4-Stress brings together four adaptogenic herbs from around the globe into one complete formula. Adaptogens are herbs that have a normalizing influence on the stress response and help increase the body’s ability to resist physical, chemical, or biological agents. Many of these herbs have traditionally been used in Asia for millennia and much of the modern research on adaptogens comes from Asia and Russia (in athletes and astronauts for example).
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help to balance the body’s response to stress. They increase the body’s ability
to resist physical, chemical, or biological agents, have a normalizing influence on the stress response, and are safe
and without side effects at normal doses. American Ginseng has traditionally been used by Eastern First Nations as well as 19th Century herbalists in North America. It is considered more “cooling” than its more stimulating Asian Ginseng cousin. Rhodiola root grows well in cold, harsh, high altitude climates and has been researched for its benefits in promoting mental and physical well-being. Ashwagandha has long been used in Ayurveda and is known as a “rasayana” herb – meaning it helps rejuvenate and promote longevity. Schisandra is a berry from Traditional Chinese Medicine that contains all five tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and pungent – in one tonic herb.
Research on adaptogens has found that they seem to work on multiple fronts to help us better deal with stressors in our lives. These include: better regulation of stress hormones like cortisol, reversing stress-induced decreases in ATP
(adenosine triphosphate – the “currency” used by cells for producing energy) production, upregulating heat shock proteins (molecules the body uses to protect cells from stress-induced damage or death), and providing increased antioxidant support.
From these effects, you can see that adaptogens help with the balance, or homeostasis, of cellular functioning. They help to smooth out the highs and lows of the stress response so that the alarm phase isn’t exaggerated, the recovery phase is more sustained and the exhaustion phase is prevented or softened.
American Ginseng: clinical studies using American ginseng
in patients with type II diabetes have found that 100-200mg
daily for 8 weeks reduces fasting blood glucose levels and that
amounts up to 3g daily taken 2 hours before meals helps to
significantly reduce postprandial glucose levels.
Rhodiola: clinical trials using this herb have found that it can
help reduce fatigue that occurs due to stress. 50 mg twice
daily reduced fatigue in students at exam time.6 170mg daily
reduced fatigue and improved mental performance in night
shift workers7 and 576 mg for 28 days reduced fatigue and
increased attention for patients suffering from stress-related
Ashwagandha: a small clinical trial using 300 mg of
ashwagandha root twice daily for 12 weeks found that it helped
decrease moderate to severe anxiety compared to placebo.
Schisandra: Schisandra fruit has been found to improve
concentration and cognitive performance in clinical trials.10 It
has also been successfully used in combination with Rhodiola
and Siberian ginseng in a double-blind, placebo controlled
trial of women in stressful situations and found to improve
attention, as well as speed and accuracy on cognitive tasks.