Lifestyle: Wellness

Keep Calm and Carry On with Adaptogens

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by Tracey Pollack

Life today is stressful. But soothing your nerves and your mind don’t have to be with the wellness wonders called adaptogens.

Modern-day life brings everyday stress. You’re worried at work. You’re hassled at home. You have too much to do, but too little time and energy to do anything at all. Before you know it, your tight schedule leaves you with tighter shoulders, and your heart is racing even faster than your mind. If you think that stress is messing up your life, imagine what it's doing to your body and your health! While it’s only natural to get anxious about stress, there are natural ways to help your body adapt to it known as adaptogens. But beyond calming the mind, these wellness wonders also offer several health benefits, from boosting your energy to your immunity. So open your mind to these super soothers to not only survive but thrive.  


Get to the Root of Adaptogens 

Adaptogens are a unique group of therapeutic plants, herbs, and fungi that are thought to help your body resist the effects of stress. Their name comes from their believed ability to help your body “adapt” to all kinds of stress. While these herbs are used to help you handle the stress of modern life, their roots can be traced back to traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic healing traditions. Adaptogens have been used in these Eastern cultures for thousands of years to help the body create a resistance to all kinds of physical, emotional, and environmental stressors. Now, they’re being welcomed by the Western world as a healthy response to stress. 


How Adaptogens Work—And Work Wonders  

The theory behind adaptogens is that they’re thought to act as mini-stressors to stimulate your body’s response to stress, and then help it return to a balanced state. So basically, adaptogens train your body to respond to stress more favorably. According to research, the herbal action in adaptogens interacts with a complex system of glands and hormones, which triggers your body’s natural stress response to keep your body in balance. While adaptogens are mostly known and loved for stress relief, each herb has its own special properties that makes it helpful for specific issues and ailments. 


Relax, You’ve Found the Best Adaptogens for Stress 

When you want to find your zen, you want to find ashwagandha. Used for more than 2,500 years and researched extensively today, ashwagandha can help promote a healthy stress response to relieve tension and fatigue. This soothing shrub can also help ease sleep concerns that may be keeping you up at night. And to keep the calm coming, consider holy basil. Also known as tulsi, this calming herb is thought to help you feel less stressed and improve your mood.  


Stay Calm and Stay Well with the Best Adaptogens for Immune Health 

If you’re tired of dealing with seasonal issues, astragalus is a healthy addition to your wellness routine. This perennial flowering plant has been a favorite in Chinese medicine for its bioactive plant compounds that provide immune and antioxidant benefits. These complex compounds have been shown to help boost the immune system and help with those pesty seasonal downtimes. Another healthy choice is reishi mushrooms. Their abilities also stem from their bioactive compounds, which give them similar immune-boosting and health-promoting powers. 


Put a Pep in Your Step with the Best Adaptogens for Energy 

It’s time to break up with your barista. When you need an energizing pick-me-up without the caffeine crash, pick up moringa instead. The leaves of this Indian tree are full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that give you a burst of all-natural energy that’s similar to coffee, but without the caffeine that can leave you nervous, restless, and sleepless. The nutrients in moringa give you clean, caffeine-free energy to power you all day long. And when you’re feeling worn down, rhodiola can rev up your energy, endurance, and stamina. This potent plant works on a cellular level to help you get over that mid-day slump with the energy and focus you need. 


Take It Easy About How to Take Adaptogens 

Adaptogens come in many forms, and there are just as many ways to add them to your life. They are available as powders to mix in your smoothies, as well as teas for a soothing sip. You can also find them as tinctures, which are liquid extracts that let you add a drop to any drink, along with capsules that make adaptogens easy to swallow. Whichever you choose to use, look for a trusted brand that uses third-party testing to ensure the safety and source of the supplement. If you’re new to this world of wellness, speak to your doctor before trying any adaptogen to see which type to take and dose to use. Then, start slowly and add just one herb at a time to your routine to see how each affects you.  


Whether you want to calm down, pep up, or stay healthy inside and out, adaptogens can bring a little zen and zing to life.

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