no. 89 – The Adaptogens Episode

Reported to reduce stress, adaptogens are showing up in products everywhere. But do they really live up to all the hype?

If there was ever a year to learn more about how certain herbs can reduce stress, it has to be 2020, right?

In today’s episode, my guest — Vicki Shanta Retelny — explains how certain herbs known as “adaptogens” help your body adapt to stress by acting on the neuroendocrine system to thwart our stress response.

Vicki*, a fellow registered dietitian nutritionist who started studying adaptogens in recent years, explains that as stress causes our sympathetic nervous system (our “fight or flight” response) to kick in, adaptogens dampen that response and allow for our para-sympathetic (the more calming side of our nervous system) to take over. She also discusses how adaptogens reduce the amount of cortisol that is released in response to stress.

Other topics covered in this episode:

  • The safety and effective doses of adaptogens
  • The long history of adaptogen use in other cultures
  • The different names of common adaptogens, including ashwaganda, holy basil, turmeric, ginseng and rhodiola
  • The different classifications of adaptogens — primary, secondary and complimentary

To round out my interview, Vicki urges listeners to look into the various adaptogens they’re interested in, in greater detail and reminds us that because these are all herbs they’re also a good way to increase plants in our diet. (Note: For a comprehensive discussion of plant-based diets, listen to my interview with Sharon Palmer, RD in The Game Changers Movie Episode.)

To end the episode, I share the names of the winners of the Nature Nate’s $50 Visa Gift card and give a brief overview of some of the “sweet stories” shared with me as a part of the giveaway.

Thanks so much for tuning into this episode. If you’d like to submit a Guest Idea, visit

If you’re not doing so already, please connect with me on social media:

Have a great week! ~Regan

*Guest info: Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, is a nationally-recognized registered dietitian nutritionist, lifestyle nutrition expert, speaker, writer, culinary and media consultant. She is the author of two books, The Essential Guide to Healthy Healing Foods and Total Body Diet for Dummies®. She lives to eat well with her husband and two teenage children in Chicago, IL. She hosts a podcast, Nourishing Notes – quick, 2-minute nutrition tips to take on the go.

How to connect with Vicki:

All images and recipes on this site are the property of Regan Jones, RDN. Please do not use them for commercial or social media use without my permission.

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