An adaptogen is a botanical that greatly improves your body's ability to adapt to stress, whether it's a hectic schedule, heat or cold, noise, high altitudes or any number of other stressors, Chris says. This small class of herbs includes Rhodiola rosea, Schisandra berry, Holy basil and ginseng. "They impart strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and they improve mental clarity," he says.
In many parts of the non-Western world, Chris says adaptogens are used extensively in high-risk, fast-reflex occupations, from athletes to miners to deep sea divers.
Chris says he personally uses Rhodiola rosea to help his body cope with the stress of cold water while surfing. With the scientific data to back these natural wonders already available and more research under way, Chris says it's only a matter of time before adaptogens begin making their mark in the United States.