Adaptogens are defined as plants that support the ability of an organism to handle stress, thereby conserving energy and keeping the entire body system more balanced over time. There are however three specific qualities that an herb must illustrate before it can be labeled a true adaptogen, as originally noted in 1969 by Brekhman and Dardymov. First, the substance must be relatively non-toxic to the recipient. Second, an adaptogen must have “non-specific” activity and act by increasing resistance of the organism to a broad spectrum of adverse biological, chemical, and physical factors. And lastly, the herb must help regulate or normalize organ and system function within an organism. Truly, that any herbs meet all of those criteria is wonderful all on its own. But for me, the real beauty in adaptogens is that they accomplish each of those things differently, based on the user’s specific needs and current body state. Ashwaganda is an ally for the entire body, but it is especially useful to us as a tonic for the endocrine and immune systems. Ashwagandha is exceptional for when your adrenal burnout isn’t something that’s happening, but has happened (maybe a while ago). You’re exhausted, but you can’t sleep, and when you do you don’t sleep deeply… You can’t think quite straight, your concentration is shot. You might find yourself more and more irritable.