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Botanicals for Healthy Adrenal Function


By Erin Stokes, ND (ADVERTORIAL) – Knowing that stress is ubiquitous in our lives and that stress impacts endocrine, immune, digestive and nervous system health – what are our best botanical options for adrenal support?  For a holistic approach, we turn to adaptogens for their ability to increase resistance and resilience.* Adaptogens are regarded as having a long history of traditional use, and also being the subject of current scientific research.*


Premier among the adaptogenic plants is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Ashwagandha has earned a modern spotlight after being widely used in India for thousands of years. It can maintain balanced cortisol levels in the face of chronic stress, a cornerstone to keeping the adrenal glands functioning well.* In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is known as a rasayana, a term used for a group of plants classified as rejuvenative tonics that increase the body’s resistance and resilience.* Today, science continues to validate Ashwagandha’s traditional medicinal use. In a 2012 study, individuals who were given Ashwagandha root extract showed a reduction in stress assessment scores and a significant reduction in serum cortisol levels after 60 days.*  In addition to supporting healthy cortisol levels, when Ashwagandha is taken regularly it also reduces feelings of anxiety.*


Another traditionally used adaptogen, with modern scientific research is Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea), also known as arctic root. Rhodiola was used by the Vikings to increase physical strength and endurance. Today, I like to suggest this plant for patients who need to continue being “daily warriors” to meet their day-to-day responsibilities.  A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in Sweden of individuals who met specific criteria for fatigue, concluded that Rhodiola rosea “exerts an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental performance, particularly the ability to concentrate.”*


Finally, Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) is another widely regarded herb that was originally used in Ayurvedic medicine. Holy Basil is planted around temples in India, and is believed to elevate the spirit.* It helps support a healthy response to stress, and a healthy inflammatory response.* Ursolic acid is one of the best-known constituents of Holy Basil. Ursolic Acid may support healthy levels of inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IFN-?.*

By incorporating the best of the historical use of plants paired with scientific research, these adaptogenic botanicals hold an important role in daily adrenal support, as we address one of the root causes of most health conditions today – a continually activated stress response.*

What is Sensoril®  Ashwagandha?

Sensoril  Ashwagandha is a clinically researched extract of Withania somnifera and the only form of ashwagandha that is standardized to 8% withanolides. A 2008 multi-phase, double-blind placebo-controlled human clinical trial validated its ability to reduce experiential feelings of stress and anxiety, decrease serum cortisol and C-reactive protein levels, and increase serum DHEAS levels in a dose-dependent manner.* Subjects given the highest dose of 250 mg of Sensoril also saw added support for cardiac health and maintenance of healthy glucose response.*

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


  1. Chandrasekhar K et al.  A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62.
  2. A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul-Sep; 34(3): 255–262.
  3. Olsson EMG, von Scheele B, Panossian AG. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Med 2009;75:105-12.
  4. Checker, R., et al. Potent Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Ursolic Acid, a Triterpenoid Antioxidant, Is Mediated through Suppression of NF-?B, AP-1 and NF-AT.PLOS ONE. Published: February 20, 2012DOI: 10.1371
  5. JCohen MM. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014 Oct-Dec;5(4):251-9.

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