What are Adaptogens?
If you've heard anyone talk about the benefits of drinking tea, you've probably heard the word "adaptogens" get thrown around. But what are adaptogens and why are they so good for us?
Adaptogens are active, natural ingredients in certain plants and mushrooms that help the body adapt to stress and help your body respond to anxiety, fatigue and overall wellbeing. They help the body achieve balance in terms of energy and relaxation.
The History of Adaptogenic Herbs
The term "adaptogen" was coined in the 1940s by Dr. Nicolai V. Lazarev, a Soviet scientist, medical doctor and pharmacologist, who was studying the body's resistance to stress (Organic India). He and his colleague Israel I. Brekhman made the western medical discovery that certain plants contain pharmacologically active compounds that give them the ability to resist stressful environments via adaptation.
However, Ayurvedic practitioners had already known this for millennia - as many of these herbs have history dating back thousands of years. Ayurvedic medicine, also known as the oldest healing system in the world, has spent over 5,000 years using herbs to cultivate harmony within the body to bring good health (Dr. Axe).
How Do Adaptogens Work?
Adaptogens work at the molecular level, regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands - all involved in the stress response. This increases the state of non-specific resistance in stress and decrease sensitivity to stressors, resulting in stress protection and prolonging the phase of resistance.
Types of Adaptogens
Adaptogens are generally known for stress relief; however, each herb has their own unique properties making them useful for specific purposes.
For Stress & Anxiety
- Ashwagandha Root, aka Withania somnifera and Indian ginseng, is often used in Ayurvedic practices. By modulating and supporting the entire nervous system, Ashwagandha is amazing for exhaustion and ideal for anyone battling low energy or mental fatigue.
- Tulsi, a.k.a. "Holy Basil" goes by many nicknames including "The Incomparable One," "The Mother Medicine of Nature," and "The Queen of Herbs". Tulsi is a prominent and significant herb in Ayurvedic medicine, known to promote focus and alleviate anxiety.
Herbal Teas to Try
DETOX TEA: Combinations of herbs such as dandelion and burdock with sweet licorice and fragrant Holy Basil. A sprinkle of rose petals and elderflowers make for a delightful sipping experience.
CALMING TEA: Breeze through your day with a sense of inner peace. Combinations of Holy Basil (aka Tulsi) and complex spices like saffron and star anise create a rich, flavorful infusion. Sweet peppermint and lemongrass are the finishing touch to help your mind unwind.
- Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero root) is one of the best adaptogens for immunity and improving energy. It helps boost physical strength and energy, increases endurance and stamina, promotes fast recovery, boosts performance, and reduces stress.
- Schizandra Berry is a mild adaptogenic herb which helps balance the stress response and acts as a potent antioxidant buffering the catabolic effects of stress. It's a powerful tonic to support an individual's physical makeup.
Herbal Teas to Try
STIMULATING: This tea is formulated with herbs and spices that have natural energy - no caffeine needed. Spicy ginger and cardamom pair with turmeric for an invigorating tea.
TRUGRIT: A combination of Pu-erh tea, purple tea, and Yerba Mate is the tea equivalent of a time release capsule, providing caffeine boosts for different ranges of time. Cinnamon, ginger, cacao and chili flakes give this tea a flavor reminiscent of spicy hot chocolate.
For Immune Health
Herbal Teas to Try
GINGER BLUEBERRY: This tea is full of calming ingredients to help promote a peaceful state of mind. Besides blueberry and ginger, this tea has the lemon trifecta: Lemongrass, Lemon Balm, and Lemon Verbena.
ENDURANCE: This tea will give you the staying power you need to keep you going. This powerful blend of adaptogenic herbs gives energizing benefits that can help you push yourself harder than ever.
The Benefits of Adaptogenic Herbs
Rather than providing a quick fix, Adaptogens help the body's internal systems build resilience for long-term wellness. Unlike coffee or other stimulants that can help give a short-term boost, adaptogens can help slowly build your body's ability to fight off fatigue.
Adaptogens are believed to increase resistance to stress - which affects various systems and pathways in the body. They're a great way to restore the body to homeostasis by targeting and strengthening the entire body.
Adaptogens have the ability to affect the endocrine system, which is in charge of hormones in the body that regulate metabolism, energy, reproduction, growth, mood and stress. They also affect the nervous system, including the brain and nerves.
Adding Adaptogens to your Diet Safely
Most adaptogens are considered safe for consumption, however it's always best to consult your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements or remedies. Some herbs can cause allergic reactions - while others can have serious side effects when taken in large doses.
We offer a great variety of Herbal Teas with made specifically to help you target whatever goal you're hoping to achieve.
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- Harnessing the Ancient Power of Adaptogenic Herbs (Organic India USA)
- What Are Adaptogens? Benefits & Risks (Forbes Health)
- Adaptogenic Herbs: Benefits and Effectiveness (Healthline)
- What To Know About Adaptogens (Scripps)
- What Are Adaptogens & What Do They Do? (RISE Botanicals)
- What are Adaptogens & Types (Cleveland Clinic)
- Complete List of Adaptogens: Primary & Secondary Adaptogens (The Botanical Institute)
- What Is Ayurveda? Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits, Doshas, More (Dr. Axe)