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Best Herbs for Cortisol


Calm is the cradle of power, and stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle. But we know that the stress of the hustle and bustle of everyday life in these times can be so much that many people have times when it can be challenging to manage everything without any help. Anxiolytic medications are currently the order of the day.

The point is that these types of drugs can cause unwanted side effects or even addiction in some cases. This is why many people who deal with anxiety and high stress are constantly looking for natural and less harmful alternatives to deal with everyday stress.

Western medicine is increasingly open to evaluating more friendly options for patients suffering from these types of conditions, and this is where medicinal herbs come in. The therapeutic power of herbs is undeniable and different cultures and systems of medicine worldwide have used herbs to treat various medical conditions.

But, when it comes to stress, some herbs are especially beneficial for regulating cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that is directly related to stress levels within all the functions it regulates in the body. If you are looking for what kind of herbs are the best to reduce stress and regulate cortisol levels, you are in the right place.

This article will briefly review how cortisol is related to stress and anxiety and the best herbs to treat this condition. So, without further ado, let's get down to business.


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Key Takeaways

  • Cortisol is a hormone that is directly linked to stress levels in our bodies. 
  • Many natural herbs are being studied for their potential to help manage cortisol levels and hence keep stress levels in check.
  • Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile are some of the best herbs for cortisol.


Cortisol and Stress

Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is one of the many hormones the human body produces naturally, and the levels of this hormone in the body go up or down depending on your stress level.

However, this does not mean that cortisol is bad. In fact, this hormone also helps regulate various bodily functions and contributes to general well-being. Cortisol helps us wake up in the morning, gives us energy for the rest of the day, and increases alertness; at night, cortisol levels drop to help us rest and sleep better.

But if it's a good thing, why take supplements that help lower levels of this hormone? All excess is harmful, and the problem with cortisol arises when there is a condition of chronic stress, and the levels of this hormone remain high for too long in a row.

High levels of cortisol in the body for weeks or months can lead to chronic inflammation and a variety of physical and mental health problems such as anxiety, heart disease, and weight gain.


Best Herbs for Cortisol

There are many herbs, mushrooms, and natural remedies used in different cultures for centuries to help regulate cortisol levels. Currently, you can get different types of supplements of these herbs. But, this is not to say that supplements are a direct ticket to a life without any stress. Nonetheless, specific supplements may help keep cortisol levels in a healthy range.

These types of herbs belong to a select group of natural remedies known as adaptogens which help the body counteract the effects of mental and physical stress. Adaptogens are neither sedating nor stimulating but rather allow the body to maintain a balanced state known as homeostasis.

Although these herbs may lower cortisol and reduce stress naturally, not all bodies react to them the same way. For some people, excessive consumption could be counterproductive; this especially applies to herbs in supplement form. 

Some teas are generally safe, such as chamomile tea or lemon balm tea. Still, if you want to incorporate a supplement of any of these medicinal herbs, it is best, and most recommended to consult an expert or your GP first.

That said, here is a list of the best herbs for Cortisol and the best supplements for each of these herbs currently available on the market.



Ashwagandha is an herb used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for centuries, specifically to treat anxiety. Ashwagandha seems to be really effective at reducing stress and significantly lowering cortisol levels, even better than many other supplements. 

In fact, some scientific studies support the belief that ashwagandha is one of nature's best cortisol reducers; it can reduce cortisol levels in chronically stressed humans by up to 30%.

Best Ashwagandha for Cortisol

Due to the growing popularity of adaptogens in recent times, there are now a large number of brands selling supplements of this type of medicinal herb. When it comes to ashwagandha, one of the best supplements currently available on the market is our TUNE IN powdered drink. It combines ashwagandha with other nootropics and adaptogens like lion’s mane and bacopa monnieri to help you keep stress at bay so you can focus on your daily activities.

Best Time to take Ashwagandha for Cortisol

It takes some time for you to really notice and feel the effects of ashwagandha, so it's best to take your ashwagandha when it's most convenient for you. It is best to take it with meals or at night to avoid any type of stomach discomfort.

Nevertheless, if you have a strong stomach, you can take it on an empty stomach without any problem. Either way, the best time for you to take your ashwagandha supplement is when you can be most consistent with your dosages.



Rhodiola is native to Asia, where it has been used for centuries as a medicine and where it also receives the name of golden root. This medicinal plant contains a phytochemical called salidroside, a key factor in reducing cortisol in the human body.

