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Adaptogens are the plants that help your body adapt to combat imbalances and manage stress. So how exactly do they work?
Adaptogens are the plants that help your body adapt to combat imbalances, manage stress and enhance overall function.
Most of these plants have been celebrated and cultivated for thousands of years in traditional medicine, and we’re now seeing a resurgence of popularity for these powerful herbs as humankind begin to reach for natural medicines over synthetic alternatives.
Not only helpful for managing stress, adaptogens also have many proven physical and mental benefits. But how exactly do adaptogens work? And are they safe for us to take every day?
To be considered an adaptogen, these plants must meet certain criteria. Firstly, they must help the human body to resist a wide range of stressors, including physical, biological or chemical stress. They must also be non-specific, meaning that they act on multiple parts of the human body at the same time.
Secondly, adaptogens must also help to maintain homeostasis in the human body, which means supporting a relatively dynamic state of equilibrium within the body, regulating imbalances where necessary. Finally, adaptogens must not harm normal bodily functions, be non-toxic, and safe to use over extended periods of time.
The benefits of taking adaptogens regularly are therefore quite substantial. They include reducing stress, fighting fatigue and exhaustion, helping to balance hormones and regulating mood, boosting the immune system, clearing brain fog, and much more. Adaptogens primarily help to increase resistance to stress, as well as decreasing our risk of illness.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that supports resistance to fatigue, and helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It also supports endurance, muscular recovery and cognitive health and function.
Rhodiola is a brain-boosting nootropic and adaptogen that is believed to improve memory and increase productivity. A herb grown at high altitudes in the arctic regions of Europe and Asia, rhodiola is also known to boost concentration, improve your mood, alleviate stress and reduce fatigue.
Maca is Peruvian root that’s been cultivated for more than 200 years, and grows only in the Andes at high altitudes. It helps to boost energy and mood, helps to support the immune system, balances hormones and promotes sexual health.
Also known as the ‘mushroom of immortality’, reishi is most notably effective for its immune-boosting benefits, as well as reducing fatigue and stress, enhancing mood, and promoting calm.
Cordyceps is a fungus that can be used to enhance energy, strengthen the immune system, and increase exercise performance.
Ginseng has long been celebrated for its stimulatory effects. It may help to induce mental activity and increase physical energy.
Bacopa is known to reduce stress, and is a natural antidepressant. As well as this, it can improve memory, and is now being used to treat illnesses such as ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, and anxiety.
The adaptogen that you take can be determined by the result that you’re after. For example, if you’re feeling tired and moody, an adaptogen like maca may be perfect to increase both energy and good mood.
It’s also important to consider the time of day that you take them, as adaptogens like cordyceps can have energising effects, while adaptogens with calming effects like holy basil and ashwagandha may be more suitable to take at night time.
Every adaptogen has a different effect on the body, and each person may react differently, so it’s a good idea to start slowly and observe your reactions to find a formula that works best for you.
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