Adaptogen Herbs and the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

In the West, we donít have a perfect word to describe the mind-body-spirit connection. We sometimes use the terms psychospiritual and psychophysiology to express the mind-body-spirit connection. There is also psychoneuroimmunology, the study of mind-body interactions and their effects on the immune system. Mind-body and/or spiritual energy are integrated with, not separate from, our physical body, and many believe that good health includes nourishing this connection.

Several adaptogen herbs have been used to aid meditation and deliver nutrients to the mind that are necessary for the experience of enlivened consciousness. They can be used as aids to elevate the mood and spirit and to calm the mind. The following adaptogens have been used to enhance the mind-body-spirit connection: Asian ginseng, holy basil, licorice, reishi and shatavari.

  • Asian ginseng calms the spirit and helps one gain wisdom. It also could be said that ginseng calms the distressed mind while strengthening the body.
  • Holy basil affects the bodyís “energy field” according to Ayurvedic physician and author Dr. Vasant Lad, Holy basil opens the heart and the mind, bestowing the energy of love and devotion (bhakti).
  • Licorice commonly is used as a tea by Buddhist monks and called “the peacemaker” herb by the Chinese. Licorice root tea helps calm and prepare the mind for meditation.
  • Reishi generates a sense of inner calm and harmony while also heightening mental perception, both logical and intuitive.
  • Shatavari is thought to foster the energy of tolerance and compassion.

Adapted from Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes (Healing Arts Press, 2007).

10 comments

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L.3 years ago

Thank you.

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez5 years ago

great info thanks!!

Bon L.
Bon L.5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.5 years ago

Mhmmm...

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Roxanne E.
Roxanne E.6 years ago

Thannk you, very informative article! I'm an absolute beliver in herbs!

Susanne Tyler
Susanne OFFLINE6 years ago

Oh, this was sooo interesting & partly new & helpful to me, much appreciated! THANK YOU!!

Tribhuvan Arora
Tribhuvan Arora8 years ago

Ganoderma / Red Reishi:/ Lingzhi - King of Adaptogens and is often used by Chinese medicine practitioners for detoxification, which is a primary function of the liver that occurs in two stages. Today's environmental toxins, overabundance of petrochemicals, additives, pesticides, herbicides and xenoestrogens have our poor livers waving white flags! They are working overtime and barely able to perform the metabolic functions the body insists upon for healthy weight management and thousands of other functions. For the average person, consistent support of the liver’s filtering action is crucial for overall health and longevity.
Reishi’s adaptogenic qualities include:
- supports nerve function
- scavenges free radicals
- tones and improves immune system function
- helps detoxify and protect the liver
- reduces inflammation
- quells allergies
"Trust Ganoderma-King of Herbs"

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Joel Harvey
Past Member 8 years ago

Chinese medical theory is far advanced in understanding mind/spirit. See my article on Chinese Herbs for the Mind at
http://www.drshen.com/chineseherbsforthemind.htm