Adaptogens are a saving grace in our post-industrial world, plagued by toxins and overstimulated sympathetic nervous systems. Adaptogens, as most people know them, are handy for stressful times.
They help the body "adapt" to life's surprises and mishaps. This piece details "what are adaptogens?" and how to use adaptogens to improve health.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are herbs and other supplements that improve our resilience to physical and emotional stress. Again, they're usually herbs, though one will find that some mushrooms, foods, and resins act as adaptogens as well.
The best way to deepen our investigation of adaptogens is to go ahead and explore a few that are commonly used.
Ashwagandha is an herb essential to Ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing system. Usually consumed in tea, tincture, or powder form, ashwagandha is most commonly used to bolster energy levels while reducing cortisol, a stress hormone associated with anxiety. Here is one study showing the benefits of ashwagandha.
Delicious and versatile, goji berries have gained severe traction for their flavor and researched health benefits. But did you know they're adaptogenic?
It's true; goji berries have been studied for their impressive abilities. One study, for example, found that goji berries "increased ratings for energy level, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, calmness, and feelings of health, contentment, and happiness."
If that's not enough to make you dump a handful over your morning smoothie, then we don't know what is!
Shilajit is a resin sourced from high altitudes in the Himalayas and has only recently reached wider popularity as a powerful adaptogen and one of the most important remedies to Ayurveda.
Shilajit resin is rich in minerals and fulvic acid, a humic compound formed through decomposition. Fulvic acid is highly medicinal and has been shown in research to enhance immune health and aid nervous disorders. Some other fun perks, though more research is needed, include fulvic minerals' capacity to help altitude sickness, reverse anemia, and boost testosterone and athletic performance.
These mushroom species tend to improve cognition, heighten immunity, prevent cancer, improve energy levels, and dampen stress's effects.
Cordyceps mushroom is a good one to look at for its adaptogenic abilities. Favored by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for stress relief, a recent study in Current Developments in Nutrition (CDN) found that cordyceps can effectively be used as a functional food to prevent anxiety and depression.
Our Cordyceps Mushroom Extract is an excellent supplement for protecting yourself against DNA oxidation while promoting overall well-being and mood. Our mushrooms are grown by small farmers that have been growing mushrooms in green countryside mountainous regions for generations. Mushrooms are grown in greenhouses with controlled light, water, and air conditions to ensure optimal mushroom growth.
Creating an Adaptogenic Routine
A good routine with adaptogens begins with good lifestyle habits. You can implement specific daily practices to help eliminate stress and anxiety, like the above adaptogens.
Here are some tips for harnessing an overall "adaptogenic lifestyle" to get you on track. Then, we'll develop strategies for implementing adaptogenic herbs/substances into your life.
- Cold showers seem promising for eliminating stress. Try taking one in the morning.
- Also, have you seen the research on breathwork? Super powerful stuff!
- You can't go wrong with eliminating stress and other "negative" emotions through clean eating. Get rid of sugar, seed oils, industrial grains, and packaged foods, and see results!
- Fitness, fitness, fitness. Try plenty of walking every day. Three days of 30 minutes to an hour of intense exercise per week is adequate for most people. Make adjustments according to your fitness and physical abilities.
With good daily habits in place, you set the foundation for effectively implementing the power of adaptogenic herbs and substances into your life. Here are some tips for using adaptogens in your daily routine.
- Is a hot drink such as coffee or tea an uncompromisable part of your morning routine? Well, good! This provides the perfect opportunity to consume adaptogens. Adaptogens like medicinal mushrooms go well in coffee, where the taste is hardly identifiable.
- For consistency's sake, opt for tinctures rather than teas when taking adaptogenic herbs. Keeping a remedy on hand, like ashwagandha, increases the likelihood of taking it consistently.
- Create an evening routine with adaptogens. Specific adaptogens like holy basil (tulsi) and eleuthero are incredibly calming and can help sleep.
- Remember that this article does not constitute medical advice. Always check with your doctor before using new herbs, especially if you're on any medications.