Wikipedia - An adaptogen is a metabolic regulator which increases the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors, and to avoid damage from such factors. Environmental factors can be either physiological (external), such as injury or aging, or psychological (internal), such as anxiety.
An adaptogen must have a normalizing effect, i.e. counteracting or preventing disturbances to homeostasis
brought about by stressors. Moreover, it must be innocuous with a broad
range of therapeutic effects without causing any major side effects.
The adaptogen concept does not fit easily into the Western model of
The concept is not generally recognized in Western countries as it
seemed to be in contrast to some of the key concepts of modern
pharmacology: potency, selectivity and with efficacy balanced by an
accepted level of toxicity. In 1998, however, the term adaptogen was allowed as a functional claim
for certain products by US Food and Drug Administration and it is now a
generally accepted concept,[also by the European Medicines Agency and EFSA. Crude drugs that meet the criteria of being adaptogens are Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng), Rhodiola rosea, Schisandra chinensis and Panax ginseng.
A comment seen..
Mills and Bone define adaptogens as "remedies that encourage the body
to better adaptability under stress".
Consider the following scientifically well-referenced web page by naturopath Edward Wallace:
He writes that "adaptogens can help people handle stress by providing:
Liver protection and antitoxin activity
Improved blood-sugar metabolism
Less craving for alcohol or sugar
Improved immune resistance
Increased energy and stamina
Improved muscle tone
Better focus and concentration
Better motivation and productivity
A feeling of well-being
there is ample empirical and mounting research evidence that essential
oils, administered appropriately and effectively, can deliver many of
these therapeutic benefits.
Ref: GM in correspondence