In this blog post, I explain how to tackle the no.1 reason why you are feeling tired, depressed and why some of you struggle to lose weight or keep on piling on the pounds. STRESS! Let’s face it, you could do with a little extra sleep, more energy and a buffer against the stress that life throws at you. Good news, as well as adjustments to your diet and lifestyle, there is a group of plants referred to as adaptogens that can help with exactly this and much more.
Adaptogens have gained in popularity in recent years and for good reason. As the name suggests, they can help you to ‘adapt’ and thrive despite life’s inevitable ups and downs. Your busy modern lives demand a lot from you physically, mentally and emotionally and adaptogens can help to ease the burden and combat the side effects of stress.
What are Adaptogens?
‘Adaptogens’ is the name for certain herbs and medicinal mushrooms which possess unique properties that help combat the effects of stress. When you face stressors such as a busy workday, a hectic schedule or even intense physical exercise, they can be used to help the body recover and become more resilient.
Some examples of adaptogens include ashwagandha, ginseng, maca, rhodiola, tulsi and turmeric as well as medicinal mushrooms such as reishi and chaga.
How do Adaptogens work?
Adaptogens have a broad, non-specific effect and work on multiple body systems at once. They can bring the body back into balance by working to raise what is low and reduce what is high. In technical terms, they act at the hypothalamus level and help to control the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands, which is important in times of acute and chronic stress.
Each adaptogen has its own unique set of properties and benefits, which means that you can choose what’s best for your current needs by working with a trained healthcare practitioner such as a Registered Nutritional Therapist or Herbalist.
What can Adaptogens help with?
Adaptogens are great all-rounders because they work both for prevention and protection of the side effects of stress on the body. Although adaptogens are renowned for their ability to combat the effects of stress, they have many other researched applications including:
- Reducing tiredness & fatigue
- Supporting hormonal balance
- Increasing mental and physical stamina
- Supporting immune function
- Stabilising mood
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Supporting quality sleep
- Reducing levels of inflammation
- As a source of antioxidants
- Regulating blood sugar levels
- Improving concentration
- Enhancing mental performance
Who are Adaptogens suitable for?
Adaptogens can be a great addition to your routine, especially if you’re looking for more support with a busy and stressful lifestyle. Tell-tale signs that you could benefit from adding an adaptogen into your routine might include insomnia, irritability, brain fog, anxiety and fatigue.
Adaptogens are thought to be safe to use for most people*, but there’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing which adaptogen is right for you. Always seek guidance from a trained healthcare provider before taking any new supplements.
* IMPORTANT NOTE: Adaptogens can interact with certain medications so check with your healthcare provider before using them.