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Adaptogens or adaptogenic substances[1] are used in herbal medicine for the claimed stabilization of physiological processes and promotion of homeostasis.[2]


The concept of adaptogens was originally created in 1947 to describe a substance that may increase resistance to stress.[3] The term "adaptogenesis" was later applied in the former Soviet Union to describe remedies thought to increase the resistance of organisms to biological stress.[2] Most of the studies conducted on adaptogens were performed in the Soviet Union, Korea, and China before the 1980s, and have been dismissed for various methodological flaws and false concepts.[3] The term is currently not accepted in pharmacological, physiological, or mainstream clinical practices in the European Union.[3]


  1. ^ "Adaptogen". 2012.
  2. ^ a b Brekhman, I. I.; Dardymov, I. V. (1969). "New Substances of Plant Origin which Increase Nonspecific Resistance". Annual Review of Pharmacology. 9: 419–430. doi:10.1146/ PMID 4892434.
  3. ^ a b c "Reflection Paper on the Adaptogenic Concept" (PDF). European Medicines Agency, Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2020.