Herbal Adaptogens at All Star Health
There has been a lot of buzz within the health community lately about the group of herbs known as adaptogens. These prized plants are becoming wildly popular and the trend is expected to continue. The term adaptogen may be used to describe any substance, compound, or practice that is used medicinally in order to promote homeostasis, but in this article we are specifically referring to herbal adaptogens. These herbs are thought to increase feelings of well-being by helping your body adapt to and resist different stressors (physical, mental, environmental, or otherwise). They work by supporting your body’s adrenal system, which is in charge of regulating your body’s hormonal response to stress.
These days, with all of the day-to-day stress we all experience, it’s no surprise that more and more people are seeking out holistic methods of relief. So, here’s the low-down on the most popular herbal adaptogens:
Arguably the most difficult to pronounce herb on our list, this India-native plant has been used in traditional Ayurveda medicine for ages. It is purported to help promote increased cognitive function as well as supporting thyroid function and healthy glucose levels. It is a more calming adaptogen, soothing your system rather than exciting it as others on this list tend to do. Try our Body First Ashwagandha or browse our full range of other Ashwagandha supplements.
Also known as “true ginseng”, Panax Ginseng is used around the world as a way to help cope with stress. It may help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue… The list goes on! You may recognize the word ‘ginseng’ due to its popularity as an ingredient in drinks. In some Asian cultures, this herb is considered to be the most valuable herb in the world. We sell it as a liquid extract as well as in capsule form.
Here’s another more calming adaptogen. Sometimes called “Siberian ginseng”, Eleuthero has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, some Chinese herbalists even refer to it as the king of adaptogens. Soviet Olympic athletes have even utilized this super-herb in their training. Try this adaptogen when you want to boost your immune system or just help combat stress in general. It has been used to increase memory, restore vigor, and to just generally improve health. Athletes sometimes use it to increase stamina, as well. Sun Chlorella offers a delicious eleuthero tea, as well as an extract and tablets. Try the tea when you want to calm down after a stressful day!
This adaptogen is a member of the mint family closely related to the kind of basil that is used to season food. However, this particular herb has benefits that reach far beyond sprucing up a nice dinner. In India, holy basil is considered one of the most sacred plants in existence. A powerful antioxidant, this adaptogen has been used to treat everything from gastrointestinal problems to the common cold. Its most viable use, though, is to help with stress relief. The Organic India Tulsi holy basil tea is very popular, and just like its eleuthero equivalent is a perfect way to soothe your stressed system after a long day. Now also sells holy basil extract in capsules.
Like the other herbs on this list, Rhodiola has a far-reaching history. From as early as 77 AD there is documented evidence that Greek physicians used this herb in their medical treatments. Vikings, too, turned to rhodiola when they wanted to increase strength and endurance. In central Asia it was once widely accepted that the best cold and flu remedy was a cup of Rhodiola tea. Since it’s an adaptogen it goes without saying that this herb does wonders for stress. It is unique though in its reputation as a great aid in relieving depression symptoms. In Russia it is sometimes used alongside antidepressants to aid depressed patients in their treatment. Aside from that this herb has been used for everything from muscle recovery to increasing memory and mental performance. Try Gaia Herbs’ Rhodiola caps or Planetary Formulas’ Rhodiola extract tablets.
All in all there is quite a bit of evidence to back up the fact that adaptogens may aid and assist your body in its ability to fight off and react to stress. While they may not be miracle cures, they can definitely be added to your daily health routine as a way to support your adrenal system and to just improve your overall well-being. Whether you just want an occasional cup of adaptogen-containing tea, or a full-on adaptogen blend supplement to optimize your body’s stress fighting abilities, there is surely a way that these herbs can benefit you. They didn’t become staples of ancient medicine across the globe for no reason! Try some out today and start reaping the stress-busting rewards.
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