You need these 15 adaptogens to improve your health

Learn

Most people haven’t heard the word adaptogen, but they can probably easily name one (turmeric, anyone?) In fact, adaptogens are one of the newest frontiers in CBD supplements and also one of the oldest products in the world. These almost mythical natural products are said to have many different health benefits, but what is the truth? What exactly are adaptogens and do they really work as claimed? Let’s dive deep and find out all about them. Do they live up to expectations?”

Contents
  1. What exactly are adaptogens?”
  2. OK, so how do adaptogens work?
  3. What Are Some Common Adaptogens and What Do They Do? While this may seem overwhelming, it also makes it easier for people to choose the right one for the specific symptoms they are experiencing. Ashwagandha (herb) – One of the most widely studied, Ashwagandha is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to reduce stress levels, increase concentration and boost energy. Ashwagandha is also considered an anti-inflammatory and is reported to help with anxiety, insomnia and balancing cortisol levels in the body. American and Asian Ginseng (herbs) – Both herbs are said to improve memory, immune system, reaction time, sense of calmness and overall well-being. It has been used for centuries in traditional Native American and Chinese/Korean medicine. Astragalus root (herb) – Although an herb, the root of this plant (from the legume family) is actually used in Chinese medicine to combat fatigue, reduce stress, treat heart disease and slow the natural aging process. It may also be useful in treating colds by supporting the immune system. Chaga (mushroom) – Chaga grows only on birch trees and is rich in antioxidants that boost immunity and reduce inflammation. It was used by soldiers in Finland during World War II as an alternative to coffee. Cordyceps (mushroom) – This adaptogen is actually a combination of a mushroom and a caterpillar (sounds strange, we know, but it has been scientifically researched). It helps boost the immune system, fight fatigue, balance hormones, reduce inflammation, increase energy and reduce stress. Goji Berries (fruit) – Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are very popular for their ability to help boost energy levels, mental and physical performance and overall sense of well-being. They are also said to improve sleep. Holy Basil/Tulsi (herb) – A traditional herb widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, holy basil helps to calm the nerves, relax and reduce stress. Maca (vegetable) – In the same family as broccoli and cauliflower, maca improves mood and boosts energy. Mucuna Pruriens (bean) – Mucuna Pruriens, also called “dopamine bean”, is promising for its ability to improve psychological stress. Some people believe it is also a natural aphrodisiac. Reishi (mushroom) – This adaptogen acts as an antioxidant that boosts the immune response and keeps the skin youthful. It also helps the body adapt better to stress and promotes good sleep. Rhodiola rosea (herb) – Another widely studied adaptogen, Rhodiola (or arctic/pink root) may increase energy and stamina and reduce anxiety, depression and fatigue. Schisandra (fruit) – This adaptogen is thought to balance blood sugar and help keep the liver healthy. It is also useful for soothing stomach upsets and is useful as an antioxidant. Siberian Ginseng (herb) – It’s not a herb and not even really ginseng, but research shows that Siberian ginseng can help fight depression, fatigue and stress by providing the body with more energy. Turmeric (spice) – Commonly used in Indian cuisine, turmeric reduces depression while boosting brain function and helps maintain healthy cortisol levels in the body. Wild yam (herb) – Another herb used for centuries in traditional medicine, wild yam helps regulate female hormones (especially during menopause) and reduces muscle spasms. This is just a small sample of the many unique adaptogens in the world. There really is an adaptogen for every purpose, but it may take some research and experimentation to find the right one for you. Debunking Some Myths With every trend comes myths and half-truths. While in most cases adaptogens live up to expectations, there are a few common myths we would like to debunk for clarity. Myth: Adaptogens have no side effects FACT: Like anything people put into or on their bodies, there is always the possibility of side effects. Fortunately these side effects are very rare. In these cases, people report headaches, fatigue, diarrhea and dry mouth. This is most likely to occur when you first start taking a new adaptogen, and each has its own set of potential side effects. Myth: Adaptogens work the same for everyone FACT: Unfortunately, this is not true. Not all adaptogens work the same for everyone and some do not work at all for some people. For example, ginseng has been shown to raise blood pressure in some people and lower it in others. Much of the variation in the way adaptogens work in individual people is part of what makes them so amazing – their ability to “adapt” to each person’s specific needs (anything to bring them back to homeostasis) using their bidirectional approach. Furthermore, adaptogens have historically been used in medicine only after a thorough examination of the body and assessment of the patient by an alternative medicine specialist. However, many people in the United States choose to “spot treat” their problems on their own instead of considering their overall health status and consulting a specialist, which can lead to problems and ineffectiveness. Rethink ginseng. People who use the drug and are under the age of 40 often report that the drug does not work well for them. However, since most people in this demographic have a different energy problem than older people (it is claimed that young people produce “too much” energy, which makes circulation difficult, while older people do not produce enough), ginseng may not be “working”. However, it is probably the wrong adaptogen to treat the problem. Myth: Adaptogens can be toxic TRUE: Although people can be individually allergic to any adaptogen, one of the main characteristics of all adaptogens is that they are non-toxic (See: “What exactly are adaptogens?”). It is also important for all adaptogen users to be aware that it is possible for even the safest herbal supplements to interact with certain prescription medications (the most common culprits are ashwagandha, American and Asian ginseng, astragalus root, schizandra and rhodiola rosea). To avoid a potential drug interaction, consult your doctor before starting a new herbal regimen if you are currently taking prescription medications. Myth: Adaptogens are habit-forming FACT: Studies show that adaptogens have no potential for abuse, addiction or tolerance. They also do not impair any mental function and do not cause psychotic symptoms when people stop taking them. Compared to some prescription alternatives (e.g. Xanax) that many people rely on to cope with stress, this is a huge advantage, especially for people with a history of drug or alcohol addiction. Myth: CBD is an adaptogen TRUE: Technically no, CBD is not an adaptogen. Although it has many of the same properties and affects the body in the same ways as an adaptogen, CBD is a molecule, not a plant. However, there is some research that has tried to classify hemp seed in this way, but to date this has not officially happened. Where can I buy adaptogens? Fortunately, due to the growing popularity of adaptogens in the United States, there are many places where they can be purchased. Many companies (both physical stores and online retailers) specialize exclusively in selling adaptogens. Some adaptogens, like Ashwagandha, can even be purchased from chains and department stores like GNC and Walmart. However, it is always best to support local and small businesses if possible. It is also much easier to get answers to your questions. Before we begin, everyone should be aware that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently evaluate the quality or purity of any adaptogen. This makes it extremely important for consumers to source all adaptogen products from reputable and transparent companies. How can I add adaptogens to my diet? It really depends on the chosen adaptogen! Fortunately, due to their rapidly growing popularity, even well-known food-related magazines have started to take notice and give people more options on how to add them to any diet. Examples: moon milk. Warm milk has been used for centuries as a natural sleep aid, and moon milk is a great way to combine this natural soothing sensation with adaptogens (especially ashwagandha and turmeric). The basic recipe dates back to Ayurvedic medicine. While the most common way to add adaptogens to the diet is still powder or capsules (many of which can taste very bitter), there are now companies offering them in new and different forms. Coffee blends, hot chocolate, tea blends and liquid elixirs/tonics are some of the new options that are helping people get the amazing benefits of adaptogens seamlessly into the diet. However, before consuming any adaptogen, please make sure that it has been tested and certified by a third party (by a company like U.S. Pharmacopeia or Consumerlab.com) that states it is 100 percent pure and organic. Do adaptogens integrate with CBD? Although CBD is not an adaptogen in itself (as described above), the two substances act very similarly. Both CBD and adaptogens aim to return the body to homeostasis (balance), reduce anxiety and depression, fight fatigue, pain and inflammation, and help strengthen the immune system. Used together, they are a dream team that severely reduces our overall stress response. Some adaptogens combined with CBD are thought to produce something known as a “synergistic effect”. This occurs when two drugs/supplements come together to provide a greater effect than they would have individually. Essentially, CBD and these adaptogens complement each other and help each other become even more effective. Unfortunately, at this point this has not been proven by scientific studies, but it is ongoing. Companies like FOCL are innovators in creating a single product that combines CBD with adaptogens like ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea. Having one product that contains both instead of remembering to buy two separate products not only saves time, but also helps take the guesswork out of which products work well together and which don’t. Final Thoughts Adaptogens are probably the best thing to happen to CBD… ever. Learning what these amazing products do and what they can do for you, especially in combination with a high quality CBD product, can completely renew and revitalize your life and daily routine. However, always remember that before you start taking any new supplements or products, it is important to consult your doctor for guidance (especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking prescription medications). You deserve to live your best life, and adaptogens can definitely help you do that. YouTube video: You Need These 15 Adaptogens to Improve Your Health
  4. Debunking Some Myths
  5. Where can I buy adaptogens?
  6. How can I add adaptogens to my diet?
  7. Do adaptogens integrate with CBD?
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. YouTube video: You Need These 15 Adaptogens to Improve Your Health

