What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are a special class of herbs and plants used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to promote natural healing. They are said to help you adapt to your environment and, depending on the specific herb, are either eaten, taken as a supplement, or consumed in a drink.
What do they do?
- Combat stress: Adaptogens stabilize physiological processes to promote homeostasis.
- Boost mind, body, and spirit - Adaptogens support your body's natural resilience to both mental and physical ailments.
- Care for your cells - Adaptogens decrease cellular sensitivity to stress.
Those are the three main categories. We’ll look more closely at each below.
Adaptogens work by lowering your cortisol to avoid the chronic stress that affects your body's physiological systems, including thyroid and adrenal glands.These herbs and plants can help you defend against feelings of stress and fatigue.
The adaptogen, Ashwagandha, has been shown to reduce cortisol levels. Over a 60 day period, the study group given ashwagandha had reduced cortisol levels with little to no adverse side effects. Many other adaptogens are believed to reduce stress as well, however scientists warn that you should never rely on one thing alone to treat stress. It’s important to take a holistic approach to overcoming stress, which adaptogens can help with.
Boosting your resilience
Adaptogens help keep you in a state of resilience. Certain studies show adaptogens to be linked to reducing depression and having fatigue-fighting effects on the body. This anti-fatigue effect was proven to increase productivity despite outside stressors. Research has also demonstrated an adaptogen’s effectiveness at protecting your body when undergoing long and intense physical exertion, along with fortifying the mind from depression.
The adaptogen Tulsi has specifically been shown to protect your organs and tissues from environmental and chemical stresses like pollution and heavy metals in water. It’s also been demonstrated to help balance blood glucose levels, lipid levels, and blood pressure. This heightened mental and physical resilience can be incredibly useful and is yet another amazing effect that adaptogens can have when protecting your mind, body, and spirit!
Lowering Anxiety And Depression
Another amazing effect of many adaptogens is their effect on the mind. Adaptogens like Siberian ginseng, Schisandra, and Rhodiola have been shown to lower the fight or flight stress response that happens when we experience anxiety.
Many adaptogens also increase the quality of sleep, which will ultimately be better for your physical and mental health!
Care for your cells
Your cells are more than just circles, they’re complex, and they can use some TLC from the nutritional compounds in adaptogens.
Some adaptogens are attributed to boosting and strengthening the immune system due to their antioxidant properties. This is often because of the complex sugars, beta-glucans, within adaptogens that allow the immune system’s cells to become more active and stronger. Some adaptogens, like the Reishi mushroom, demonstrate the ability to slow blood clotting too.
Some Adaptogens Featured in Almeda Products
Two of the most well-researched and proven adaptogens featured in Almeda’s product line include:
Panax ginseng. Displayed as red Korean ginseng on our labels, panax ginseng has been shown to give your immune system a boost. It also has effects on working memory, reaction time, and overall calmness.
- Rhodiola rosea. This adaptogen has been shown to protect against physical and mental fatigue.
Following are some of the ingredients with adaptogens that can be found in Almeda products.
Key Adaptogens & Their Benefits
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) - Reduces stress and anxiety, lowers cortisol levels.
- Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia) - Contributes greatly to skin and immune health. Has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) - Stimulates the immune system’s lymphocytes with beta-glucans. Energy boosting, cancer fighting, and increasing cognitive function.
- Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum) - Holds anti inflammatory properties and supports the immune system. Suspected to balance blood sugar, it can potentially be used to help treat diabetes. One of the highest natural sources of zeaxanthin, which promotes healthy eyes, a good source of the skin supporting compound, beta carotene.
- Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) - an antioxidant, anti inflammatory, and may improve mood, anxiety and depression. Lion’s mane most profound quality is its nootropic characteristics, meaning it promotes mental cognition and clarity, and it improves memory. In studies, Lion’s mane has also shown to protect against and even reverse neurodegenerative diseases by increasing the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).
- Moringa (Moringa oleifera) - Contains all the essential amino acids and bioactive plant compounds, including carotenoids. Due to its nutritional content, it is anti inflammatory and antioxidant. It has also shown to lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar.
- Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) - Used for longevity, energy, healthy sleep, and to fight anxiety. Combats negative impacts of stress and promotes balance. Triterpenes, have shown to fight against cancerous tumors. Beta-glucans increase immune response. Promotes overall wellness and tones the body.
- Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) - Protects your organs and tissues from environmental and chemical stresses like pollution and heavy metals in water. It’s also been demonstrated to help balance blood glucose levels, lipid levels, and blood pressure. This heightened mental and physical resilience.
Adaptogens + Whole foods
We’re a supplement company, but we’re also a “pro food” company. As such, we like to recommend eating a whole foods diet along with the adaptogen supplements, so your body can work in harmony with nature to make you look and feel your best. Of course, when that’s a struggle, supplements can help you boost your immunity and become more resilient until you can eat the way you strive to eat.
How Do I Consume Adaptogens?
Adaptogens can be consumed in a variety of ways. Some adaptogens must be consumed in a particular way, others are more flexible. Currently, adaptogens are consumed in food, drinks, and supplements. Many adaptogens have a bitter taste when consumed alone, so we recommend finding a way to mix them into your diet.
Here are a few ways that adaptogens can be added to food or drink:
- Smoothies with mushrooms, ginger, turmeric, and other adaptogen mixes.
- Curries incorporating turmeric and other spices.
- Mushroom heavy recipes including tacos, french dip, and stir-frys.
- Adding adaptogen supplements to strongly flavored drinks like hot chocolate, smoothies, lattes, or chai tea.
- Soups are a good way to mask strong or bitter-tasting adaptogens. Many adaptogens can add a lovely taste to your soup as well.
Our favorite ways to enjoy Adaptogens
- In these Almeda products (of course!)
- Kasvi Cacao
Adaptogens are a great way to supplement your current diet and to help you reach a new level of health when combined with a healthy, whole foods diet. Looking at different adaptogens to help with ailments or improve your energy levels can be a great way to boost your health. As always, check with your doctor first before consuming any new products. Our supplements can be an amazing way to boost your immune system and health while you are working towards the healthiest you!
We hope this piece helped to answer any questions you have about adaptogens and their many, amazing effects. Please let us know in the comments below if you have further questions. We are here to help you live the best and healthiest life!