All About Adaptogens

Trends in the health & wellness industry come and go - new buzzwords pop up on a daily basis, so are adaptogens the real deal or is it all just a bunch of hogwash?


What are adaptogens & how do they work?

Adaptogens have been part of ancient herbal practices in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. However, the term 'adaptogens' was coined in 1947 by a Russian scientist, Lazarev, who was interested in substances that helped the body adapt to physical and emotional stress. Adaptogens are a class of herbs that offer up some serious benefits for the body. They have a 'normalising' effect, improving body function. In the end, there is a total body response that increases resistance against harm from physical and emotional stress (disease, anxiety etc.).

Not only do adaptogens have a normalising effect, they support the adrenal glands which are responsible for that 'fight or flight' response we experience when we are stressed. When our adrenal glands are constantly being activated by our stressful and busy lives without a break, they get a bit exhausted. Ideally we would want to create an environment that would maintain a less stressful life, but let's be honest, that's next to impossible in this day and age. Adaptogens can help to bounce back from the constant strain for better sleep, memory, focus, digestion and so much more.

6 Top Herbal Supplements

1. Panax Ginseng Also known as Korean ginseng, it's probably the most popular herbal supplement on the market - you can't go into any health shop without seeing the words 'ginseng' and 'energy' paired together. Referred to as the 'True Ginseng', panax ginseng has been studied extensively, appearing to be effective for improving mood, immunity, energy levels & brain function. Panax ginseng is also used to regulate blood sugar in diabetes. Some studies have shown that panax ginseng increases the well-being & happiness in people who are diseased but in healthy individuals, it is actually unlikely to have any benefits.

2. Ashwagandha

One of the most esteemed herbs in Ayurveda, ashwagandha has been used for over 3000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels and improve concentration. 'Ashwagandha' is Sanskrit for 'smell of the horse,' which refers to both its unique smell and ability to increase strength. Ashwagandha has had many studies done on it to prove its benefits. It's been shown to help in treating diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and has also been studied for its ability to boost testosterone and increase libido!

3. Maca

Another buzzword, maca's popularity has sky-rocketed in recent years, but it has actually been around for centuries! Traditionally used to enhance fertility and sex drive, maca has also been claimed to improve energy and stamina. It's an incredibly nutritious herb & is a great source of several vitamins, like vitamin C. In Peru, maca has been used by natives to improve learning & memory in children and recent studies are confirming how it works. While research on maca is still in its early stages, it is showing great results. Several studies have shown that maca can improve your mental well-being & mood by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

4. Reishi Mushrooms

One of nature's greatest tonics, reishi strengthens the immune system to help build resistance to stress & it's being hailed as the 'mushroom of immortality'. That may sound too good to be true, but with the overwhelming studies being completed showing the astounding proof of its benefits, this seemingly insignificant fungus has a solid case. Because of its ability to boost the immune system, reishi has been found hugely beneficial to chronic diseases like bronchitis, leaky-gut syndrome, HIV, Epstein-Barr and even Cancer. It also has the ability to lower cholesterol & triglycerides in the blood, earning it the right as a soldier to fight against heart disease & stroke.

5. Rhodiola

Arguably the most studied adaptogen - Rhodiola is a pretty convincing powerhouse of prosperity. Rhodiola is well known for its ability to supress cortisol while enhancing stress-resistance. It contains a phytochemical called salisdroside which is proven to help the body regulate cortisol after periods of intense stress. Rhodiola also helps with reducing fatigue & exhaustion while promoting longevity ' a great competitor to panax ginseng! Studies are showing that rhodiola supports cognitive function & is a fantastic nervine tonic in that it uplifts when we are down (fatigued) & calms down when we are too heightened (stressed).

6. Astragalus

A fundamental herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine, astragalus is used for a medley of purposes & supposedly increases lifespan. Astragalus has been studied for its cardio-protective, anti-inflammatory and immune activating effects. Boosting the immune system is astragalus' claim to fame. For thousands of years ' this has been its main use & studies have shown that astragalus does stimulate immune cells to be released & that used as an additional therapy, it's incredibly effective.

Disclaimer: Supplementing with adaptogens may be an easy and effective way to improve your health and quality of life & while most people can take adaptogens daily without side effects, this isn't true for everyone. If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking adaptogens, discontinue use or consult a registered, knowledgeable health practitioner.

“Wellness Warehouse strives to help you live life well but because we are retailers and not medical practitioners we cannot offer medical advice. Please always consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplements, complementary medicines or have any health concerns and ensure that you always read labels, warnings and directions carefully, prior to consumption.”