This makes Rhodiola a secure spot on the list of the best herbs for lowering cortisol levels and, therefore, one of the best supplements to regulate stress.

The strain of Rhodiola that shows the most effectiveness in terms of therapeutic benefits is Rhodiola Rosea. In addition to being an excellent tool for reducing stress and regulating cortisol levels, Rhodiola can increase energy levels, which can benefit patients suffering from depression.

The most recommended way to take Rhodiola and reap its full benefits is in tea or supplement form.

Best Rhodiola for Cortisol

Rhodiola has long been popular as a medicine in Asia. But thanks to the popularization of naturopathic medicine and the use of natural remedies as an alternative to traditional drugs that can be counterproductive, Rhodiola and supplements of this medicinal herb are now available throughout the world.

Several brands are marketing Rhodiola supplements in various forms, with the most popular being Rhodiola capsules and Rhodiola powders. When it comes to Rhodiola powder, Demmak Herbs Rhodiola powders and Nutricost Rhodiola powders are some of the best options currently available on the market when it comes to Rhodiola supplements.

If you lean towards practicality, Gaia Herbs Rhodiola Capsules may be the one for you. A single liquid capsule of this supplement contains the equivalent of 850mg of Rhodiola Rosea, perfect for lowering stress and raising stamina naturally.

If you're looking for Rhodiola capsules with a slightly lower dosage, then NutraChamps 600mg Rhodiola capsules may be precisely what you're looking for. NutraChamps capsules offer all the benefits of Rhodiola in a practical presentation of 120 doses of 600mg.

NutraChamps Rhodiola capsules are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and contain extra salidroside extract, further boosting Rhodiola's natural ability to regulate cortisol levels.


Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, or Melissa officinalis is a perennial herb from the Lamiaceae family; It is the medicinal cousin of the mint family and a medicinal herb native to southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This medicinal plant carries a high content of antioxidants and other natural compounds with the capability to reduce anxiety levels and is also perfect for treating depression and helping to regulate cortisol levels in the body. Lemon balm lives up to its name with the spicy scent of lemon that it exudes and is famous for being an excellent natural pain reliever.

Like many medicinal herbs, one of the best ways to take this herb to reap its full therapeutic benefits is in tea or supplement form.

Best Lemon Balm for Cortisol

Lemon balm is a widely popular herb in almost the entire world due to its medicinal and anxiolytic powers. Due to this, you can find different types of lemon balm supplements and extracts being marketed by many brands worldwide.

This is a good thing, but we know it can get a bit confusing when it comes to choosing the best supplement for you. The truth is that choosing the best type of lemon balm supplement for cortisol largely depends on each user's specific needs and metabolism.

However, a few particular supplements stand out from the crowd, like BulkSupplements Lemon Balm Extract Powder or Zazzee Vegan and Gluten-free Lemon Balm Capsules, which offer 180 doses of 3000mg lemon balm extract. High-quality foam that supports extra memory and focus while promoting better sleep nights.



Chamomile is the name given to a series of plants of the Asteraceae family with a daisy-like appearance but smaller. Chamomile has multiple industrial uses as a flavoring in foods and beverages and as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.

This medicinal herb is famous for its anxiolytic and anti-stress qualities that work as a natural calming agent. Chamomile's ability to regulate cortisol levels could help combat insomnia, anxiety, and some gastrointestinal conditions such as stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea.

Best Chamomile for Cortisol

The use of chamomile as a calming agent dates back to the time of the Egyptians, and today we can get it in multiple forms and presentations around the world. One of the most popular ways to consume this medicinal plant is chamomile tea. 

Nonetheless, we can get chamomile supplements that, in addition to providing the benefits that this medicinal plant can provide, do so in a different and convenient way for some people.

For example, BulkSupplements offers a convenient chamomile extract powder presentation that gives you the option of simply adding it to your favorite beverage and immediately enjoying the benefits of this plant. BulkSupplements Chamomile Flower Extract Powder is a rich source of antioxidants and promotes stomach and heart health.

Another way to obtain these benefits is with Chamomile Capsules from Pure Organic Ingredients. This presentation contains 365 doses of pure chamomile extract, without additives or fillers, which translates into 180 days of extra health support and naturally reduces stress and cortisol levels.

