Have you heard of adaptogens? This amazing group of herbs has the ability to help your body cope with stress, become more resilient to stressors, and stay healthy no matter how much pressure life is putting you under.
If used correctly and regularly, they can be a proverbial magic bullet for treating stress and anxiety, among other challenging issues. Here is why you should add them to your supplement regime today!
What Are They?
The term ‘adaptogen’ refers to any herb that works on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathoadrenal systems of your brain to bring them into sync. Both of these systems are involved in your body’s response to stress, and when you regulate them with certain herbs, you are effectively teaching your body how to cope with stressors in a healthier way.
Adaptogens alter hormone production and your physiological response to stress just enough to ensure that your energy levels and immune system are not compromised as your bodily systems work overtime to keep everything in check.
How Does Stress Affect You?
When your body is exposed to stress, your adrenal glands and brain release a hormone by the name of cortisol. Under normal conditions, this would trigger a healthy fight or flight response – but the issue is that unlike our ancestors, we endure bouts of stress that are far longer and more sustained, as opposed to being quick and fleeting.
As a result, constantly elevated cortisol levels can take their toll on every system in your body, including your reproductive hormones, your thyroid and adrenal glands, your heart, your nervous system, and many others.
If you feel like you are playing bingo Australia with your stress symptoms, never fear – adaptogens can help!
Top Adaptogens and Their Uses
If you are new to the wonderful world of adaptogens, it pays to do some research. Different herbs are appropriate for different situations and conditions, but regardless, there are a few that are widely popular for their reputable effects and lasting benefits. They include:
- Maca root. This adaptogenic supplement is useful for menstrual problems, low testosterone levels, and other hormonal issues caused by chronically elevated stress levels. It is also used to treat depression, PMS, PCOS, mood swings, low energy levels, and brain fog.
- Ashwagandha. This Indian plant has the power to dramatically reduce oxidative stress in the body, which could slow ageing and cellular damage caused by stress. Ashwagandha is frequently used to boost energy levels and libido, reduce joint pain, support the immune system and balance hormones in both men and women.
- Tulsi. Also known as Holy Basil, Tulsi can help to stabilize your blood sugar and protect your adrenals while also detoxifying your body. Additionally, it can reduce anxiety, support your liver, and balance hormones, particularly in women.
- Reishi mushrooms. Considered the world’s most potent adaptogen, these mushrooms can fight cancer, support immune and heart health, lower blood sugar, battle fatigue, and even remedy depression! Other adaptogens worth researching include astragalus, rhodiola rosea, ginseng, moringa and eleuthero.