Adaptogens, despite gaining lots of media attention recently, they have been used for centuries – so why all the fuss now? We have sold and used these potent herbal helpers since Content opened in 2008, but rather than just showing up in our practitioner prescribed tinctures and tablets, now they are being blended into across the counter mixes that you can add to your day easily. But which ones should you look for? It really depends on how stress and ‘life’ is treating you.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens have been used in many forms of medicine from Ayurvedic to Chinese. They are a unique group of herbs (medicinal mushrooms and spices often have some adaptogenic properties too but often not as their main function) used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that manages your body’s hormonal response to stress whether it be the result of illness, deadlines, lack of sleep or over zealous exercise.
In supporting your adrenals adaptogens assist in regulating your hormones to help your body cope with anxiety and fatigue. They adapt their function to your body’s needs, diving in to lend help as and when needed.
They come in different forms, from pills to tinctures and powders, taken once or twice a day – remember they don’t work if you don’t take them, so set a time or keep them on your desk as a visual reminder. As with all things in life, don’t give-up if you don’t see a difference straight away – adaptogens are powerful but ‘adapt’ gently, unlike the ‘great now, crash later’ approach of caffeine and sugar. It may take a few weeks to feel the benefits.
Which Adaptogen Is For You?
There are different types, but these often appear together in a blend:
- • Ginseng is thought to restore and strengthen the body’s immune response and stimulate mental and physical activity. Find it in Bicol Labs ‘Something For The Knackered’, Ukiyo Blueberry Ginseng Matcha and WunderWorkshop Golden Glow.
- • Eleuthero may improve memory, feelings of well-being and is thought to be helpful for mild depression. Find it in Grown Morning Adaptogen, Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix and The Nue Co Defence Drops.
- • Ashwagandha may help increase vitality, energy, endurance and stamina. Find it in the Wild Nutrition Ashwagandha.
- • Reishi believed to contribute to easing tension, strengthening the immune system, sharpening concentration and improving memory. Find it in WunderWorkshop Shrooms, Four Sigmatic Reishi and Pure Synergy.
- • Rhodiola helps balance the cortisol levels in your body, raising or lowering it as needed. Find it in the Grown Morning Adaptogen and Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee.
- • Maca may help relieve tension and anxiety while boosting your energy and mood. Find it in WunderWorkshop Golden Glow, The Nue Co Powder Up and Kiki Health’s Maca.
- • Schisandra helps turn down an overproduction of “stress hormones” like cortisol. In turn it may help with better mental capabilities, physical endurance and metabolic health. Find it in Grown Morning Adaptogen and The Nue Co Defence Drops.
The above adaptogens are available in various forms over the counter at our store or online. But if you think you may require or like to try a bespoke tincture blend to meet the specific needs of your body and lifestyle, our medical herbalist Jennifer Derham often uses them if your case requires. You can read more about Jennifer here.
Image: Care of Grown