How adaptogens can help
with stress and mild anxiety.

It might be a slightly overused expression these days, but ‘adulting’ can be really hard. Juggling work or study while still finding time for family, friends and fitness…it can sometimes feel like just too much. And when you feel stressed and overwhelmed for extended periods of time, it can take its toll on your body, increasing your risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.

 So what can you do to ease stress and return your body to homeostasis? Well, on top of the obvious things like having good sleep hygiene, exercising regularly and practising daily meditation, many people find that supplementing with the right adaptogens can be a big help in managing their stress levels.

But if you’re thinking, hold on, what are ‘adaptogens’, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Adaptogens are active ingredients in certain plants and mushrooms that have been used by varying cultures around the world for thousands of years. For example, adaptogens play a key role in the ancient Indian medical system Ayurveda. Adaptogens can impact how our bodies deal with stress, anxiety and fatigue due to their ability to target specific stressors in the body.

The term adaptogen was introduced into scientific literature by Russian toxicologist Nikolay Lazarev in 1957 to refer to substances that increase the “state of non-specific resistance” in stress. His concept was based on Hans Selye’s theory of stress and general adaptation syndrome, which has 3 phases: alarm phase, phase of resistance, and phase of exhaustion (Figure 1).*

In the early 1960s, the study of adaptogens developed into a field of biomedicinal research in its own right in the USSR. The extent of the research carried out was enormous, with over 1,000 studies published in the USSR until 1982. 

Adaptogens were determined to be useful in the Soviet space exploration program as well as Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, Olympic games, chess competitions, in the nuclear energy industry, and in many other stressful situations and conditions.

So how do adaptogens help with stress?

Adaptogens help the body adapt to the pressures and stress of daily life. They assist us in reacting to and recovering from short and long-term physical or mental stress, fatigue, mental exhaustion  and boost overall wellbeing. Adaptogens work at the cellular level by regulating a stable balance of cortisol levels in the body's central stress response system known as the HPA axis (hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands). 

Here are a few findings from relevant studies on adaptogens:

One study investigated the effects of Rhodiola extract in 101 people with life and work-related stress. It found significant improvements in symptoms of stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and anxiety, after just three days. These improvements continued throughout the study .

Research out of Australia and New Zealand suggests Bacopa monnieri has positive mood effects and reduction in cortisol levels, pointing to a physiological mechanism for stress reduction.

A 6-week study 88% of people who took Ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety, compared with 50% of those who took a placebo.

Another study indicated that the active ingredients of Cordyceps sinensis may exert antidepressant effects by regulating the CREB binding protein and anti-oxidative stress effects.

Let’s take a look at some of the top adaptogens used to help combat stress.

Ashwagandha

What is Ashwagandha? 

The root of the botanical Withania somnifera is more commonly known by its Ayurvedic name, Ashwagandha. Ayurveda is a form of traditional Indian medicine that recognises Ashwagandha as an adaptogen that helps to balance the overall system.

Ashwagandha has been studied for its effect on regulating stress hormones to help with symptoms related to anxiety, as well as to support energy balance energy and help relieve fatigue.

Benefits:

Stress, anxiety, mood and wellbeing  

  • In a 6-week study, 88% of people who took Ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety, compared with 50% of those who took a placebo (3). 

  • In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of 64 people with chronic stress, those in the group that supplemented with Ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with 11% in the placebo group (1).

  • Ashwagandha safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life (4) 

  • In a systematic review of 10 studies, 1 study took 1000 mg of Ashawaganda and a placebo, clinical response was coded as a reduction of Hamilton Anxiety Scale score to 12 or below. The same review recorded another study on 81 participants distributed into a naturopathic care group with a 600mg dose Ashwagandha and a psychotherapy care group. The Beck Anxiety Inventory scores decreased significantly in the naturopathic care group. The review revealed most studies concluded with significant improvement in symptoms for the Ashwagandha  group when compared to placebo (7). 

