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Your Full Guide to Adaptogens

 

You may be wondering what adaptogens are. Well, if you suffer from stress, anxiety and fatigue then you are going to want to read all about them!

 

The basics:

Adaptogens are a group of herbal ingredients that help your body manage stress. They also work by helping the body fight fatigue. Without sounding too scientific and boring you, they do this by supporting and improving the health of your adrenal system. The outer part of the adrenal gland (the adrenal cortex), produces cortisol – the stress hormone. Adaptogens regulate the hormone cortisol. Improving the health of this system helps overcome adrenal fatigue and strengthens the body’s response to stress.

 

How do they work?

Unlike coffees and high-sugar snacks, adaptogens work at a more slow and gentle pace. This prevents that post-caffeine/sugar ‘crash’ individuals can feel after the initial rush. Adaptogens help the body ‘adapt’ to stress, by bringing the body back to an equilibrium. What is so good about them is that they adapt their function to what your body needs at any given time. I’m guessing you’ve gained an idea to where they got their name from!

 

What adaptogens are there?

There are a range of different commonly used adaptogens (approx 13). They are also taken in different ways. For example, Ashwagandha can come in the form of a supplement. Each one is effective in different ways depending on its properties and what the individual is using it for. Some of the most common adaptogens are: Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Holy basil, Licorice root, Rhodiola and Astragalus root.

 

Ashwagandha:

This is also known as Indian Ginseng. This adaptogen is vital in Ayurverdic healing and it works alongside the immune system. Ashwagandha is significant in reducing stress levels, anxiety and fatigue. It boosts energy, is high in iron and stimulates thyroid function. It is very calming and rejuvenating.

 

Ginseng:

This is one of the most popular. It improves the bodys ability to withstand stress. It also fights fatigue, promotes a sense of well-being and improves mental performance. Its effects are antioxidant and antidepressant and lowers blood/sugar levels.

 

Holy basil:

This one is a stimulating adaptogen. It is antioxidant, antidepressant, stress-fighting, antibacterial and fatigue-fighting. It is also used to treat colds, viruses and asthma.

 

Licorice root:

This one increases energy and endurance, promoting feelings of wellness and health. It is also said to “protect the thymus from being damages by cortisol”.
 

Rhodiola:

This adaptogen provides a “buffer to stress related mental and physical fatigue”. It “suppresses the production of cortisol and increases levels of stress-resistant proteins”. The properties of Rhodiola make it also particular effective for relieving anxiety.

 

Astragalus root:

This is another adaptogen that buffers the effects of stress. It “increases the amount of anti-stress compounds our bodies use to repair and prevent stress-related damage.”

 

There are a lot of different adaptogens out there, but it’s all about what works best for you.
Have you tried any of these before? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop me a comment below or tweet me @totmorganic.

 

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