Adaptogens

Adaptogens can be amazingly beneficial to us as humans but what are they and what do they do?

To put it simply they help us “Adapt”. If our bodies are down to low they help bring us back up and if we are up to high they bring us down to homeostasis (internal stability). Adaptogens are non toxic, they help reduce stress both physically and mentally.

They are incredibly important to us so we can help deal with everyday stresses of work, heat, cold, different altitudes, noise and physical exercise. Below is a list of Adaptogens and their properties…

Ashwaganda:

Also going by the name Withania Somnifera it has been used for over 3000 years. It is a root plant that aids with many conditions including cold sores, fatigue, inflammation, sore eyes and decreased libido.

Holy Basil:

Grown in India for over 3000 years it helps body deal with stress both physical and emotional. A powerful antioxidant it aids with antifungal and anti-inflammatory pathways.

Maca:

Going by the name Peruvian Ginseng or MACA has been used in the Andes for over 2000 years as a life sustaining substance. It has legend for delivering great energy, clarity and enhanced libido.

Panax Ginseng:

Provides non-specific protection against various mental, physical and environmental forms of stress.

Rhodiola Rosea:

Originates from Siberia and northern China Rhodiola is an extremely well studied adaptogen. It is one of if not the most popular botanical in Siberia in is used amongst athletes to promote energy, endurance and stamina. It also assists in sexual vigor.

Schisandra Berry:

This berry counters stress by reducing levels of stress hormone in the blood.

All these herbs help us deal with stress. What is stress and why do we get stressed? Stress happens when we there are demands placed upon us that exceed our body’s own ability to cope. Our response to stress is often called “fight or flight” which means our adrenal glands release stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and corticosterone which will give us a blast of energy. This energy can help us deal with mental stress we are dealing with at work to help us make quick decisions or mental clarity to help deal with conflict at home. They way your body deals with stress is good for you but when it’s chronic it isn’t.

Stress can have an effect on your metabolism, inflammation and immune system. Under continued and immense stress our body releases these hormones at high amounts and our digestive system is impaired leading to increased appetite and weight gain. Our nervous system can also be attacked leading to anxiety, depression and our immune system can also be hampered leading to possible immune diseases and sickness. This is where adaptogens come in to help.

As you can see Adaptogens all work in the same or similar pathways. They are an elite group of herbs that greatly impact on stamina, endurance, energy and mental clarity. They also have great anti-inflammatory benefits along with reducing stress hormones. With scientific evidence backing them and continued research underway these botanical herbs will only become more popular.

They are currently used in the Western world by professionals under immense stress at work and by athletes who push their bodies to extremes. Adding adaptogens into your everyday diet is easy and well worth a go if you feel you suffer from conditions mentioned above.

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