Sleep 

  • A blind placebo study on the efficacy of Ashwagandha for Insomnia and anxiety suggests that Ashwagandha root extract is a natural compound with sleep-inducing potential, it has shown to improve sleep quality and sleep onset latency (2).

Focus, Concentration and Memory 

  • For focus, concentration, and memory, Ashwagandha has been shown in many studies to enhance all aspects of cognitive function. A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study compared the effects of Withania somnifera, and placebo on psychomotor performance in 30 healthy participants. Sensorimotor function, auditory reaction time, and mental arithmetic ability were improved in the Withania somnifera compared to the placebo (6). 

Male Fertility 

  • A study in men who received Ashwagandha for stress experienced higher antioxidant levels and better sperm quality (5)

    References 

    1. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S (2012). 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. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022. PMID: 23439798; PMCID: PMC3573577.

    2. Langade D, Kanchi S, Salve J, et al. (2019) Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia and Anxiety: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study. Cureus 11(9): e5797. doi:10.7759/cureus.5797

    3. Andrade C, Aswath A, Chaturvedi SK, Srinivasa M, Raguram R (2000). A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. Indian J Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;42(3):295-301. PMID: 21407960; PMCID: PMC2958355.

    4. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S (2012). 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 Journal of Psychological Medicine. 2012;34(3):255-262. doi:10.4103/0253-7176.106022

    5.  Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Ahmad MK, Rajender S, Shankhwar SN, Singh V, Dalela D (2009). Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Sep 29;2011:576962. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep138. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 19789214; PMCID: PMC3136684.

    6. Karnick CR  (1991). A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies on the effects of Withania somnifera and Panax Ginseng extracts on psychomotor performance in healthy Indian volunteers. Indian Med. 1991;3:1–5.

    7. EBD2021-0008- Pratte, M. A., Nanavati, K. B., Young, V., & Morley, C. P. (2014). An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety: A Systematic Review of Human Trial Results Reported for the Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(12), 901–908. 

Rhodiola

What is Rhodiola? 

Rhodiola is a herb that grows in the cold, mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. Its roots are considered adaptogens, meaning they help your body adapt to stress when consumed. This root contains more than 140 active ingredients, the two most potent of which are Rosavin and Salidroside. People in Russia and Scandinavian countries have used Rhodiola for centuries to treat anxiety, fatigue and depression and today Rhodiola has also been shown to improve symptoms of burnout and fatigue, which can occur with chronic stress.  

Benefits: 

Stress and anxiety 

  • One study investigated the effects of Rhodiola extract in 101 people with life- and work-related stress. It found significant improvements in symptoms of stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and anxiety, after just three days. These improvements continued throughout the study (1).

Fatigue, cognitive performance and endurance  

  • A Rhodiola study tested its effects on mental fatigue in 56 physicians working night shift. The physicians were randomly assigned to receive either 170 mg of Rhodiola or a placebo pill per day for two weeks. Rhodiola reduced mental fatigue and improved performance on work-related tasks by 20%, compared to the placebo (2).

  • Rhodiola helps improve exercise endurance and capacity. One study demonstrates  that those given 200 mg of Rhodiola before a cycling test  were able to exercise for an average of 24 seconds longer than those given a placebo (3).

Supports dopamine 

    Pharmacological research suggests that Rhodolia  may facilitate the production and proliferation of dopamine-producing cells (4).  

References 

 

  1. Edwards D, Heufelder A, Zimmermann A (2012). Therapeutic effects and safety of Rhodiola rosea extract WS® 1375 in subjects with life-stress symptoms--results of an open-label study. Phytother Res. 2012 Aug;26(8):1220-5. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3712. Epub 2012 Jan 6. PMID: 22228617.

  2. Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner  (2000).  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 Oct;7(5):365-71. Doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80055-0. PMID: 11081987.

  3. De Bock K, Eijnde BO, Ramaekers M, Hespel P. Acute (2004). Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):298-307. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.14.3.298. PMID: 15256690.

