Adaptogen Herbs – What They Do and Why They Are Key To Your Health
When I first learned about adaptogenic herbs, or adaptogens, I thought to myself, these herbs sound like superpower plants!
It seemed like there was nothing they didn’t directly or indirectly help support, as far as the body’s systems go. My next thought was, why isn’t everyone using these?
What Are They???
Adaptogenic Herbs, or adaptogens, are plants that help balance and protect the body. They have been used in Ayervedic and Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, and recently, the rest of the world is beginning to take note of their extensive range of health benefits.
Their main role is strengthening your body’s response to stress, by increasing your body’s natural resistance to emotional, physical, and environmental stress. Stress causes the release of cortisol in the body, the fight-or-flight hormone. If cortisol levels are elevated over a long period of time, it can negatively effect our bodies. Chronic stress affexts every physiological process in the body, and can damage organs, lead to inflammation, and chronic disease. (Want to be part of my 3 part series of managing stress naturally?
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Adaptogens also help regulate the immune system. They can either boost it, or bring it down to normal levels, such as in the case of allergies. Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. In essence, adaptogens balance the body, adapting their effect to your body’s unique needs…… helping your body help itself.
In the adaptogen family, they all offer these amazing health benefits, but each herb has its own special qualites. So… how do you get these wonder herbs, and which ones exactly are they? I will talk about three of the most common, and in my opinion, most effective.
Adaptogen Herbs Ashwaghanda
Ashwaganda boosts the immune system, boosts energy levels, and improves memory and learning. I will take this herb in capsule form when I am feeling fatigue and stress. It really just helps my mood level and I noticed it does improve focus.
It is a nightshade, so if you have arthritis, or auto-immune disease, it may further aggravate your symptoms.
Adaptogen Herbs Holy Basil or Tulsi
This one I love as a tea. It has a really pleasant taste and is calming and relaxing, and I notice the effect almost right away. It’s perfect for sipping after a long day. It does not act as a sedative at all.
Adaptogen Herbs Maca
This one you will love or hate. It has a potent taste that some compare to rich chocolate. Its special qualities include boosted energy and libido.
When taking adaptogens, it is advised to take them on an as-needed basis. You can safely take them for up to 6 weeks, and then it is recommended to give them a 2 week break before beginning again. The reason for this, is that they work holistically with the body, and they are there to help your body help itself.
If you have any questions, comment below!
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Before starting a new supplement, you should talk to your doctor. This information is a result of my own personal research and experience and is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Dr. Jesse Chappus & Marin Wassermann “Understanding Adaptogens”
Healthyprep.com “What are Adapogens”