Just like the moon we go through phases, let us learn to adapt and Thrive!
Adaptogens are far from A health trend and have been used to treat a variety of ailments over several millennia. By strengthening our internal systems, adaptogens can promote vitality, stabilize mood and improve performance and focus. They can be consumed as supplement capsules, teas, or tinctures.
A Bit of Adaptogenic History
The term Adaptogen was coined in 1957 by Nikolai Lazarev. Later Lazarev used adaptogenic plants to assist in boosting the performance of soldiers during wartime. He was employed by the soviet union as a pharmacologist and within just a few years became one of the unions leading experts on pharmacology and toxicology. Going on to truly learn pharmaceuticals although effective short term was detrimental to a person’s health and wellbeing, While on the other hand adaptogenic plants had fewer to no side effects and were effective in increasing performance and a more safe alternative long term.
Dr. Israel Brekhman expanded Lazarev's definition of adaptogens in 1968, further refining Lazarev's work. These three adaptogenic plant qualifications were created as Brekhman's expanded definition.
Adaptogens are nontoxic. Adaptogens herbs should be safe and nontoxic, showing no significant side effects or contraindications.
Adaptogens produce a nonspecific response in the body. Adaptogens have a generalizing action to improve resistance to all kinds of stress - physical, psychological, environmental, and so on.
Adaptogens have a normalizing impact on the body. The balancing capacity within adaptogens has a bidirectional effect. This means that the plants’ medicinal constituents will perform as needed in order to help return the stressed physiological conditions to a normailized state.
If you're anything like me and Mushrooms are your thing, you will love our Mushroom Mind Connection Collection. This Collection holds our mushroom blend capsules and tinctures and are all adaptogenic and also hold their own medicinal qualities.
How Adaptogens are said to Work in the Body?
Adaptogens are plant substances (often herbs) that have been found to help our bodies manage stress and maintain balance or homeostasis. They do this by assisting the body and helping it ADAPT, regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. “Researchers say adaptogenic herbs interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a complex system of glands, hormones, and receptors in the human body. The HPA axis is central to the body’s homeostasis, stress responses and energy metabolism”(your). Working on a molecular level by “hacking” the stress response in the body to help reduce it. This helps with overall longevity and everyday wellness, restoring balance and helping us adapt to stress. Adaptogens have the potential to Improve attention, Increase endurance in situations caused by fatigue, Lower stress-induced disorders, and impairments in the body as well as balance hormone levels, all thought to increase mental work capacity.
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis (and Why Does it Matter)?
A complex system of glands, hormones, and receptors in the human body. The HPA axis is central to the body’s homeostasis, stress responses and energy metabolism
Supporting Cluster Post to Include: Coming Soon
Here is an example of a few Adaptogenic herbs as well as mushrooms. Primary adaptogens are those herbs supported by the most research such as Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Schisandra, Rhodiola, Shilajit, Holy Basil, Cordyceps, Licorice. You can also find herbs we like to refer to as secondary adaptogens, these herbs show promising adaptogenic chemistry and still need to fall into all three qualifications of an adaptogen. Some of these are Astragalus, Dang Shen, Maca, Chaga, Lions Mane, Maitake, Turkey Tail, Reishi, and many many more!
Types of Adaptogens?
Primary Adaptogen - herbs supported by the most scientific research. They also meet all adaptogenic qualification.
Ashwagandha Withania somnifera
Cordyceps Cordyceps sinensis
Eleuthero Eleutherococcus senticosus
Ginseng Panax ginseng
Holy Basil (Tulsi) Ocimum tenuiflorum, Ocimum sanctum
Licorice Glycyrrhiza glabra
Rhodiola Rhodiola rosea
Schisandra Schisandra chinensis
Shilajit Asphaltum bitumen
Secondary Adaptogen - These herbs show promising adaptogenic properties/Chemistry but just not enough sufficient evidence.
Astragalus Astragalus propinquus
Dang Shen Codonopsis pilosula
Maca Lepidium meyenii, Peruvian ginseng
Chaga Inonotus obliquus
Lions Mane Hericium erinaceus
Maitake Grifola frondosa
Turkey Tail Trametes versicolor, Coriolus versicolor, Polyporus versicolor
Reishi Lingzhi, Ganoderma lingzhi
and many more!
There are so many ways to incorporate these impactful herbs into your day such as tea, tinctures, capsules, and more. Taking these herbs every day can potentially boost mood, energy levels, stamina, and more. All while helping reduce stress internally and externally and lessening symptoms of depression.
Ayales, Adriana. Adaptogens: Herbs for Longevity and Everyday Wellness. Sterling Ethos, 2019.
Panossian, Alexander, and Georg Wikman. “Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress-Protective Activity.” Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), Swedish Herbal Institute, 19 Jan. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/.
Perez, Lauren. “Your Guide To Adaptogens.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 27 Sept. 2021, www.forbes.com/health/body/what-are-adaptogens/.