Adaptogenic Herbs

adaptogenic herbs

Adaptogenic herbs are herbs that work with a person’s body and help them adapt to life’s stressors. These herbs are a natural ally in dealing with chronic stress and fatigue because they work with regulating important hormones.  Adaptogenic herbs offer other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight, improving endurance, improving mental focus, and balancing mood.

It is possible to get these benefits by simply adding some of these herbs into your diet.  These herbs are often found in pill form and found in health food stores, brewed in teas or simply cut up and used to spice up a meal. For maximum health benefits, it’s best to include a healthy variety of these herbs in your diet.

How they Work

Adaptogenic compounds help mitigate the stress response by bringing the hormones of your adrenal system back into balance, thus overcoming adrenal fatigue.  Studies show adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea reduce the presence and effect of stress hormones.  Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants: they help balance, restore and protect the body. As naturopath Edward Wallace explains, an adaptogen doesn’t have a specific action: It helps you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological functions.

5 Adaptogenic Herbs

Ashwaganda is often referred to as Indian ginseng. Often used in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwaganda regulates the immune system and eases anxiety. Ashwaganda has been used in Eastern medicine for over 2,500 years and has immuno-modulating effects that boost your immune system and aid the body in lowering cortisol levels.

Rhodiola Rosea is a popular herb among the Sherpas who work on Mt. Everest because of the way it supports regular energy levels and fights altitude sickness. Studies also show it helps encourage normal cortisol levels as well as energy levels.

Rosemary – You’ve probably used rosemary in your cooking, but this herb does a lot more than add flavor and fragrance to your meals. Research shows two of its compounds, caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, support heart, digestive, and liver health. Traditional medicine from around the world has used it for centuries to relieve stress.

Astralugus has been used by the Chinese traditionally to encourage good health and fight stress. Its active compound, called TAT2, protects against aging, supports detoxification, and is nutrition for the kidneys.

Schisandra is an herb has been used in traditional Chinese Medicine to promote good health and overall wellness. Research shows it has powerful antioxidant properties that help your body stay balanced.

In India and China, warriors have used adaptogens for centuries to handle the stress of combat, recover faster, and increase their energy.  Even though these herbs have worked for thousands of years, scientific research is only beginning to reveal to the West the potential that adaptogens have to upgrade your stress response and energy levels.  It’s important to have healthy, balanced adrenals.  If you think your hormones are out of whack, consult a doctor, and before going on pharmaceuticals, perhaps try ancient herbal medicine instead.

By the way, if you are interested in more information on any of these or other adapotgens, do a search on PubMed.  There is a growing number of published studies showing the power and effectiveness of these natural substances.

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