Americans are buying adaptogens left, right, and center [¹]. Demand is increasing, and people seem to be talking about how they have helped them with health issues. But do you know what adaptogens are, and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle?
By reading the following, you will learn what the secrets behind adaptogens are. You will also understand how they can benefit you and improve your life. So, what do you have to lose?
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are a wide series of compounds that exist in various places in nature. When taken in the form of supplements or other forms they can reduce the effects that stress can have on the body. This can improve the life of the imbiber, who may have otherwise suffered from physical ailments or mental stresses prior.
On top of this, adaptogens work within the body to increase its ability to adapt to external stresses. Some people take them to help them resist physical, biological, or chemical harm.
The method by which they do this is sometimes by binding or reacting with hormones that the body releases. The adaptogens prevent the harm that can come from an unwanted fight or flight response, or decrease the body's drive to eat, for example.
In general, people take adaptogens to attempt to balance out these hormones and achieve what people call "homeostasis" [²] . This is a level of calm and balance, reducing the stress that the body exerts on itself.
Other people have specific needs and will use adaptogens for the opposite reason. They might want more of a specific hormone to exist so that they can use it when exercising, studying, or generally reducing fatigue.
People have known about adaptogens for hundreds of years. They are common in traditional Chinese and Indian remedies, for example. In the modern era, many researchers have investigated their effectiveness to great success.
More recently, they have become more popular [³] in Western homes. As more evidence is appearing about their efficacy, people are starting to trust traditional medicines.
The short version of what defines an adaptogen is that it must conform to a short set of requirements.
First off, it must be possible to take any adaptogen in non-toxic doses. You cannot come to harm while taking them.
Next, the supplement must increase the resistance of the person taking it to many different issues. These might be biological, chemical, or physical. The help the adaptogen gives must be non-specific.
Finally, adaptogens must bring the body back into some semblance of balance or normalization.
Where Can One Find Adaptogens?
You can find plants and fungi that contain adaptogens all over the world. While you can discover some in easy-to-reach climates, it is often hard to identify them compared to other, more dangerous plants. Instead, many people farm and harvest such species, extracting the compounds in them for supplements.
Another issue with searching for many adaptogens is the difficulty to reach the places where they grow in their natural habitats. Many of these plants are only found in areas of extreme environments.
For example, Rhodiola is one plant that contains useful adaptogens. Its natural environment is in the harsh and rugged mountains of Siberia.
Here, you can only find the plant at 10,000 feet above sea level. Not only that, but in such places, there are icy chills, reduced oxygen levels, and constant, intense radiation from the sun.
The chemistry of these plants enables them to thrive in such environments. If we can take a part of them and adapt them for human consumption, we should be able to improve our own lives too.
This is one of the reasons why Rhodiola sees use as a supplement these days as a solution for fatigue, anxiety, depression, and many other issues. On top of this, people believe that it can boost one's ability to withstand various stressors that might cause the body harm.
Common Benefits of Adaptogens
There are many different kinds of adaptogens, and with them come a wide variety of effects. The following are a few of the potential benefits that one can receive from taking adaptogen supplements.
Over time, it is normal to see a body react to aging in many negative ways. For this reason, many people take adaptogens to stave off some of the more serious signs of getting older.
Some adaptogens can promote the memory of those who take them. This means that people who might be prone to issues such as dementia might want to take them.
On top of this, some of them can enhance one's sexual health. If there are issues in the bedroom related to aging, adaptogens may set the body back to where it was before.
You can find these things backed up in the realm of science too. Some studies show that certain adaptogens [⁴] can boost the body in many ways. For example, they can help with sleep quality, mental alertness, and the fitness of participants.
If you suffer from insomnia or are suddenly gaining weight, hormonal imbalance may be the reason for this. Such things are often hard to control, so you might need a little bit of help with this.
There are many ways that different adaptogens can help you maintain a hormone balance in your day-to-day life. Many of them can reduce oxidative stress in the body and reduce the number of free radicals the body contains. They can also support your body's systems, such as its adrenal system.
If you have concerns about your body's ability to maintain sexual function, some adaptogens can assist there too. Some help to boost the body's libido and can help increase stamina through various methods.
There are many ways in which the body can come to harm. Some of these can increase the number of stressors that the body displays.
Adaptogens can assist with protecting the body. Some of the ways that they can offer such help include:
- Liver protection
- Endocrine normalization
You might be ok taking adaptogens alongside other medication that you have. Make sure that the medical professional is aware of their use and does not object first. This is especially true when you are recovering from other issues.
Different adaptogens contain a wide variety of different compounds. Through careful study, people have discovered that some of these have properties that can boost your ability to face illness.
