First, a working definition of an adaptogenic herb: an adaptogenic herb is a medicinal plant sought for its ability to correct bodily imbalances and increase resistance to stress, fatigue, anxiety, and trauma.  These herbs enhance the immune system, counteract stress, and improve stamina and endurance.  Consider an adaptogen a regulator, it may help to lower high blood pressure in one body while it helps to raise low blood pressure in another.

Pet care-takers should observe a glimpse of what Astragalus can do with regard to achieving bodily balance. Astragalus is very effective in helping the body overcome acute immune stresses.  This herb can help the body recover from long term steroid therapy, maintain balance during athletic events and in times of stress or overwork, and help prevent biological stress during breeding.  Astragalus has been shown to help the body correct imbalances in the realm of blood pressure, pulse rate, blood sugar, and thyroid function*.  A long time favorite in Chinese medicine, this herb has recently been receiving attention in western medicine for its ability to build resistance to disease and infection.

Ginseng is a name give to eight different species of plant.  There are only three that are very widely used for medicinal purposes and they are Panax ginseng (Korean ginseng), Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng), and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng).  This is an excellent herb to help support your animal with during training and athletic performances.  Panax ginseng has been found especially helpful in restoring healthy adrenal function and in recovery from long-term steroid use (for which astragalus is also very helpful).

*Astragalus is used as an herbal treatment for hyperthyroidism in cats and hypothyroidism in dogs.