  4. Zhuang, W., Yue, L., Dang, X., Chen, F., Gong, Y., Lin, X., & Luo, Y. (2019). Rosenroot (Rhodiola): Potential Applications in Aging-related Diseases. Aging and disease, 10(1), 134–146. 

Bacopa monnieri

What is Bacopa monnieri? 

Bacopa monnieri is nootropic herb also called ‘brahmi’ and is a staple in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used by Ayurvedic medical practitioners for centuries and used today for a variety of purposes, including improving memory, overall brain function, reducing stress and anxiety.

Benefits: 

Improve visual information processing, learning and memory

  • A double blind placebo study of 46 healthy adults observed that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly improved the speed of processing visual information, learning rate, and memory, compared with the placebo treatment (1). 

  • Another 12-week study in 60 older adults found that taking either 300 mg or 600 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily improved memory, attention, and the ability to process information, compared with the placebo treatment (2). 

Reduce stress, anxiety and cortisol levels 

  • Research out of Australia and New Zealand suggests Bacopa has positive mood effects and reduction in cortisol levels, pointing to a physiological mechanism for stress reduction (3).

  • In a meta-analysis, Bacopa syrup 30 mL twice daily equiv. to 12g dry of crude extract, for a month long clinical trial in 35 patients with diagnosed anxiety neurosis, demonstrated a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms, level of anxiety, level of disability and mental fatigue and an increase in immediate memory span (6) 

Reduce ADHD symptoms 

  • A study in 31 children aged 6–12 years found that taking 225 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily for 6 months significantly reduced ADHD symptoms, such as restlessness, poor self-control, inattention, and impulsivity in 85% of the children (4). 

Supports acetylcholine, dopamine & serotonin 

  •  Current evidence suggests Bacopa acts via the following mechanisms—antioxidant neuroprotection, acetylcholinesterase inhibition and/or choline acetyltransferase activation, increased cerebral blood flow, and neurotransmitter modulation (acetylcholine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, dopamine) (5)

 

References 

  1. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, Downey LA, Hutchison CW, Rodgers T, Nathan PJ (2015). The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 Aug;156(4):481-4. doi: 10.1007/s002130100815. Erratum in: Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Jul;232(13):2427. Dosage error in article text. PMID: 11498727.

  2. Peth-Nui T, Wattanathorn J, Muchimapura S, Tong-Un T, Piyavhatkul N, Rangseekajee P, Ingkaninan K, Vittaya-Areekul S (2012). Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:606424. doi: 10.1155/2012/606424. Epub 2012 Dec 18. PMID: 23320031; PMCID: PMC3537209.

  3. Benson S, Downey LA, Stough C, Wetherell M, Zangara A, Scholey A (2014). An acute, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study of 320 mg and 640 mg doses of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08) on multitasking stress reactivity and mood. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):551-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5029. Epub 2013 Jun 21. PMID: 23788517.

  4. Dave UP, Dingankar SR, Saxena VS, Joseph JA, Bethapudi B, Agarwal A, Kudiganti V (2014). An open-label study to elucidate the effects of standardized Bacopa monnieri extract in the management of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Adv Mind Body Med. 2014 Spring;28(2):10-5. PMID: 24682000.

  5. Aguiar, S., & Borowski, T. (2013). Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation research, 16(4), 313–326. 

  6. Gohil, K., & Patel, J. (2010). A review on Bacopa monnieri : Current research and future prospects. International Journal of Green Pharmacy, 4(1), 1.

Ginkgo biloba

What is Ginkgo biloba? 

The Ginkgo leaf has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and is one of the world’s oldest living tree species. It’s the only surviving member of an order of plants so ancient that it’s sometimes referred to as a living fossil. 

While its leaves and seeds are often used in traditional Chinese medicine, modern research primarily focuses on Ginkgo extract for its memory-enhancing and cognitive-boosting properties.  

