Managing stress is one of the most important challenges we face in our modern lives. While stress is a natural primitive response, spending prolonged amounts of time in a sympathetic state can deplete the adrenals and, over time, various subsequent disorders.While there are many recommended stress management techniques, one powerful resource for managing stress can be found in herbal plants, known as adaptogens.


What are adaptogens?

Adaptogens are the active ingredients in plants, usually herbs and roots, that provide adaptogenic actions. When consumed in either foods or beverages, capsules or topical forms, they can help manage the effects of stress, combat imbalances, and enhance overall wellbeing, to return your body to a state of balance, also known as homeostasis.

Common types of adaptogens are Turmeric, Tulasi, Ginseng, and Ashwagandha. We will explore some of these adaptogens in further detail.


How do adaptogens work?

The term ‘adaptogen’ comes from the benefits they bestow. Within the body, these substances adapt to help the body deal with mental or physical stress. 

The power of adaptogens is truly remarkable, as explained by holistic health practitioner and Founder of Subtle Energies, Farida Irani:

“Depending on what the body is requiring at that point of time and the state of the mind, whether to invigorate or calm as well, they bring about an equilibrium on a physical, mental and emotional level. These adaptogens will instigate a reaction in the body that is appropriate to achieve a state of homeostasis or balance.”

In essence, they help the body adapt and respond to different types of stress by stabilising the body and enabling us to use our energy more efficiently.


Three key adaptogens at Gwinganna

While there are many adaptogens with unique healing capabilities, three key adaptogens have been carefully selected and incorporated here at Gwinganna.


Tulasi (Ocimum Sanctum), also known as ‘Holy Basil’ is a flowering plant belonging to the mint family. It is a powerful adaptogen, famous for its various mind and body healing properties.

This powerful adaptogen helps to balance the adrenals, relieving stress and adrenal fatigue. It is also said to positively affect cognitive function, improve memory and mood, and purify the blood. 


A flavour-filled spice often cultivated from the roots of a flowering plant belonging to the ginger family. It is an adaptogen most commonly known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also said to reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer, among many other continuously astonishing studies.


Kewda is becoming a more commonly researched substance for its adaptogenic results. So far, studies have found that it promotes quality sleep and balances the hormones, an excellent adaptogen that keeps both mother and baby calm during pregnancy.


Incorporating adaptogens into our diet

At Gwinganna, we take great care in educating our guests on the various benefits of adaptogens. Through informative and wellness seminars and mindful eating education, we promote a greater understanding of these powerful adaptogens and the incredible effects they can have.

Gwinganna actively incorporated adaptogens as part of our health retreats. Turmeric is a key ingredient served to guests in food and beverage forms. You will also find Tulasi growing in our organic gardens and infused with Kewda in our signature blend hydrating mistmassage oil, and diffuser oil.

In collaboration with Subtle Energies, a product range dedicated to authentic Ayurveda aromatherapy, we’re proud to bring these incredible products to our guests, and the greater public through our online store under skincare.


If you liked this article, you might also like to explore simple and effective ways to deal with stress.