Anna Evans

The Complete Guide to Adaptogens by Agatha Noveille

Adaptogens hold promise as tools to support health and performance, with regular use often yielding the most benefits.

The Complete Guide to Adaptogens

The book has gotten 3.92 ⭐️ on GoodReads.

In the pursuit of holistic well-being beyond conventional vitamins, many individuals are seeking vitality through lifestyle changes, nutrient-rich diets, and the wisdom of ancient healing practices. Amid this quest, adaptogenic herbs emerge as intriguing allies. These herbs, steeped in tradition yet resonating with modern health enthusiasts, are hailed for their potential to harmonise bodily responses to stress, bolstering vitality and resilience.

Rooted in systems like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, these botanical wonders – known as ‘rasayana’ herbs in Ayurveda – have now gained contemporary recognition as adaptogens. Representing a unique bridge between ancient wisdom and scientific understanding, adaptogens hold promise as tools to support health and performance, with regular use often yielding the most benefits.

Author’s background

Agatha Noveille is a herbalist and the founder of the Common Branch Herb School, a grassroots herbal classroom that promotes herbs as a way to safeguard community health and resilience.

Agatha Noveille (r)

She lives in Dalton, Georgia, and writes regular posts for her own blog, Indie Herbalist, and The Survival Mom blog. She has contributed articles to a variety of magazines, websites, and periodicals.

What is the book about?

‘The Complete Guide to Adaptogens’ delves into the advantages presented by twenty-four adaptogenic herbs. The book boasts over seventy-five recipes meticulously crafted to address specific dimensions of well-being, encompassing aspects like sleep quality, cognitive acuity, aesthetic enhancement, and beyond.

Within the pages of ‘The Complete Guide to Adaptogens,’ you’ll acquaint yourself with the myriad merits of twenty-four renowned adaptogenic herbs, encompassing Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Maca, He Shou Wu, and Holy Basil. Additionally, the volume offers an array of over seventy-five straightforward recipes for elixirs and treatments designed to bolster sleep quality, mood stability, cognitive concentration, immune robustness, endurance, and overall wellness and aesthetics. These all-natural, secure remedies act as countermeasures to the toll of persistent stress, reinstating equilibrium, well-being, and vitality to the body.

Four key takeaways from ‘The Complete Guide to Adaptogens’

1Adaptogens are nontoxic natural substances that increase body’s resistance to multiple stressors

There is no ‘official’ definition of adaptogens, but as a rule, they are nontoxic to the recipient and produce a nonspecific response in the body – an increase in the power of resistance against multiple stressors, including physical, chemical, or biological agents.

An adaptogen has a normalising influence on physiology, irrespective of the direction of change from physiological norms caused by the stressor.

2Moderation is key. Always!

Adaptogens can offer you a way to support your health and performance, but moderation is key. Of course, herbs and adaptogens are natural, but you should still take proper precautions. There is a possibility of having an allergic reaction, or experiencing side effects when taking adaptogens alongside medications.

Agatha Noveille also mentions that adaptogens shouldn’t be a substitute for healthy lifestyle or self-care practices, such as having healthy diet and getting enough sleep.

3Adaptogens work better if used consistently

According to the author, adaptogens seem to work better with regular use. Individuals who consume them don’t have to worry about their bodies building up a tolerance.

Personally, I like choosing one adaptogen to use at least once a day for a few months at a time before switching over to another or taking a rest. I find that it helps to periodically reevaluate my personal health goals and concerns when deciding which adaptogen to use.”

Agatha Noveille mentions that our bodies change over time and it makes sense to change adaptogens to match what’s going on with our health.

4Keep in mind your current state of health before starting to consume adaptogens

Your health history is an important consideration when deciding to add any herbs or adaptogens to your diet. For example, licorice can increase blood pressure or holy basil may not be suitable for use during pregnancy. Some herbs may have a synergistic or antagonistic effect when taken with pharmaceuticals, so it’s best to do some careful research and speak with your doctor.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Understanding and Using Adaptogens
  • 2. Adaptogens Glossary
  • 3. Recipes to Improve Your Sleep
  • 4. Recipes to Improve Your Mood
  • 5. Recipes to Improve Your Mental Focus
  • 6. Recipes to Improve Your Immune Function
  • 7. Recipes to Improve Your Energy and Stamina
  • 8. Recipes to Support Women’s Health
  • 9. Recipes to Support Men’s Health
  • 10. Recipes to Improve Your Hair, Skin, and Nails
  • Conclusion: Enjoying Adaptogens Every Day
  • About the Author
  • Appendix A: Resources and Suppliers
  • Appendix B: Bibliography
  • US/Metric Conversion Chart
  • Index

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • Provides many great creative recipes.

  • Contains glossaries that offer insight and useful information.

  • The font is a good size and comfortable to read.

  • Beautiful illustrations and easy-to-navigate structure.


  • Some readers mentioned that the book is not a ‘complete’ guide to adaptogens and contains a lot of surface-level information.

Quotes from ‘The Complete Guide to Adaptogens’

“Many years ago, the Soviet Union instructed their scientists to open a new chapter in this quest. They were ordered to search for and develop substances that would allow their athletes, military personnel, and even chess players to excel above and beyond, to have an edge in stamina, strength, endurance, and mental abilities that would bring them international glory. After much work, these scientists focused their research on, of all things, herbs – a very specific group of herbs that became known as adaptogens. American ginseng, eleuthero, rhodiola, and holy basil are just a few examples of the plants that we now know as adaptogens.”
“Besides herbs that support a healthy immune system, people seem to be especially interested in herbs that can be used instead of antibiotics. Chances are, that laundry list of ‘antibiotic’ herbs you printed from the Internet is mostly incorrect. There are a lot of herbs that get tossed around in this category just because they contain one or two ingredients that can potentially have antimicrobial properties.”

Final takeaway

The book ‘The Complete Guide to Adaptogens’ by Agatha Noveille delves into the advantages of twenty-four adaptogenic herbs, accompanied by over seventy-five meticulously crafted recipes targeting various aspects of well-being. The author emphasises moderation, regular use, and consideration of individual health status when incorporating adaptogens. Despite some surface-level criticisms, the book garners praise for its creative recipes, insightful glossaries, reader-friendly format, and appealing illustrations.

Where to buy

You can buy ‘The Complete Guide to Adaptogens: From Ashwagandha to Rhodiola, Medicinal Herbs That Transform and Heal’ Amazon. The book is available in hardcover and Kindle formats.

Healthypedia FAQ

Adaptogens are remarkable natural herbs, roots and substances that are characterised by their non-toxic nature, capacity to enhance resistance against varied stressors, and normalisation of physiological functions.

The author of the book is Agatha Noveille. She is an herbalist from Atlanta, Georgia. As a child, she was inspired by the gardens her grandparents tended, and naturally blossomed into an avid gardener with an interest in the herbal arts. Later on, Agatha turned to herbalism as a way to support her journey back to wellness after being diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Adaptogens are natural and nontoxic, so it’s generally safe to consume them. However they can interfere with some medicine and affect existing health problems. There is also a possibility of having an allergic reaction. It’s best to do some careful research before incorporating adaptogens to your diet.

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