Adaptogens are one of the most important therapeutic categories of herbs for optimizing health used since ancient time in Chinese and Indian herbal traditions. Specifically they are a class of metabolic regulators able to increase the performance of the body again stressors.
Adaptogens have the proven ability to fight stress with their "non-specific action"*. Their unique power is to normalize the endocrine system operations (which imply the release of hormones into the blood) thanks to their amphoteric nature, which means that they can act as agonists or non-agonists in relation with the current individual condition.The word "amphoteric" comes, in fact, from Greek amphoteros or amphoteroi which essentially means "each or both of two".
After being a “stress-minimizing substance” adaptogens have a broad spectrum of benefits that enhance all areas of health.
Here is an interesting resume in bullet points of the major health benefits.
*Credits: Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston, RH(AHG) and Steven Maimes, published by Inner Traditions International and Bear & Company, ©2007. All rights reserved. http://www.Innertraditions.com. Reprinted with permission of publisher.