There are always physical, mental and emotional repercussions to stress whether you recognize them or not. To help your body manage it in more effective ways, there are multiple plant based solutions. Let’s take a look at adaptogens and how they can help give your body a boost.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are plant based products that help your body acclimate to stress. Jamie Durcharme, a writer for time.com explains it eloquently. He states, “Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that are marketed as helping the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological. These herbs and roots have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions, but they’re having a renaissance today. Some, like holy basil, can be eaten as part of a meal, and some are consumed as supplements or brewed into teas.” They are supposed to target your adrenals to help condition and strengthen them so you can more effectively handle things like anxiety, stress, inflammation and immune system support.
How Do They Work?
The above mentioned article explains, “[The plants interact] with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenal system, both of which are involved in the body’s response to stress. Adaptogens may tweak hormone production and physiological responses to stress to ensure that your body—from your mind to your immune system to your energy levels—functions as it should.” Think of your adrenals as a muscle you need to grow. Adaptogens help you train your body to handle stress better. They help strengthen your resilience.
What Should You Take?
There are quite a few different adaptogens and each has a unique purpose. Here are some issues they can help tame and the herbs that go along with them.
If you’ve been dealing with stress for as long as you can remember, give ashwagahdha , reishi or ginsing a try. Each can help remedy the hormone imbalances that have likely occurred due to constant stress in your life. You can also try holy basil as well.
Ginsing comes to the rescue again with its ability to help your immune system as well as reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar. Astragalus is another one you can try that can help give your immune system a boost.
If you struggle with anxiety, give Siberian ginsing, rhodiola or schisandra a try. These herbs are used to help calm the involuntary ‘fight or flight’ response our bodies produce as a response to external stress. Build up some resilience by giving these herbs a try!
While modern day science does not have significant evidence to fully back these herbs and their claims, they have been used for hundreds of years as remedies in other countries/cultures. Make sure you’re buying high quality supplements. This can make a world of difference. Finally, consult with your doctor to see if adding one or more of these adaptogens could help improve your overall health.