Maybe you've heard of adaptogens from your most health conscious friend or seen adaptogenic lattes pouring all over Instagram. But what are they, and why should we be taking them for our health? Adaptogenic herbs do what they say - they help our bodies to adapt to stress and return our bodily systems back to homeostasis.
Currently, our lifestyles are overrun with stress. Our bodies adrenal systems are meant to control stressful situations by releasing adrenaline in fight or flight situations such as finding dangerous wildlife in our backyards. Assuming we are not living off the grid in nature, most of our bodies are responding the same way as if we've found a tiger in our living room when really it's a text notification on our smart phones. We are a culture of constant stimulation and living in a fight or flight mode all to often, wreaking havoc on our energy levels and digestive systems - insert our need for adaptogens.
Adaptogens work by bringing our stress hormones into balance. On a scientific level, when we take adaptogenic herbs over time, we are able to protect the mitochondria from stress induced damage because the herbs stimulate our cells to produce proteins that resist stress and create longevity for our immune and nervous systems.*
The most common used adaptogenic herbs are: Asian Ginseng for a boost in immunity and building endurance in the physical body, Holy Basil for heart health and overall stress on the nervous system, Milk Thistle to reduce stress associated with hormone imbalances, Ashwagandha for increased energy and sexual vitality and Rhodiola Rosea to reduce brain fog and mild depression and anxiety.
To find the best combination of herbs for your consumption talk to your healthcare practitioner and do your own research on these wonderful herbs for your wellbeing.
*Adaptogens: Herbs For Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief ©David Winston, RH (AHG), 2004; Revised 2011