listed two herbs in the top two which are Siberian Ginseng and America Ginseng. These two herbs have done wonders for my husband recovering from the horrible fatigue left over from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in August of 2019. I take both of them first thing every morning.  They improve my energy as well as my brain function performance. Also, there have been hundreds of studies published over the years from Russia, Japan, and other government research.

We also take Astragalus, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D, daily too. So far, we have not gotten one cold or sniffle in the past year.  Despite still recovering from the long-term effects of tick diseases our immune function was strong enough to survive moving across several thousand miles during the beginning of the crisis and Covid-19 is ongoing despite several people in our neighborhood getting Covid-19.

Each of these herbs will have a separate blog devoted to it over the coming weeks. You will also find Herb Profiles as well by March.

Siberian Ginseng or Eleuthero:  Adaptogen Herbs that Help You Resist Infections  

Eleuthero or Siberian Ginseng isn’t actually true ginseng but is called that often because it works in similar ways. There are hundreds of studies published over many years from Russia, Japan, China, and other countries.  It is given to Russian athletes and space astronauts for increased endurance.

Numerous studies and real usage by athletes in Russia and Japan have found that it may help ward off fatigue, depression, and stress. it contains 7 primary eleutherosides and complex polysaccharides which boost immune function. This herb is amazing for helping your body to handle stress and this includes physical, mental, or chemical stress without caffeine and that afternoon crash.  It helps people to boost physical performance and endurance. It is extremely valuable for mental health and functioning as well.

Overall, this herb helps your body and immune system to be strong enough to fight off colds and viruses. In some studies, in vitro and Vitro studies it has been shown to inhibit malignant tumors probably by strengthening the immune response.  Later on, this week I will be putting up profiles on both Siberian Ginseng and American Ginseng with links to research studies and other studies you can read for yourself.

American Ginseng

This herb is one of the few true Adaptogen herbs that grow in the US used by the different American Indian Tribes and tribes in Canada. Modern research shows it is used when there is a depletion of the HPA axis and adrenal glands. In layman’s terms, this means if you suffer from chronic stress and fatigue, adrenal fatigue, and immune problems it may be very supportive and healthful.  It is an important adaptogen to normalize your body so it can fight off disease. You need to take the minimum dosage, to begin with, then increase it after you see how it affects you.  My husband and I take two caps of both American Ginseng and Siberian Ginseng.  I tried the Siberian first and then both to test their effects. In our case, the two combined seem to work well.

Several studies suggest that ginseng may help lower blood sugar and help treat diabetes. Ginsenosides may affect insulin production in the pancreas and improve insulin resistance using other mechanisms.”

More clinical studies and standardization of ginseng roots are needed to consider ginseng as a possible complementary therapy for diabetes. This is so that researchers can investigate what specific doses are effective.”


Please visit my herb profile page here on Astragalus ( huang qi )

This herb is one of the most important in Ayurvedic medicine and is native to China.  It contains immune-stimulating polysaccharides-astragalans 1, 11, and 111, glucuronic acid, flavones, and isoflavones. It has been used in China and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years clear back to 713 CE. 


It is used today by doctors in those countries and by people in everyday life.  It is used in those countries among other uses to help prevent colds, influenza, bronchitis, mono, and pneumonia, improve cardiac flow, and prevent kidney and liver damage from medications. It is often combined with other immune-strengthening herbs such as dan shen, dang gui and corydalis.


It is not used during acute infection but in daily prevention of illness. Do not use it with chemo or radiation therapy unless your doctor ok’s it.

The following comments below are from Healthline on the above-linked page. 

“Astragalus may help enhance your immune system to prevent and fight bacterial and viral infections, including the common cold.”

“Though research findings are mixed, astragalus may help improve heart function in patients with heart failure and reduce symptoms of myocarditis.”

“When given intravenously in a hospital setting, astragalus may help alleviate nausea and vomiting in those undergoing chemotherapy.”

“Studies indicate that astragalus supplements may help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed.”

“There are many preliminary studies on astragalus that indicate the herb may have other potential benefits, including:

  • Improved symptoms of chronic fatigue: Some evidence shows astragalus may help improve tiredness in people with chronic fatigue syndrome when combined with other herbal supplements (29Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).



  • Improved seasonal allergy symptoms: Though studies are limited, one clinical study found that 160 mg of astragalus twice daily may reduce sneezing and runny nose in individuals with seasonal allergies (36Trusted Source).


SUMMARY Preliminary research has found that astragalus may be beneficial at reducing symptoms of chronic fatigue and seasonal allergies. Test-tube studies suggest that it may also have anticancer effects.”


The following Adaptogens are indicated for strengthening your immune function:

Alma, Ashwagandha, Asian Ginseng, cordyceps, eleuthero or Siberian Ginseng, guduchi, holy basil, jiaogulan, licorice, lycium, prince seng, reishi, rhaponticum, rhodiola, schisandra, shatavari, and shilajit.  

Part of these are not herbs but mushrooms. I will be following up over the next months with blogs and articles on these herbs.

All for today, Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin




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