Suppose you're more in going straight to the point and prefer to enjoy the benefits of chamomile in tincture form. In that case, Horbäach's Chamomile Tincture may be the right choice for you as it provides you with 2 ounces of alcohol-free chamomile flower extract, vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

Plus, Horbäach's chamomile tincture is third-party lab tested and super-concentrated for maximum anti-stress support.


Passion Flower

Passion flower is a genus of plants in the Passifloraceae family that grows wild in various parts of South America and is popular as a natural calming agent shown to reduce cortisol levels.

There are more than 360 accepted species of passion flower, some 300 unresolved and at least 365 that are mere synonyms of the more than a thousand described species. The passion flower has cyanogenic glycosides, which translate into anxiolytic and sedative properties that help reconcile better sleep.

This plant also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and contains active components such as indole alkaloids or harmine. Thanks to its composition of tannins, it also shows astringent properties.


Holy Basil

Also called Tulsi, its scientific name is Ocimum tenuiflorum; it is a shrub of the basil family and considered a sacred plant in Hinduism. Holy Basil is native to Asia and contains two phytochemical components, ocimumosides A and B, which are especially effective in reducing cortisol levels.

The best way to get the benefits of this plant is to consume it in the form of supplements or in the form of tea.


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Panax Ginseng 

Panax Ginseng is a plant native to China, Korea, and Siberia and is widely used in Asian medicine. It should be clarified that Ginseng is called many plants of the Panax genus and others that are not of the Panax genus but that show very similar properties.

Panax Ginseng falls into the category of adaptogenic herbs as it stimulates the body's resistance to stressors.

Panax Ginseng contains many active compounds, among which ginsenosides or panaxósides stand out. Panax Ginseng helps reduce stress by blocking adrenocorticotropic hormone. Panax Ginseng is best taken as a supplement or as a tincture.



Astragalus is a genus of plants with more than two thousand species of herbs and small shrubs belonging to the Fabaceae family. Plants in this genus are known for their adaptogenic qualities and have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

Astragalus supports the immune system and can also calm the effects of stress on the human body. Astragalus is a genus native to the northern hemisphere's temperate regions and comprises some 5,552 described species, of which only 2,481 are accepted as such.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Astragalus is also called Huang-Zhi and has qualities that can prevent heart disease, especially ischemic heart disease.



It is a genus of ascomycete fungi that has about 400 described species. This fungus naturally inhabits certain insects and caterpillars, which they consume as parasites as they grow in the form of long sticks that exceed the species.

Nonetheless, the consumption of these mushrooms is not harmful to people; on the contrary, this mushroom is very popular in traditional Chinese medicine due to its ability to increase energy, treat respiratory diseases, and enhance sexual desire.

In addition to this, other benefits are attributed to it, such as the ability to reduce stress and anxiety. You can find many cordyceps supplements, powders, and teas available on the market today.

Cordyceps is also one of the ingredients in our TUNE IN beverage.


Schisandra Berry

Also known as the fruit of the five flavors or magnolia berry. Its name in Chinese comes from the fact that this fruit has the five basic flavors: salty, sweet, bitter, spicy, and acid. This type of berry is native to northern China and can be consumed as a whole berry, tea, juice, or supplement form.

This fruit has qualities capable of increasing blood flow to the brain, muscles, and liver. It can also boost memory, increase mental capacity and concentration. It also shows effects that can be regulators of blood glucose, blood pressure, and a curious, protective effect against radiation.



Reishi or Ganoderma lucidum is a basidiomycete fungus of the Ganodermataceae family with a bean-shaped cap with the ability to help the body better adapt to stress. Reishi has positive therapeutic qualities for the immune system. 

However, more scientific evidence is still needed to corroborate these beliefs fully. Reishi mushrooms taste bitter, and you can get them in different mushroom supplement mixes and powders. It is not recommended to consume this whole fungus as it can fall very heavy on the stomach or generate unwanted side effects.



The skullcap or Scutellaria is a genus with about 300 recognized species that extends through temperate regions and tropical mountains. It is also from the mint family and helps balance the body's hormones which help reduce stress and anxiety.

This plant has long been used in alternative medicine to treat lung problems, seizures, and arthritis. It can also work to treat some skin conditions like psoriasis, sores, swelling, and hemorrhoids. You can consume skullcap as a raw herb, tea, herbal powder mix, or liquid droplets.

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