In a previous article I mentioned the benefits of Ashwagandha and how it contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Ashwagandha is among one of the many adaptogens that has been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for many centuries to relieve stress, provide stamina and boost the immune system and much more.
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What is an adaptogen
Originating from the latin verb adaptare, which means “to adapt, adjust” , an adaptogen is a herb that appears to increase the body’s ability to adapt to stress. In situations such as increased stress (physical, mental and emotional), adaptogens help the body to adapt better.
Adaptogens are a unique type of herbs that help balance, restore and protect the body from physical, environmental, and psychological stress. They do not have a specific function but rather a broad spectrum function that supports the body stress responses, thus leading to stress resilience.
Adaptogens generally come in the form of herbs, roots, or mushrooms and can be taken in a variety of ways as a supplement—in capsule form, blended into smoothies, protein shakes, brewed in tea or coffee, or simply added to a meal.
Best adaptogens for your health
Here are some of the best known adaptogens or adaptogenic herbs and their health benefits.
Withania somnifera has the ability to lower blood sugar, reduce anxiety and stress, support brain function and improve sleep. It promotes good lung health and has a positive effect on reproduction.
Also known as Brahmi is one of the best tonic that supports the mind and nervous system. It boosts the cognitive function good for memory and concentration, and contributes to mental alertness. This herb contains powerful antioxidants, which promote cellular regeneration thus slowing the aging process. Brahmi is known to protect against adrenal fatigue caused by stress and overwork.
The use of this root dates back to ancient Egypt where it was used to treat various respiratory disorders. It is mostly found in the Mediterranean and Middle East and has been cultivated in Europe.
The principal active compound in licorice is glусуrrhіzіn, which contributes to its sweet taste. This root possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Licorice root is traditionally used in the treatment for irregular menstrual cycles and has been proven to induce the production of estrogen, the hormone that regulates menses. It is high in phytoestrogens and is an effective treatment of menopausal symptoms.
is a root that grows in Peru, where it grows high in wild barren conditions in the Andes. It is high in minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus and has a high content of antioxidants. Maca has a special taste that is sometimes unsuitable for the taste buds, it is best enjoyed with other powders such as lucuma to neutralize its natural taste.
Maca is a superb health supplement that supports for example fertility, sexual vitality and performance, as well as hormone activity. This root can really maximize both your physical and mental functioning.
is also referred to as Korean ginseng Native of the forests of China and Korea and has been used as herbal tonic to fight fatigue and promote energy, improve brain function and memory, improve erectile dysfunction, help reduce inflammation in the body, protect against oxidative stress.
Also known as arctic root or golden root. Rhodiola rosea contains potent active ingredients that help to decrease stress, reduce fatigue , anxiety and is also known to improve symptoms of stress related burnout. It boost stamina and endurance without the effects of caffeine.You can read more here.
This medicinal mushroom is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine and can be found in the forest areas of Asia, Europe, South America, and the United States. It is mostly consumed in powder form or in a liquid tincture form and relieves stress, balances the mind and body and has anti-aging and anti-cancer effects.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
This plant native to India is now grown all over the world and is a rich source of vitamin A, C and K as well as minerals such as zinc, iron and calcium. In Ayurveda, this herb is made into infusion to treat malaria and liver diseases. Tulsi boosts the function of the immune system, regulates blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol and promote healthy liver function.
Benefits of adaptogens for men
Adaptogens support a healthy cardiovascular function and increase fertility in men particularly in boosting male libido. They help improve the energy levels and are effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression which can impact heavily on the male sexual reproductive system. Inca warriors used Maca root as a performance enhancer for centuries.
Benefits of adaptogen for women
Adaptogens are a great boost to women’s health due to their ability to improve the immune system, fight fatigue, reduce symptoms associated with menopause in women, soothe estrogens related symptoms such as hot flashes and decreased libido. Improve memory and concentration, improves mood and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Clinical studies conducted on patients show that Maca root helps improve fertility and reduce the symptoms associated with menopause. It is frequently used to help with adrenal fatigue which is common in women.
How to use adaptogens
Research has shown that poor sleep can also have a profound negative impact on the brain and nervous system, thus affecting overall health.
Adaptogens are an all natural treatment against insomnia without the side effects caused by prescribed medications for stress, depression and anxiety.
For example, Ashwagandha counteracts stress and sleep problems. It can be taken as a supplement or in a form of a powder that can be added to food, beverages, and smoothies. Taking 1 to 2 teaspoons of Ashwagandha with a cup of warm milk before bed leads to a sound sleep.
Adaptogens improve physical endurance, they help boost the immune system, stimulate the adrenal glands and promote healthy cortisol levels (stress increases cortisol levels in the body). They help our body to adapt to changing situations that occur through stress, depression, fatigue, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and much more.
Where to purchase adaptogens
You can purchase them here
Have you tried any adaptogens? Which one is your favorite?
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice but for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.