Stress and fatigue seem to be as prevalent as ever, and the data regarding health and wellness can only add to that stress. Adaptogens, green juices, and nootropics are hot topics these days, and if you find yourself bombarded by all the things “needed” to stay healthy, you’re not alone. Knowing what will support our minds and bodies can be difficult. Enter: adaptogens.
Their main purpose is to help stabilize, restore, and protect the body from stress. The best part? Typically, they don’t have any side effects.
To understand adaptogens, it’s important to understand stress. Stress produces the hormone cortisol in the body. Cortisol is our primary “stress hormone” that contributes to aging and other negative health outcomes, such as fatigue, decreased libido, and weight issues.
Cortisol leaves us with “fight or flight” moments in everyday life, wreaking havoc on our health. For this reason, doctors recommend exercising, getting enough sleep, drinking water, and eating right – all of which naturally lower cortisol.
We are more resilient and healthy when we consume adaptogens because they protect us from stress-related harmful effects. Adaptogens balance all the body’s systems by supporting the body’s stress-protection response. Research on Adaptogens is ongoing, but many have been shown to benefit overall health and stress levels.
According to research, adaptogens improve sleep quality, energy levels, and athletes’ performance, recovery, and concentration.
You can adapt to various types of stress with adaptogens, as the name implies. They also help maintain homeostasis by stabilizing/supporting many of the body’s processes.
Adaptogens may help if you already know what you need to improve. Feeling fatigued or having trouble sleeping may indicate that you need support with your energy levels or circadian rhythms, for example. Talk to your doctor first, especially if you are on prescription medications incompatible with adaptogens. These conditions respond well to adaptogens:
The benefits of Chinese ginseng include increased energy, performance, and mental well-being.
Eleutherococcus senticosus is an immune modulator that boosts immune function and relieves fatigue and stress.
Rhodiola rosea is an herbal remedy that improves fatigue and performance during stressful circumstances.
As fatigue, stress, and brain fog are closely related, it’s advised that you address all three to find out what works best. Getting your cortisol or “fight or flight” thinking under control means a clearer head.
American ginseng improves working memory, memory speed, and cognitive performance by keeping you calmer.
Ashwagandha root extract improves memory, attention span, and information processing speed.
Ashwagandha reduces stress-related damage and cortisol levels, reducing anxiety and mental rumination.
Rhodiola rosea can regulate stress response in the body and has shown improvements in depression.
Schisandra chinensis enhances mental performance and reduces exhaustion. It may also help people with stress-induced depression sleep better and feel less fatigued.
Holy basil has improved depression symptoms such as anxiety, malaise, and stress relief.
Stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand, so if you suffer from either, try any of these suggestions:
Ashwagandha has been studied for decades on its effects on cortisol, stress tolerance, and internal stress responses. Evidence shows that it helps people deal with stress safely and effectively, improving their quality of life.
Astragalus root may be able to buffer stress and boost immunity since it appears to treat a wide range of immune-related ailments.
Licorice root supplementation helps humans regulate stress hormone levels, including cortisol. This adaptogenic herb may help prevent ulcers as a result of this effect.
Rhodiola provides a biological defense against stress by increasing mental performance, particularly concentration, and decreasing cortisol responses.
Asian ginseng has been shown to increase calmness and working memory.
Holy basil has been shown to help reduce stress and boost immune responses.
The Schisandra Berry has been shown to enhance mental performance and reduce stress by supporting the function of the adrenal glands. Interestingly, Schisandra enhances blood and salivary nitric oxide, which reduces cortisol levels.
As an immune system booster, American ginseng reduces pain. Aside from combating stress, this ginseng promotes a healthy nervous system, which impacts how your body reacts to stimuli.
Ashwagandha regulates your metabolism and positively affects the endocrine, nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems.
Among the fungi with antioxidant properties are cordyceps, reishi, shiitake, and maitake. These ‘shrooms have adaptogenic, anti-tumor, and immune-enhancing properties.
American ginseng and Ashwagandha reduce swelling and inflammation by providing antioxidant protection to your cells.
Adaptogens can reduce arthritis-associated inflammation and pain effectively. The anti-inflammatory effects of the following plant-originated adaptogens can be used to provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions:
Due to their ability to address many of the factors that affect mood, several adaptogens are considered effective mood boosters.
Schisandra chinensis shows positive therapeutic effects when stress is the main depressive factor. A pleasantly warm stimulant, Schisandra chinensis increases energy and physical activity and eliminates hunger and fatigue. Furthermore, moods and sleep are improved.
Many things in modern life can disrupt our circadian rhythms, such as blue light from screens, toxins from food, artificial light, and irregular work schedules.
Stress of all types interferes with the release of cortisol throughout the day. Adaptogens can help us regain overall equilibrium by balancing cortisol within our bodies. As a result, our natural rhythm gradually returns.
Additionally, specific adaptogens contribute to high-quality sleep in distinct ways. The effects of anxiety and stress on sleep have been discussed extensively in the other categories, so it makes sense that addressing those daytime problems will improve your sleep.
Let’s take a look at some of the best adaptogens for sleep:
90% of serotonin (the neurotransmitter that boosts your mood) is produced in your gut, not your brain. That said, taking care of your gut may include taking notes on what foods trigger you, trying an elimination diet, or seeing a dietician. Symptoms can be managed by:
Holy basil: A very effective natural remedy for occasional gas and bloating.
Licorice root: Since licorice root is both soothing and anti-inflammatory, it has long been used as a remedy for gut discomfort. Do not take licorice root if you have high blood pressure or are on blood pressure medication.
Adaptogens can help maintain physical and emotional balance while dealing with stressors in everyday life. Whether you’re dealing with work stress, physical stress, or simply trying to improve your health, adaptogens can support your body’s basic functions as you work toward your own personal health goals.
Since many of the ailments listed above are related, you may find that any of the adaptogens you choose will work on various things simultaneously. Improving your sleep may alleviate brain fog, reducing anxiety may improve your sleep, and so on.
D – It’s important to remember to take care of yourself as you try adaptogens – make healthy choices, create a supportive sleep-hygiene routine, and try to exercise daily, even if it’s just a 30-minute walk.
It’s important to remember to take care of yourself as you try adaptogens – make healthy choices, create a supportive sleep-hygiene routine, and try to exercise daily, even if it’s just a 30-minute walk.
Robert Jennison has over 10 years in the health and wellness space and is the founder at ActiveCare Nutrition. His involvement includes everything from product development, branding, digital strategy to quality assurance. ActiveCare Nutrition is an all-in-one, multifunctional supplement brand, focusing on balanced health and nutrition, organically sourced ingredients and functionality.