Step aside Xanax, adaptogens are here to squash anxieties and stress away. At least this is what the experts say.
We already know the various health and beauty benefits of a plant-based diet, but did you know that there are specific plants and herbs that act as natural stress reducers that lower our stress hormones (cortisol) and can help nourish our adrenals? Enter the term: adaptogens.
When we have constant stress in our lives, the skyrocketing cortisol levels can really do a number on the various systems in our bodies. High cortisol levels can screw with our digestive system, cause us to age quicker, it can create hormone, thyroid and adrenal imbalances, and of course cause us to become ill. Besides experimenting with lifestyle practices like yoga, meditation, and breathing to calm nerves and stress, you can reach for foods that have compounds that help you beat stress’s @ass.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are specific type of plant that help our bodies restore and balance certain functions based on what is needed at any given time. They are called adaptopgens because they can help our body “adapt” to changes caused by stress. Adaptopgens are intuitive and respond to stressors that are present in our body, and they are especially helpful for our adrenal glands which can be impacted drastically by an overload of stress.
Adaptogens don’t work immediately like when we take Advil or Tylenol, so it’s important to note that foods that have adaptogens work gently but have lasting effects. These types of plants are very common in Ayurvedic medicine as a healing modality. They help our body achieve homeostasis and keep our inflammation levels from elevated cortisol in check.
Studies linked to the benefits of Adaptogens
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Improves our exercise performance
- Decreases our response to cortisol and can improve our mental performance
- May regenerate our brain cells
Types Of Adaptogen Herbs:
I’ll be writing articles on each specific herb listed below and their benefits/functions coming up on BB, but if you’d like to do your own research for now here is a list. In the meantime, here’s a quick introduction of Adaptogenic herbs and a quick little description of each of their strengths.
- Ashwaganda: Boosts our mood and helps our thyroids function optimally.
- Shilajit: Helps balance our sex hormones.
- Holy Basil: Boosts our memory.
- Cordycep mushrooms: Balances our hormones.
- Maca: Boosts immunity, calms anxiety, and boosts energy.
- Schisandra: Helps us balance our adrenals.
- Rhodiola: Another natural energy booster that can help your mental stimulation and concentration. It also helps us adapt to stress.
- Ginseng: Acts as a wonderful pick-me up and energy booster.
- Pearl: Used as a beauty booster weapon as it helps our hair skin and nails.
How do you use Adaptogens?
Typically, these herbs come in powdered or dried form, and even in capsules. If you get powdered forms of these adaptogenic herbs, you can add them to your juices smoothies and even soups. Adding them to morning elixirs and smoothies is the most common, and I’ll be creating morning smoothies for each herb as we post our upcoming articles.