All About Adaptogens
Life can be stressful. When work is busy and our personal lives are hectic, we can end up feeling a little frazzled. And when life throws an unexpected curveball our way? Stress can really start to take its toll.
Enter, adaptogens. It’s a word we’ve probably all heard thrown around a lot. So that supplement you’re eyeing up is apparently an ‘adaptogen’. Great! But what does that actually mean? Well, we’re going to break it down for you.
In a nutshell, adaptogens are plants that have a positive impact on a number of both mental and physical stressors. They quite literally help you to adapt, adjust and recalibrate depending on your emotional and physical surroundings. They can help you focus when life is hectic, help you sleep when your mind is busy or help calm you down during times of stress. Some adaptogens can even help boost immunity and ease depression.
In response to stress, our bodies go through different stages that ultimately end in exhaustion. Through stimulation, adaptogens help prevent us ‘crashing out’ so that we have a better shot at resistance. This then allows us to properly process and cope with what’s been thrown at us.
But as well as this, adaptogens can help with a number of other health concerns, such as weight gain, insomnia and the development of certain diseases. How? Well again it all comes down to stress. When we experience stress, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol in order to energise our response. This is obviously a good thing, but too much of this hormone can actually wreak havoc on everything from our waistlines to a weakened immune system.
Hailed as a natural response to the stresses, strains and pressures of modern life, adaptogens have been experiencing something of a revival in the Western world recently. And at a time when we are all being faced with unprecedented change, maybe we could all use a little help adapting…
Here are some examples of popular adaptogens and their unique benefits…
Ashwagandha is perhaps one of the better known adaptogens. It’s a traditional Eastern herb (and a staple of ayurveda) that supports the nervous and digestive system and helps boost energy. It is also credited with providing rejuvenating properties that are especially beneficial when recovering from illness.
Reishi is a type of mushroom best known for its immune-boosting properties but it’s also great at encouraging a better night’s sleep. It’s a restorative herb and is often used to help treat viral infections like the flu as well as high blood pressure.
Known as the ‘elixir of life’ in ayurvedic medicine, Holy Basil or Tulsi as it is otherwise known, helps to aid digestion and calm busy minds. It’s also been shown to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
These are just a selection of the different adaptogens that can help support your lifestyle. There are plenty of other variations including brahmi, turmeric, maca and chaga to name just a few.
It’s clear to see why these little wellness wonders have become so popular and we think they’re definitely deserving of a place in your daily routine. Just remember to always speak to your doctor before you start taking any new supplements.