Benefits:

Memory, cognitive processing and mental recall 

  • Evidence suggests an oral intake of Ginkgo improves cognitive function in individuals with mild to moderate cognitive impairment when used long term (1)

  • A benefit of Ginkgo was found in 188 healthy middle aged individuals who were given Ginkgo compared to a placebo with a result indicating a significant improvement on mental recall (2). 

  • A 14-day administration of Ginkgo was associated with a modest improvement in accuracy in an object working memory task and evidence of increased synaptic inhibition at left temporal and prefrontal sites during the hold component of the working memory task (5). 

  • In a meta-analysis, one of the comparison studies shows increases in brain electrical activity. Electroencephalography (EEG) demonstrated increased alpha band activity during resting eyes, following 40mg,120mg and 240mg single doses of Ginkgo. In a more recent study for EEG with a single 360mg dose for elderly with Alzheimer’s disease, found a decrease in theta power in conjunction with an increase in alpha power associated with Ginkgo supplementation. These findings are in line with the frequency profile that has been associated with good cognitive and memory performance (5). 

  • In another meta-analysis, the author reviewed 4 studies and found greater fatigue reduction with 240 mg/day of Ginkgo for 4 weeks (6)

Anxiety 

  • Gingko shows a similar effect to anti-anxiety drugs to relieve anxiety (3)

Supports acetylcholine 

  • Recent evidence suggests that Ginkgo may have direct effects on the cholinergic system which might explain its cognitive enhancing effects. Ginkgo biloba’s direct cholinergic actions include acetylcholine release (4). 

 

References 

  1. Braun, L., and Cohen, M. (2015). Herbs & Natural Supplements An Evidence-based guide Volume 2. 4th ed. Australia: Elsevier.

  2. Kaschel R (2011). Specific memory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in middle-aged healthy volunteers. Phytomedicine. 2011 Nov 15;18(14):1202-7. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2011.06.021. Epub 2011 Jul 30. PMID: 21802920.

  3. Faustino TT, Almeida RB, Andreatini R (2010). Medicinal plants for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: a review of controlled clinical studies.  Braz J Psychiatry. 2010 Dec;32(4):429-36. Portuguese. doi: 10.1590/s1516-44462010005000026. PMID: 21308265.

  4. P. Nathan (2000). Can the cognitive enhancing effects of Ginkgo biloba be explained by its pharmacology. Medical Hypotheses,Volume 55, Issue 6,

  5. R. B. Silberstein, A. Pipingas, J. Song, D. A. Camfield, P. J. Nathan, C. Stough (2011). "Examining Brain-Cognition Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract: Brain Activation in the Left Temporal and Left Prefrontal Cortex in an Object Working Memory Task", Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2011, Article ID 164139, 10 pages, 2011. 

  6. EBD2021-0148- Yadav, V., Bever, C., Bowen, J., Bowling, A., Weinstock-Guttman, B., Cameron, M., Bourdette, D., Gronseth, G. S., & Narayanaswami, P. (2014). Summary of evidence-based guideline: Complementary and alternative medicine in multiplesclerosis: Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology, 82(12), 1083–1092. 

 

Cordyceps

What are Cordyceps?

Traditionally, medicinal mushrooms have been utilised and cultivated in Asia as a tool for longevity, immune support and life-force enhancement.

Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountainous regions of China. Chinese Medicine has used Cordyceps for centuries to treat fatigue, sickness, kidney disease and low libido.

Benefits: 

Increased energy and oxygen supply to muscles (VO2 max) 

  • Multiple studies involving average, non-athletes have shown a slight increase in VO2 max for participants taking Cordyceps supplements over those taking a placebo pill. VO2 max is a measure of how fast the body delivers oxygen to the muscles so that the muscles can use that oxygen to produce energy (1). 

