Photographer: Charlie Rubin For Bloomberg Businessweek

These Powders Are Powerful

Add a spoonful of adaptogen to your morning coffee.

You may not be inclined to put something called an adaptogen powder in your morning coffee, tea, green juice, or smoothie, but don’t be scared off: It won’t transform you into a cyborg. Dr. Frank Lipman, a wellness expert in New York and founder of the integrative health line Be Well, says these powders—dried herbs, roots, and mushrooms said to help with stress, anxiety, fatigue, immunity, even sex drive—“help the body adapt more efficiently in whatever it needs.” The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t confirmed that statement, but ayurvedic medicine has used adaptogens for centuries. They’re popular at health-food stores, but now you don’t have to hunt behind bulk bins of nutritional yeast to find them. Adaptogens are available at buzzy wellness spots like Moon Juice in Los Angeles and CAP Beauty in New York; in pill form (; $40); and by the packet (per the websites above). The general rule of thumb is to mix 2 grams into 8 ounces of liquid—and, if you’re wondering, no, they don’t make your coffee taste like it was brewed with a half-pound of chanterelles.

Om Reishi
(; $25 for 100g) Known as the “queen healer” or “immortality” mushroom, reishi is thought to help the immune system.

Mountain Rose Herbs Rhodiola Root
(; $13 for 4 oz.) Popular in Asia for centuries, this adaptogen is said to fight depression and improve circulation. The sweet, slightly bitter taste makes it especially popular in teas.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee With Cordyceps
(; $15 for ten 2.5g packets) These combine arabica coffee with chaga and cordyceps mushrooms, which are supposed to improve energy and adrenal function.

Sun Potion Ashwagandha
(;$37 for 111g) Similar to ginseng, ashwagandha root is credited with supporting the nervous and endocrine systems.

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