Adaptogens can modulate your immunity in many ways to improve immunity. For example, some adaptogens have sedative effects to them. These can reduce the anxiety that people feel and reduce the cortisol in people's bodies.
As cortisol is one of the biggest stressor hormones that people have, this is why it's reduction can help.
There may be times when you feel fatigued or as though you are suffering from some kind of brain fog. Some combinations of adaptogens can resolve this. They do so by increasing your cognitive functions when taken.
On top of this, you should feel more full of vitality. They can even increase your ability to focus and stabilize your mood, encouraging you to take action where you would not before.
By moderating your stress responses, adaptogens can start to affect your energy levels. They can affect your glucose metabolism too. Some people also take them as part of a healthy lifestyle to assist with their weight loss program.
A common regimen is to take them early in the morning, alongside their breakfast. Although others are more a fan of imbibing them later in the evening before they go to bed. They find that this has a more positive impact on their cravings and metabolism.
Many external stressors affect each one of us regularly. Modern life is filled with things that can create a burden on our minds and bodies, and we need a way to manage stress.
By regulating hormone responses, adaptogens can help one's body respond to stress more healthily. Many of these supplements can perform this role, leaving the specific choice of which to use in your hands.
List of Adaptogens
There are many adaptogens that you can find from all over the world. The following is a short list of only a few of them that could help you regulate your stressor levels.
Ashwagandha is a herb that Ayurvedic traditional medicine discovered and made use of for many years. It is sometimes called "Indian ginseng" due to its roots in that part of Asia, although these days one can grow it all over the world.
This herb helps your body by promoting a healthy immune response. It can also act as an antioxidant and prevent the buildup of free radicals throughout the body.
This herb also has abilities related to boosting mental faculties and reducing mental stress. At the same time, men who take this have often spoken of how it has helped them [⁵] with their sexual health.
This root is used as an adaptogen that can stimulate the immune system. Also, it is often taken as it shows promise as it contains a liver-protecting compound.
Other people take it to reduce water retention in the body and to manage their blood pressure. These are only a few of the reported uses for this species of herb.
These mushrooms are a very common adaptogen in many different forms. People know them for their ability to boost the immune system in those who take them. Also, they have an antiviral property that many people consider useful.
These mushrooms are also antifungal. Thus, you can assume that they work as a method of balancing one's immune system.
People use these for their stress-relieving properties. Because of these, they can support the body's method of balancing its hormonal levels. This promotes oxygen delivery throughout one's system and can help with many different kinds of health.
On top of this, Cordyceps can provide a caffeine-free energy boost. This stops the body from crashing after its boost, giving long-lasting help to the person who takes them.
Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)
When you take this plant as a part of an adaptogenic regimen, you can expect it to boost your adrenal gland. Thus, when the body finds a stressor, you are likely to power through any difficulty without as many problems.
Much like cordyceps, Eleuthero can also boost one's energy levels and reduce fatigue. Also, it does so without needing caffeine. This can be useful before extended activity and exercise to help one continue it for longer.
This herb strengthens the immune system in users, acting like a tonic for the whole body. This effect is so strong that it is thought to have an impact on the spirit and mind of people in Ancient Ayurveda teachings.
Holy Basil also can help you regulate your blood sugar. Use alongside other medicines, it can maintain balanced hormonal responses throughout the day.
This adaptogen acts similarly to ginseng in that it can often empower someone to achieve greater feats of strength. It is famed for its strength-boosting qualities and its ability to increase the energy of the person who takes it. On top of that, it is taken by many who wish to reduce fatigue throughout their bodies.
Learn More About Adaptogens
After reading the above, you should now understand how you can use adaptogens as a part of a balanced lifestyle to improve your health. There is still a lot to learn, though, so if you have more questions, do not hesitate to get in contact and ask.
If you are looking to add these beneficial ingredients into your diet, you can do so through our line of supplements, carefully crafted to help you boost your health.
[¹] Adaptogens Overview - https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/adaptogens-market-statistics
[²] What is Homeostasis - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-homeostasis/
[³] Adatogens continue to Rise - https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/supplements/adaptogens-continued-rise-built-supplier-partnerships
[⁴] Efficacy of Ashwagaandha Study - https://www.cureus.com/articles/27433-efficacy-and-tolerability-of-ashwagandha-root-extract-in-the-elderly-for-improvement-of-general-well-being-and-sleep-a-prospective-randomized-double-blind-placebo-controlled-study
[⁵] Principles and Practices of Phytotherapy - https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780443069925/principles-and-practice-of-phytotherapy