What can Adaptogens help with?
Busy modern day life demands a lot from us physically, mentally and emotionally and adaptogens are something that can help ease the burden and combat the side effects of stress.
As the name suggests, adaptogens can help you to ‘adapt’ and thrive despite life’s inevitable ups and downs.
Adaptogens have been prized in traditional medicinal practices such as Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for many years for their calming and restorative effects as well as much more wide-ranging benefits from boosting mental clarity to improving sleep.
Some examples of adaptogens include ashwagandha, ginseng, maca and rhodiola, as well as medicinal mushrooms such as reishi and chaga.
How do Adaptogens work?
Adaptogens work on multiple body systems at once, to help bring the body back into balance by working to raise what is low and reduce what is high. In technical terms they help to control the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands which is important in times of acute and chronic stress. They also work to nourish the body’s immune system to offer support during times of stress and infection.
What can Adaptogens help with?
Adaptogens are great all-rounders because they work both for prevention and protection of the side effects of stress on the body. Although adaptogens are renowned for their ability to combat the effects of stress, they have many other researched applications including:
Reducing tiredness & fatigue
Supporting hormonal balance
Supporting immune function
Reducing anxiety and depression
Supporting quality sleep
Regulating blood sugar levels
Who are Adaptogens suitable for?
Adaptogens can work well if you are looking for more support with a busy and stressful lifestyle. Tell-tale signs that you could benefit from adding an adaptogen into your routine might include insomnia, irritability, brain fog, anxiety and fatigue.
*IMPORTANT NOTE Adaptogens are thought to be safe to use for most people HOWEVER they can interact with certain medications so always check with your healthcare provider before using them
How can I take Adaptogens?
Adaptogens comes in many forms including tinctures, capsules and in drinks such as teas and mushroom coffees.
Examples of individual adaptogens:
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
Ashwagandha is a great overall adaptogen for stress, anxiety, burnout and fatigue. It was traditionally used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic to aid overall wellbeing. It is particularly good for reducing fatigue, balancing cortisol, rebuilding strength and encouraging restful sleep. It works by strengthening the nervous system which boosts resilience against stress and nourishing the endocrine system, ensuring that metabolism, hormones and sleep stay in balance.
*NOTE ashwagandha is part of the nightshade family and therefore may not be suitable for those with sensitivity to this family of plants
Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
Maca is a traditional Peruvian food, rich in vitamins and important minerals like iron and zinc. It’s also used medicinally for energy levels, stamina, hormonal balance and libido.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
Reishi is a type of medicinal mushroom with a history of traditional use in Asia. It’s rich in several health-giving compounds and boasts a range of benefits. It’s most renowned for its immune and sleep supporting properties as well as supporting cardiovascular health.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)
Rhodiola is a herb also known as Arctic Root and has been shown to support the body in times of physical and mental stress. It has also been shown to improve mental clarity so may be helpful for those suffering with symptoms such as ‘brain fog’.
There’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing which adaptogen is right for you. Get in touch if you want to find out more.