Course Overview

Herbal Adaptogens Stress Mitigation and Immunity Support

Psychological, mental, environmental, and physical stress is an omnipresent fact of life for most people. This session will cover stress and the association between the arousal system of the human body and immunological responses.
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2022 Annual Conference

October 28-30, 2022

Required Lessons

1 lesson with video, quiz, and evaluation

Time to Complete

75 minutes

CME Eligible*

1.25 credit(s)

Detailed Course Info

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Course Description
Learning Objectives
 Course Description

What is this course about?

Stress is an omnipresent fact of life for most people. Usual stressors related to job, school or physical exertion have all been exacerbated by recent events such as COVID-19 and political challenges. According to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association, eight out of 10 Americans report that COVID-19 represents a significant stressor in their lives while over 75% of American are significantly worried about the future of our nation. In addition to psychological or mental stress, other factors such as environmental (noise, pollution), physical (hard physical labor, chronic noise, toxic exposure) represent significant stressors. Serious physical and psychological outcomes of chronic unmitigated stress have been described. Adaptogens, a special category of herbal medicines, have been proposed as effective mitigators of or adaptors to chronic stress. Several characteristics which make adaptogens safe and effective for this indication will be considered. In order to understand the context of the adaptogenic effect, the natural stress response will first be described. Next, the abnormal or unhealthy stress response will be contrasted with that produced by adaptogens. An intimate association exists between the arousal system of the human body and immunological responses. Thus, the ability of adaptogens to modulate immunological activity has been observed. Proposed molecular and hormonal mechanisms of action of adaptogens proven in pre-clinical, animal and human studies will be elucidated. Specific herbal apoptogenic herbs will be identified such as Eleutherococcus senticosus, Siberian ginseng, the first adaptogen identified by the Russians. The definition and a short history of herbal adaptogens will be given stressing the traditional sources of information that lead to the consideration of adaptogenic herb use in modern times. The evidence base for the most common adaptogenic herbs will be considered. Outcomes will include the effect on perceived stress as well some of the adverse outcomes of stress such as anxiety, sleep quality and depression. Human clinical evidence for specific herbs such as Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng), Panax ginseng (Asian Ginseng), Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng), Rhodiola rosea (Rhodiola), and Withania somnifera (Ashwaganda) will be shown.

Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine. The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 
The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. All other healthcare professionals completing this activity will be issued a certificate of participation. 
To successfully earn credit, participants must review the content, complete a quiz with a score of 75% or higher, and submit an evaluation. This course is CME-eligible ending on October 31, 2024. After this date, you will continue to have access to your purchased content, however you will no longer be able to claim CME credits for your participation in the course.

California Assembly Bill 1195 and 241

This activity is in compliance with California Assembly Bill 1195 and 241, which require CME activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency & implicit bias. It is the intent of AB 1195 and AB 241 to encourage physicians and surgeons, CME providers in the State of California, and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to meet the cultural and linguistic concerns of a diverse patient population and reduce health disparities through appropriate professional development. Please see the CME website,, for AB 1195 and AB 241 resources.
For questions about CME credit, please contact us at The views and opinions expressed in this activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and/or the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine.
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 Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, learners will be able to...

  • Explicate the prevalence and severity of chronic stress as well as describe the normal and maladaptive stress responses.
  • Elucidate the characteristics of an adaptogenic herbs and describe the mechanisms of their actions.
  • Discuss relevant human clinical studies which support the use of adaptogenic herbs to relieve stress, fatigue, anxiety/depression and poor sleep quality.

What's included in this course?

This course includes the following:
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  • Video Recording
  • Downloadable Audio
  • Speaker Handout(s)
  • Quiz
  • Evaluation
  • Certificate of Completion

Course Outline

Meet Your Faculty

Mary Hardy, MD

Mary Hardy, MD is board certified in internal medicine and a specialist in botanical and integrative medicine, who has actively combined complementary and alternative therapies with traditional Western medicine for over thirty years in both her clinical practice and research projects. She attended medical school in her hometown, New Orleans, at Louisiana State University. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Tufts New England Medical Center. In 1998, Dr. Hardy founded the Integrative Medicine Clinic at Cedars-Sinai and participated in a NCCAM funded research project that evaluated the barriers and facilitators of Integrative Medicine practice based on her clinic. She also has extensive experience in evaluating the evidence base for the efficacy and safety of complementary/ integrative medicine as part of her work as a research associate at the RAND Corporation. Dr. Hardy served as the Associate Director of the UCLA Botanical Research Center.


No financial relationships with any ineligible companies to disclose.

Enroll Now!

This course is self-paced with no set beginning or end date. You may complete this course on your own schedule and pace. Enrolling in and purchasing this course grants you access to its contents in perpetuity. All required course activities must be completed to earn any eligible continuing education credit(s) and obtain a certificate of completion for this course.