The simple answer to this question comes in its very definition from pharmacologist Nikolai Lazarev. Adaptogens are nontoxic herbs that protect the body from damaging physical and emotional stress while improving many of its systems and functions.

Historically & Scientifically Researched

Adaptogens have become quite the new buzzword in the world of supplements and for good reason. They are anything but new as the history of modern scientific research on adaptogens begins with World War II with the enhanced need to increase stamina, endurance, and performance of soldiers, pilots, sailors, and civilians engaged in production of weapons and war material. For example, the first scientific studies on the stimulating and tonic effects of schisandra were published in Soviet World War II-era military journals. 

Now fast-forward through the use of adaptogens in The Space Race, the winning of Olympic Gold Medals, one 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), years of continued scientific research, and you get the creation of Nomadic Effects. 

In other words, adaptogens are plant medicine!

Along with targeting specific therapeutic effects on stress-related disorders, Adaptogens also have an impact on the quality of life of patients when implemented in the standard therapy of many chronic diseases and pathological conditions (e.g., post-surgery recovery, asthenia, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Adaptogens may also have potential use in age-related disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Thus, elderly people may be able to maintain their health status on a normal level, improve their quality of life, and possibly increase longevity.


Disclaimer: We have taken the liberty of summarizing much of the research done on adaptogens from the 59 articles referenced to write this snippet below. 


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  7. Brekhman II. Eleutherococcus. Leningrad, USSR: Nauka; 1968.
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  12. Panossian A, Wikman G. Rosenroot (Rhodiola rosea): Traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology, and clinical efficacy. Phytomedicine. 2010;17: 481-93.
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  15. Panossian A, Hambartsumyan M, Hovanissian A, Gabrielyan E, Wikman G. The Adaptogens rhodiola and schizandra modify the response to immobilization stress in rabbits by suppressing the increase of phosphorylated stress-activated protein kinase, nitric oxide and cortisol. Drug Targets Insights 2007;1:39-54.Available at: Accessed October 30, 2010.
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  17. Mendes FR, Tabach R, Carlini EA. Evaluation of Baccharis trimera and Davilla rugosa in tests for adaptogen activity. Phytother Res. 2007;21:517-522.
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  29. Dardimov IV. Ginseng, Eleutherococcus. On the mechanism of biological activity. Moscow, USSR: Nauka; 1976.
  30. Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wagner H. On the mechanism of action of plant adaptogens with particular references on cucuirbitacin R diglucoside. Phytomedicine. 1999;6:147-155.
  31. Davydov M., Krikorian AD. Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. (Araliaceae) as an adaptogen: a closer look. J Ethnopharm 2000;72:345.
  32. Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue – a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine. 2000;7:365-371.
  33. Spasov AA, Wikman GK, Mandrikov VB, Mironova IA, Neumoin VV. A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-doseregimen. Phytomedicine. 2000;7:85-89.
  34. Shevtsov VA, Zholus BI, Shervarly VI, Vol’skij VB, Korovin YP, Khristich MP, Roslyakova NA, Wikman G. A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work. Phytomedicine. 2003;10: 95–105.
  35. Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Panossian A, Wikman G. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised study of the single dose effects of ADAPT-232 on cognitive functions. Phytomedicine. 2010;17:494-499.
  36. Narimanian M, Badalyan M, Panosyan V, Gabrielyan E, Panossian A, Wikman G, and Wagner H. Impact of Chisan® (ADAPT-232) on the qualityof-life and its efficacy as an adjuvant in the treatment of acute non-specific pneumonia. Phytomedicine. 2005;12:723-772.
  37. Darbinyan V, Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Malmström C, Panossian A. Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Nordic Journal Psychiatry. 2007;61:2343-8.
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