As the world becomes increasingly stressful, people look for natural ways to support their immune systems. Adaptogens have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to help balance stress and boost the body's natural defense mechanisms.
With increased urbanization and exposure to pollution, high-stress lifestyles, and changing weather patterns becoming more common, it's crucial to find natural solutions to support our bodies when they're under pressure.
Even something as simple as getting a good night's sleep is becoming almost impossible for many. And this has implications for our immunity and overall well-being.
What is an Adaptogen?
An adaptogen is a natural chemical that supports your body's ability to heal from sickness or injury and adapt to stress. They are also known as super herbs because of their broad range of health benefits. The word "adaptogen" was first coined by the renowned scientist Dr. Nikolai Bachmeteff in the 1940s. He was a Russian scientist who traveled the world studying different herbs and plants that could help people better cope with their stress.
While there is no one definition for the term "adaptogen," some commonalities among the herbs fall into this category. Adaptogens are generally safe and non-toxic herbs that help the body cope with stress, enhance the immune system and promote general well-being. In addition to being used as a preventative measure, they may treat a wide range of ailments and health issues.
Why are adaptogens important for your immune system?
The human body's immune system is a complex system of tissues and organs that work together to keep us healthy and free from disease. It's estimated that around 25% of people in the U.S. suffer from chronic illness, and a large percentage of those are related to our immune systems being overactive or underactive.
The strength and health of your immune system play an essential role in your general well-being and can significantly impact your quality of life. When your immune system works optimally, it helps keep you healthy by fighting off bacteria and viruses, preventing infections, and healing you from illnesses and ailments. However, when your immune system is overactive or underactive, it can become unbalanced, leading to chronic diseases that can be difficult to treat and manage.
Which are the best adaptogens for your immune system?
Many beneficial herbs fall into the adaptogen category. But these eight are some of the best for supporting your immune system, promoting general well-being, and helping you cope with stress.
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen used in traditional Indian medicine since the 6th century. Ashwagandha is known as the "Indian Ginseng" because it has many of the same benefits as ginseng.
As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha has been shown to support the immune system by increasing immune cell production and helping our bodies fight off infections. It also helps reduce anxiety and promote a night of restful sleep.
Cordyceps: A favorite of athletes and runners
Cordyceps is one of the most popular and well-studied adaptogens. It's often referred to as the "supergrowth fungus" because of how quickly it grows and its various health benefits.
Athletes and runners usually consume Cordyceps as a natural way to increase energy, endurance, and stamina. It's also supported a healthy immune system and improves respiratory health. Cordyceps has also been shown to have anti-aging properties and can help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Ashwagandha: The go-to adaptogen for stress and anxiety
One of the finest adaptogens for assisting the body in overcoming stress is Ashwagandha. It's been shown to be as effective as an anti-anxiety medication and has been used to treat anxiety disorders for many years.
Coupled with meditation and breathing exercises, Ashwagandha can help lower cortisol levels and promote a healthy stress response in your body. Ashwagandha is the go-to adaptogen for supporting healthy thyroid function and regulating sleep.
Rhodiola: Supports mental and physical well-being
Rhodiola is one of the best herbs for supporting mental health. It's been used as an adaptogen in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is commonly used to treat stress, anxiety, and depression.
Rhodiola is also a powerful adaptogen that supports physical well-being by helping the body cope with stress, improving athletic performance, and increasing fertility. Rhodiola can also help lower blood pressure and boost your immune system, making it a great herb to support your health.
There are many benefits of using adaptogenic herbs, and they can be used as a preventative measure or to treat various ailments and health issues. When your immune system works optimally, it helps keep you healthy by fighting off bacteria and viruses, preventing infections, and healing you from illnesses and ailments. Many different herbs fall into the adaptogen category. Still, the eight listed above are some of the best for supporting your immune system, promoting general well-being, and helping you cope with stress.