Adaptogen Herbs and Benefits
We all have stress. And we all know that there are things that we can do at home in order to combat stress effectively. Get enough sleep. Meditate. Eat nutritious foods. Exercise. I know, I know!
But what if I am doing all the right things and I am still struggling?
Adaptogen Herbs? What is it?
To be considered an adaptogen herb, it must be nontoxic and serve a broad range of benefits for health, specifically to aid with mental and physical stress. Basically, adaptogenic herbs help you adapt.
I started to learn about adaptogenic herbs a couple years ago when I was looking for a natural remedy to aid with my complexion. I was fighting a war with my hormones and couldn’t quite get them to balance out right, which was wreaking havoc on my face.
After a very serious complication with a prescription medication that destroyed my joints, made me lethargic, and inhibited my range of motion (therefore my exercise routine), I was determined to find a natural solution. That’s when I came across adaptogen herbs. Ashwaganda, Holy Basil, and Chaste Berry were the three that seemed to be most effective for what I was trying to resolve. And they did help my skin. Remarkably.
So, how does this work?
Adaptogens aid your body’s ability to manage stress effectively. Whether that is dealing with abrupt changes in temperature, noises, tri-atholons, high altitudes, traffic jams or screaming children, adaptogens help to defend the body so that you can ease in and out of stressors without the heavy impact that stress can leave on your body.
What impacts does stress have on the body?
Stress can impact all the major systems in your body. Your Musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, Gastrointestinal system, and Endocrine system are all impacted by stress. Chronic stress can increase your chances of tension headaches, muscle fatigue, insomnia, high blood pressure, stroke, and more.
Acute stress causes your heart rate to increase while releases adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol to be released. If your body is working under these conditions for too long, it can cause inflammation in your circulatory system, which can lead to long-term problems for heart and blood vessels.
Benefits of Adaptogen Herbs
1. Boost immunity
Adaptogens like chaga mushroom have high levels of beta glucans, a soluble dietary fiber that has been linked to improving cholesterol and heart health.
2. Balance Hormones
Adaptogens support the hormone system and promote relaxation in periods of stress while helping to boost energy when you’re feeling physically and emotionally exhausted.
3. Promotes Cognitive Functions
When there is balance between blood sugar and hormone levels, concentration and focus increase. Siberian ginseng is a great adaptogen that helps to increase focus, concentration, and memory and mental clarity.
4. Powerful Antioxidant
Most adaptogen herbs are packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory compounds which can assist with athletic recovery and help to protect your heart while lowering cholesterol.
What kinds of Adaptogens are there and where do I find them?
Adaptogenic herbs typically come in powder or supplement form and can be found at your local co-op, nutrition store, online, or at some health care practitioners’ offices.
Here are some of awesome Adaptogen Herbs:
1. Panax Ginseng
2. Holy Basil
4. Astragalus Root
5. Licorice Root
6. Rhodiola Rosea
7. Cordycep Mushroom
8. Chasteberry (Vitex Berry)
9. Maca Root
I love my adaptogen herbs. I do feel more balanced, refreshed, and able to cope with everyday stressors when I am consistently adding these to my routine with healthy nutrition and exercise. I didn’t initially notice the impact on my stress health until after I stopped taking for a few days. Immediately, my coping skills and patience seemed to take a swan dive.
So, if you’re feeling a little slow, tired, or foggy, try implementing some herbs into your daily routine and see how they work for you!
Medicine Hunter. Adaptogens. Retrieved from http://www.medicinehunter.com/adaptogens
Stress Effects on the Body. (2018) Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx
Zolubaite, M. (June, 2017) 4 Incredible Effects of Adaptogens. Retrieved from:
Anderson A.D (2008) Assessment and Nutraceutical Management of Stress-induced Adrenal Dysfunction. Integrative Medicine 7(5)