Adaptogen is a buzzword receiving much attention as of late….and rightfully so. They pack a knockout punch when it comes to your health. Adaptogen drinks and adaptogen supplements are popping up everywhere.
Here is a quick overview on adaptogens:
What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are herbs, roots and mushrooms that help the body resist and adjust to stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological. They're thought to stimulate your body's stress-protection response and help its systems return to a balanced state called "homeostasis. Adaptogens have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions, but they’re having a renaissance today. Some, like holy basil, can be eaten as part of a meal, and some are consumed as supplements or brewed into teas.
Each adaptogen provides something different to the body, but on the whole, “adaptogens help your body handle stress,” says Dr. Brenda Powell, co-medical director of the Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. “They’re meant to bring us back to the middle.”
Do adaptogens actually work?
Proponents believe so, though more research is needed. Adaptogens may do for your adrenal glands what exercise does for your muscles, Powell says. “When we exercise, it’s a stress on our body. But as we continue to train and exercise, our body becomes better at dealing with the stress of it, so we no longer get as tired or as high a heart rate,” she says. When you take adaptogens, meanwhile, “you’re training your body to handle the effects of stress.”
Are adaptogens safe?
Adaptogens are considered generally safe, non-toxic and non-habit forming. There’s little evidence to suggest that adaptogens can cause side effects or health problems—though, like any plant, they can be allergenic or cause gastrointestinal distress for some people. More research is needed in this field, but the results so far are very promising. But like everything, you can have too much of anything so only take the recommended dose and speak to your doctor first.
Which adaptogens are right for me?
Each adaptogen has a slightly different function, so the best one for you depends on the specific issue you’re experiencing. Here are some common adaptogens and what they claim to be good for.
Each adaptogen has a slightly different function, so the best one for you depends on the specific ailment you’re experiencing. Here are some common adaptogens for your basic health maintenance and aliments.
- Adaptogens for PMS / Hormone Health: Ashwagandha, Chasteberry (Vitex), Shatavari and Black Cohosh help regulate hormones and reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and dysmenorrhea (or painful periods).
- Adaptogens for long-term stress: Ashwagandha and Asian ginseng to soothe long-term sources of stress and the hormone imbalances that may result from it. Some research has suggested that holy basil, or tulsi, may help lower stress levels.
- Adaptogens for acute stress and anxiety: Some research suggests that Siberian ginseng, rhodiola and schisandra may help mediate fight-or-flight stress responses. People use Siberian ginseng to boost the immune system, physical stamina and sexual health; rhodiola is believed to improve energy, physical performance and memory; and schisandra is thought to improve liver function and gastrointestinal problems. Much more research is needed to back up these claims.
- Adaptogens for immune health: Reishi and ginseng have been found in some small studies to boost immunity.
Best Overall Supplement for Women
Hormones are the unsung hero of health. They work hard to keep our bodies running like well-oiled machines and when they are off-balance, a myriad of health issues can appear. Hormones play a large part in many of our daily functions as well as critical life milestones. They affect everything from blood sugar to blood pressure, growth and fertility, sex drive, metabolism and even sleep. Adaptogenic supplement blends and adaptogenic drink mixes are the most effective way to target your hormones.
We recommend Ladywell’s Daily Hormone Balance as your daily supplementation for hormone health. Its comprehensive formula contains the most powerful natural ingredients to relieve symptoms of PMS, reduce the effects of hormonal stressors, combat cravings, improve overall egg health and balance hormones to help your body run optimally.