What is an adaptogen?
The term “adaptogen” was first coined by Russian scientist Israel Brekhman in 1947, who outlined the following criteria of how to classify adaptogens:
- Increase the body’s ability to cope with internal and external stresses.
- Exhibit stimulating effects after both single-time use and prolonged use, leading to increased working capacity and mental performance under stressful and fatigue-inducing conditions.
- Normalize the functions of the body.
- Are entirely safe and have no negative side effects.
Although many people associate adaptogens with herbs or mushrooms, this is not always the case as you will see in the list below.
Why would I need an adaptogen?
Many people suffer from imbalances in body systems. This can lead to things like fatigue, weakness, indigestion, heart issues, blood sugar problems, infertility, etc. and may even lead to disease or diseases if left untreated in the long term.
Its all about balance!
The goal of an adaptogen is to bring you back to homeostasis, your body's state of balance.
The main systems of the human body are:
- Circulatory system:
- Digestive system and Excretory system:
- Influences the function of the body using hormones.
- Integumentary system/ Exocrine system:
Immune system and lymphatic system:
- Defends the body against pathogens that may endanger the body.
- The system comprising a network of lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph.
- Enables the body to move using muscles.
- Nervous system:
- Renal system and Urinary system
- Reproductive system:
- Respiratory system:
- Skeletal system:
What are the top 5 adaptogens?
Here is a list of the top 5 adaptogens in no particular order. These were chosen because of their efficacy, safety and ease of use.
Ginseng is a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is probably the most recognized adaptogen. There are two main species: Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Studies have found that the different types have different benefits.
Studies have demonstrated the potential of ginseng to prevent and reverse a number of inflammatory conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis, and asthma. Ginseng also has neuroprotective effects, which can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
Humic and fulvic acids
These two nutrient powerhouses may be the most interesting of the list. There are actually not an herb or a mushroom, rather they are nutrient compounds formulated by the earth.
They were discovered when local Himalayan tribes noticed that apes were eating this gooey, tar-like substance oozing from the rocks. They noticed they became smarter, stronger and lived longer than the apes who didn't eat it.
They called it shilajit or "The destroyer of weakness".
Science has since discovered that the active ingredients were humic and fulivc acids. These two natural compounds contain over 80 beneficial nutrients and probably are the most bang-for-the-buck adaptogens as they have a multitude of positive effects on your body and balance all body systems.
The scientific community is actively exploring these compounds as effective treatments for inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and arthritis, as well as cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's. Exciting new research also shows great promise for terminal diseases such as cancer.
Used in auyurvedic medicine, ashwagandha has been shown to calm the mind, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and enhance the activity of immune cells
Rhodiola is an adaptogen that has been proven to reduce the secretion of cortisol during stressful situations.
Used in Eastern Medicine practices for centuries. Known as the “queen of mushrooms” due to its powerful adaptogenic effects on mind and body.
Use it to boost your immune system, relieve stress and anxiety, feel more balanced, and get deeper sleep.
Learn more at our blog
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