  • In one study, researchers tested their effects on exercise capacity in 30 healthy older adults using a stationary bike. Participants received either 3 grams per day of a synthetic strain of Cordyceps or a placebo pill for six weeks.  By the end of the study, VO2 max had increased by 7% in participants who had taken Cordyceps, while participants given the placebo pill showed no change. (2). 

  References

  1. Hirsch, K. R., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Roelofs, E. J., Trexler, E. T., & Mock, M. G. (2017). Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation. Journal of dietary supplements, 14(1), 42–53. 

  2. Yi, X., Xi-zhen, H. & Jia-shi, Z (2004). Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial and assessment of fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in enhancing aerobic capacity and respiratory function of the healthy elderly volunteers. Chin. J. Integr. Med. 10, 187–192 (2004).

 

 

At AusVitality, we believe prevention is better than a cure - and as a result, we believe in preparing our customers with the right adaptogens to help them counteract the harmful effects of everyday stresses.

It’s no coincidence that these 5 adaptogens above are the ones that were selected for AusVitality Mindlift. Along with 6 other powerful active ingredients, these adaptogens were chosen by our team of chemists and practitioners for their ability to help optimise cognitive performance, energy levels and stress responses.

Nootropics and adaptogens for mental focus, clarity and energy. Reduces symptoms of stress and anxiety
Mindlift
Mindlift
Mindlift
Mindlift

Mindlift
Regular price $59.99
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Mindlift is a practitioner formulated blend of 11 active ingredients designed to optimise cognitive performance, energy levels and stress response.  

  • Improve concentration and mental clarity 
  • Support cognitive function and memory 
  • Reduce cognitive fatigue 
  • Maintain energy production 
  • Reduce symptoms of stress and mild anxiety 
  • Support mood and wellbeing

60 film-coated tablets. 1 month’s supply.

 1 per bottle sold donated to the Black Dog Institute.


Mindlift contains Ashwagandha and Rhodiola to balance cortisol levels and help the body adapt to stress. Clinical studies show these adaptogens alleviate symptoms of anxiety, fatigue and improve stress response. Additionally, nootropics such as Bacopa monnieri and Ginkgo biloba are shown in multiple peer reviewed studies to optimise brain performance, improve memory, focus and mental clarity. These plant based nutrients can't be obtained through a typical diet alone. 

Mindlift contains amino acids such as Tyrosine and L-carnitine to reduce stress, enhance memory, cognitive function and dopamine production. Finally, Mindlift also contains b vitamins, mushrooms and magnesium for nervous system, energy, recovery and general wellbeing.

The active ingredients in Mindlift have been formulated to create a compounding effect, harmoniously targeting different neurological pathways and bodily systems to improve cognitive performance and stress response in the body.



  • Bacopa Monnieri ext 250 mgEquiv: Bacopa Monnieri (dry) 5 g
  • Ginkgo Biloba ext 240 mgEquiv: Ginkgo Biloba (dry) 12 g
  • Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) ext 300 mg Equiv: Withania Somnifera (dry) 6 g
  • Rhodiola Rosea ext 50 mg Equiv: Rhodiola Rosea (dry) 800 mg 
  • Cordyceps Sinensis ext 62.5 mg Equiv: Cordyceps Sinensis (dry) 250 mg 
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine 50 mg
  • Tyrosine 500 mg
  • Magnesium 350 mg
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6) 5 mg
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 4 mg
  • Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3) 25 mg


• Multiple supplement groups, all in one
• High doses of active ingredients
• Multiple therapeutic benefits
• Thoroughly researched formulation
• Extensive scientific evidence
• TGA approved
• High-quality ingredients
• Manufacturing standards GMP
• Environmentally friendly packaging
• Focus without caffeine

Take two film coated tablets in the morning. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Store below 30° celsius in a dry, cool place and away from direct sunlight. Do not consume if the cap seal is broken.



We offer a 30 day satisfaction guarantee: If at any point over the 30-day period you decide our products are not right for you, please get in touch with our customer service team and we will honour a 100% money-back guarantee.

Head to satisfaction guarantee for more information.

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