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Alternative/popular health
noun A nutritional supplement—e.g., ginseng, maitake mushroom—which allegedly helps the body adapt to various stressors—e.g., heat, cold, exertion, trauma, sleep deprivation, toxic exposure, radiation, infection, psychological stress; ginseng is regarded by some as the prototypic adaptogen.

Any of a family of natural substances, said to compensate for fluctuations in homeostasis; adaptogens may act on serum glucose, leukocytes, temperature, blood pressure or pulse by increasing or decreasing the substance of interest.


(ă-dap′tŏ-jen″) [ adapt + -gen]
Any agent, e.g., an herb or a nutrient, that stimulates immunity or provides resistance to disease.


Substance that improves the body's ability to adapt to stress.
Mentioned in: Ginseng, Korean

adaptogen (·dapˑ·t·jen),

n a substance that helps the body regenerate after being fatigued or stressed.
References in periodicals archive ?
Theyre adaptogens, rich in antioxidants, and are associated with stimulating the immune system.
Before taking any kind of adaptogen, Dr Brewer suggests you speak with your GP to check that they're suitable for your own medical needs.
45,46) Acting as an adaptogen, rhodiola helps balance the body's stress response system.
Botanicals are widely used in Scandinavia to increase mental capacity during stress, as a psychostimulant, and as a general adaptogen (Sandberg 1998).
Prevention of stress induced increase in NO and the associated decrease in ATP production results in increased performance and endurance, and adaptogen induced up regulation of Hsp70 triggers stress induced JNK-1 and DAF-16-mediated pathways regulating the resistance to stress and resulting in enhanced mental and physical performance (Panossian 2009).
A coveted supplement in the diet of Russian athletes for centuries, the natural adaptogen can only grow in rare arctic regions and, until now, was one of the botanical world's best-kept secrets.
For kaphas, Rhodiola rosea is a powerful adaptogen that invigorates and stimulates those who have lost their stamina while allaying fatigue and depression.
Much of the Soviet research on the herb remains untranslated or locked away because authorities considered adaptogen research a "top military secret," Ramazanov maintained before his death last year.
The herb Siberian Ginseng is known as an adaptogen which means it increases the capacity of the body to cope with physical and mental stress.
This adaptogenic blend of herbs, called Advanced Adaptogen Complex, contains eleuthero, cramp bark fruit, Rhodiola, hawthorn, and schisandra (plus five other adaptogenic herbs).