Come learn the biochemical evidence for adaptogens, how they can support your clients from preconception through postpartum, and how they can support everyone who is experiencing this common compromiser of health.

Learning objectives:

  • The key elements of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis: overview of the physiological and metabolic changes following acute and chronic stressors.
  • The key elements of the neuroendocrine response to stress ("the stress response").
  • The stages of the stress response and the impact of chronic stress on the tissues and function of the body systems. We will have a special focus on these topics during the childbearing years: infertility, blood sugar dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, thyroid dysfunction, and immune dysfunction.
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of stress-related dysfunction during preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum from subjective and physical findings as well as lab results.
  • Develop familiarity with Eleuetherococcus senticosus and Shatavari racemosus for prevention and recovery from stress-related dysfunction during preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum.  We will discuss plant families, habitat and cultivation, sourcing from herbal suppliers, herbal actions, key constituents, traditional use, modern research, mechanisms of action, energetic qualities, safety,  therapeutic dosing, and formulation strategies.
  • The role of adaptogenic botanicals in the midwifery model of care: a holistic approach to support the body in recovery from stress.

Approved by MEAC for 3 hours of continuing education (approval number M1920-64-0123DE through January 16, 2022).

Loren Riccio ND, LM


The Naturopathic principle Docere, doctor as teacher, is her foundation for providing care. After graduating from Binghamton University in 1996, she followed her heart to the Pacific Northwest. Realizing the importance of how we enter this world and her desire to help make it a safe and sacred experience, she began studying midwifery at Bastyr University, and continued her midwifery training in the beautiful country of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Loren has been catching babies in Seattle and surrounding areas ever since. Loren graduated from Bastyr University in 2004 with a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and Certificate of Naturopathic Midwifery. She was instrumental in the creation of a low income clinic within Emerald City Naturopathic Clinic to provide services and medicines to families in need. Loren joined Eastside Birth Center in 2006, supporting natural birth at home and the birth center. Loren continued to work as a Family Practice Associate with until October 2012 when she opened her own practice Fern Valley Natural Health. Loren is adjunct faculty for Bastyr University's midwifery program where she has developed curriculum and is co-teaching a Masters level track, Botanical Medicine for Midwifery Care.
Loren Riccio ND, LM

Rebecca Zollinger MSM, LM


Becca founded Orchard Botanicals Herb School in 2015, recognizing the need for a community-based herbal education center in Kitsap County. Becca's teaching draws upon her experience as an herb grower, midwife, naturalist, and mother. In addition to working at Orchard Botanicals, Becca developed and teaches a two-year graduate program in herbal medicine at Bastyr University. She integrates permaculture, ecology, ethnobotany, stories, and seasonality into her teaching along with harder sciences such as anatomy and physiology, phytochemistry, and nutritional science.
Rebecca Zollinger MSM, LM

Course curriculum

  • 01
    Part 1: Understanding Stress
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    • 1.1 Overview and Sources of Stress
    • 1.2 General Adaptation Syndrome
    • 1.3 Symptoms of Stress
  • 02
    Part 2: Biochemistry and Chemical Messengers
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    • 2.1 Cellular Messaging (and we don't mean cell phones!)
    • Cyclic AMP (cAMP) Animation from McGraw Hill Animations
    • 2.2 These Are Your Hormones On Stress
    • Article: Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress-Protective Activity
  • 03
    Part 3: The Impact of Stress On The Childbearing Year
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    • 3.1 Stress During Preconception
    • 3.2 Stress During Pregnancy
    • 3.3 Intrapartum & Postpartum
  • 04
    Part 4: All About Adaptogens
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    • 4.1 Benefits of Adaptogens
    • 4.2 What are Adaptogens?
    • 4.3 Mechanisms of Action
    • Article: Novel molecular mechanisms for the adaptogenic effects of herbal extracts on isolated brain cells using systems biology
  • 05
    Part 5: Eluthero
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    • 5.1 Introducing Eluthero
    • 5.2 Historical Usage
    • 5.3 Constituents and Herbal Actions
    • 5.4 Herbal Actions at the Cellular Level
    • 5.5 Administration, Dosage, Safety
  • 06
    Q&A, Post-Tests and CE Certificates
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    • Q&A with Live Audience
    • MEAC Evaluation Questions
    • MEAC Post-Test and CE Certificate
  • 07
    Bonus Section: Sustainable Sourcing Information
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    • What We Did
    • Elthero Sourcing Information from Frontier Co-Op
    • Elthero Sourcing Information from Gaia Herbs
    • Elthero Sourcing Information from Herb Pharm
    • Elthero Sourcing Information from Mountain Rose Herbs
    • Elthero Sourcing Information from Starwest Botanicals

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