Adaptogens – What Are They?
Adaptogens may be an unfamiliar name to you, but the name categorizes some items you might have in your medicine or kitchen cabinets.
If you’ve ever used natural or herbal remedies, you’ve likely had some experience with adaptogens already.
There are actually entire lines of herbal therapies products and even flower botanicals that are used in holistic medicine. These offer you natural ways of healing – from more than just stress.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens get their name from what they do – helping your body adapt to stress and other things. They regulate hormones, so they help you relax and fight fatigue. Adaptogens do much more for you than just help you stay awake and stay positive.
Adaptogens can help boost your immune system, and reduce inflammation while they’re at it. They are often used in weight loss, helping you maintain a healthy weight. They also assist in balancing your mood (which is why they are great for stress and anxiety), and they help you with endurance and focus too.
List of Adaptogens Herbs
You’ll understand a little more about adaptogens once you’re introduced to some of them.
Again, you may have already taken some of these for what ails you.
However, knowing now that they can help you deal with stress makes them even more important in your healthy regimen.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is most commonly thought of as a topical healing agent, but it can do good things internally as well. Lately it has started to show up inside drinks and as supplements. It supports immune health, as well as the adrenal system.
2. Asian Ginseng
Asian Ginseng, or Panax Ginseng, has been taken for mental health and for boosting physical endurance for years. It’s also an antioxidant, so it’s good for the immune system.
3. Siberian Ginseng
Siberian Ginseng, or Eleuthero Ginseng, is another adaptogen that will help balance your moods and ease stress. On top of that, it boosts energy naturally.
4. Indian Ginseng
Ashwagandha, or Indian Ginseng, improves the way you handle stress. Like the other forms of ginseng, it also helps boost your energy. Use it to keep your mind sharp, especially as you age.
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb used to fight off stress and promote overall good health. It fights against aging, is used in detoxification, and it’s supportive of kidney health.
6. Holy Basil
Holy Basil is a mint, and it has many of the same soothing properties of other mints (peppermint is great for easing tummy aches and stopping headaches). Holy Basil is an amazing stress reliever. You can find Holy Basil in tea form at many health food stores.
Bacopa is an Ayurvedic herb, which means it’s been around for centuries. This herb helps with brain health, including aiding in memory and focus.
8. Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola is used in both traditional Chinese and Indian medicines. It helps stimulate the flow of blood and reduces inflammation. It’s also an antioxidant.
9. Licorice Root
Licorice root has a lot of health benefits. Not only does it reduce inflammation, but it also helps fight stomach ulcers and heartburn.
10. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle contains silymarin, which is good for liver health. It also boosts metabolism. Its work with metabolism helps it regulate the hormones that are associated with stress.
11. Moringa Oleifera
This Southeast Asia plant is used from seeds to roots (including the leaves and oils) in medicine and in cooking. It’s an immunity boosting herb that reduces inflammation. While it helps fight stress, it also boosts your energy.
12. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea is an herb the fights altitude sickness, making it a popular herb for Sherpas on Mt. Everest. It also helps keep energy levels increased. It helps with stress by keeping cortisol levels normal.
You may think of rosemary as a cooking herb only, but it has other uses. Its fragrance not only makes food dishes smell delicious, but it helps invoke good dreams. On top of that, it is heart healthy, and it promotes healthy digestion.
Another traditional Chinese medicinal herb, Schisandra is an antioxidant. It keeps your body and your mind balanced. Many of these lesser known herbs can easily be found at local health food stores that sell vitamins and supplements – or you can order them online.
Side Effects to Be Aware of
Herbal supplements are usually healthy since they are natural herbs. However, as with any kind of medications, prescription or not, you should talk to your doctor before you take an herbal supplement.
Adaptogens side effects would come into play if you were taking a prescription or over-the-counter medication that could be adversely affected by a certain herb.
There are chances you could be allergic to an herb. If you have any kind of strange reactions, like swelling of the throat or skin rash, stop taking the herb and visit your doctor. Go to the emergency room if the reaction is severe.
Because they are made from natural plants, flowers, and roots, you can have allergic reactions to them just like you do the spring flower blooms!
Adding Adaptogens to Your Diet
Taking adaptogens for stress is a great way to bring more happiness into your life, and help you adapt to the stressful situations that abound on any normal day.
Use these various herbs to give yourself more energy and a more positive attitude.
Talk to a professional about them if you’re on any prescription medications.