In the overly medicated world we live in today, where do adaptogens fit in? You’ve probably heard of these ancient herbs in passing — ginseng, maca, turmeric, and ashwagandha, but perhaps turned your nose up at them. How do they really compare to the effects of traditional pharmaceuticals, which much of the population has become so reliant on?
The truth is, adaptogens have been around for centuries. They play an integral role in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and have recently seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years. Interested in finding a more natural alternative to stress, sleep, and health management? Here’s how to choose the perfect adaptogen blend…
What Exactly are Adaptogens and How Do They Work?
In short, an adaptogen is a plant-derived substance that helps the body to adapt to external and internal stressors. Adaptogens also support overall health and help to regulate much of the body’s most important functions. Check out some of the most effective adaptogens in this article for more.
The term adaptogen was coined in 1968 and is defined by these key characteristics:
- It’s a completely non-toxic substance
- Adaptogens produce non-specific responses in the body. This increases your resistance to physical, biological, and chemical stressors
- Adaptogens have a ”normalizing” effect on the physiology of the body i.e. they help to regulate normal physiological levels
Adaptogens are known to ”tone” the body, bringing back all of its functions to homeostasis — the same you would tune an instrument. Overall, these non-specific responses help your body manage stress better over time.
Due to the stressful nature of our lives today, many people live with an adrenal system that’s in overdrive. This throws the body out-of-balance which negatively affects everything else. This includes the digestive system, hormonal imbalances, the reproductive system, and more.
Adaptogens help to bring hormonal levels back into balance. This thereby reduces adrenal fatigue and all the other problems associated with this.
Choosing the Right Adaptogens
There is a myriad of adaptogens out there, many of which overlap in function and benefits on the body. Here are some of the defining characteristics of popular adaptogens to integrate into your daily routine:
This plant is also known as Indian ginseng. It helps to settle insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, nerve pain, musculoskeletal conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and much more.
This popular plant is known to regulate hormonal imbalances, boost energy levels, libido, and brain function. It also reduces stress and anxiety and is known to reduce the symptoms of menopause.
Asian ginseng is ideal for a weakened immune system. It helps to fight off fatigue, relieve allergies, helps with cognitive and sexual issues. It also manages symptoms of fibromyalgia.
This adaptogen is also good for the management of anxiety and fatigue. It also helps to manage numerous ailments including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, dry scaly skin, and autoimmune diseases.
This is a great adaptogen if you struggle with a suppressed immune system, nerve pain, and allergies, among other benefits.
It helps to manage the symptoms and effects of depression, anxiety, and other cognitive problems.
Great for reducing inflammation in the body, especially the GI tract, it also boosts the immune system and can help in the management of asthma.
This is a well-known plant extract that is great for fighting off inflammation, allergies, and constipation.
A good adaptogen to boost the appetite, ward off allergies, and fight fatigue.
Particularly powerful in boosting the libido and fighting off inflammation and fatigue.
So, how do you know which to choose? Well, it’s quite simple — what are you looking to re-balance internally? Let’s learn a little more about how to consume adaptogens and integrate them into your diet…
How to Consume Adaptogens
Adaptogens are available today in a plethora of different forms, such as powders, pills, and different teas. In terms of adaptogen consumption, it’s particular to each person — there’s no right or wrong way. This being said, one of the simplest ways of consuming integrating them into your daily routine is in capsule form.
Otherwise, you can blend adaptogen powders into your daily smoothies or mix them into warm drinks, such as a golden latte. One of the greatest benefits of adaptogens is that they’re slow-releasing. This means you may not notice their effects initially, but over time, their beneficial properties build up in your system.
It’s important to remember that adaptogens cannot really be used to target one specific condition. Rather, they are used as a remedy to strengthen and fortify the body as a whole. They are not a quick-fix solution, but rather a long-term one that must be integrated with other healthy lifestyle habits.
The Perfect Adaptogen Blend: Combining Adaptogens
So, can you combine adaptogens when trying to find a healthy internal balance? Yes, you most certainly can! In fact, combining adaptogens can enhance their benefits. But in order to find the best combination to suit you, do a little research on the adaptogens that would impact you the most.
Some great adaptogen blends which target certain areas of imbalance include:
1. Sleep Conditions
If you struggle with poor sleep, some of the best adaptogens to combine together include eleuthero, Rhodiola, ginseng, ashwagandha, and schizandra.
2. Low Energy
If your body feels continually flat and sluggish, you should consider combining maca root, astragalus, holy basil, and schizandra.
3. Adrenal Fatigue
If stress has taken over your life and you feel permanently on edge, or riddled with anxiety, combine licorice, holy basil, maca root, and ashwagandha.
4. Low Libido
If your sex life has taken a back seat and your libido is at an all-time low, consider the combination of maca root, ashwagandha, and pine pollen.
5. Suppressed Immune Health
If you find yourself falling ill on a continuous basis, your immune system probably needs a serious boost. Combine ashwagandha, cat’s claw, and astragalus.
Ultimately, adaptogens are not a magic cure for all ailments, nor should they be viewed as a quick source of energy. Adaptogens are plant-derived. This means they are processed by the body like any other plant material you consume. Take your time when choosing adaptogens and learn what your body loves and it will thank you in the long-run.
Looking For More on Health and Lifestyle?
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