What exactly are adaptogens?”

Adaptogens are essentially herbal medicines. They are non-toxic plants, including herbs, fungi and roots, and have been used for centuries in Ayurveda and Chinese traditional medicine. Over the past decade, they have slowly gained popularity in the United States as well, possibly due to their reported ability to help the body counteract stress (by helping it return to homeostasis, or the body’s natural state of balance). Essentially, adaptogens help the body “adapt” to stress… hence the name!

This is an important benefit for all people, as stress can trigger a variety of physical and emotional responses, many of which are negative. In fact, during periods of extreme stress the body can even suffer real physical damage (especially to the endocrine, immune and neurological systems). We will discuss this topic in more detail later.

For a plant to be officially recognized as an adaptogen, it must meet the following three criteria it must be “generally” non-toxic (in recommended amounts), elicit a non-specific response to stress at the cellular level (by creating an energy reserve), and help normalize the body’s systems (through a two-pronged approach).

This two-pronged approach is what makes adaptogens so unique. Prescription drugs and other non-adaptogenic herbs perform only a single action. For example, they lower blood pressure or make a person sleepy. Adaptogens, not surprisingly, “adapt” to the body’s needs and can perform both functions. An adaptogen can raise or lower blood pressure or help a person sleep better or stay awake more easily.

One last interesting fact about adaptogens is that during World War II, scientists in the Soviet Union actually studied and developed them as a way to help their pilots function better and longer. They were actually named by these scientists in the 1950s (the exact date has not been proven). Scientists focused their research on the adaptogen Schisandra chinensis, which was reported to reduce fatigue, hunger and thirst and improve night vision. Eventually, in the 1960s, this research evolved into the scientific field of biomedical research.

OK, so how do adaptogens work?

Although there is not much scientific research on adaptogens, there are a few things we know for sure. But let’s start by learning a little more about the physical effects of stress on the human body, so we can really understand how beneficial adaptogens are.

When our body goes through periods of stress (remember, stress can be physical or mental… or both!), it goes through three different phases. These phases are known as the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) and together they consist of an anxiety phase (fight or flight), a resistance phase (higher metabolic level) and a depletion phase (self-explanatory).

Another side effect of stress on the body is the release of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, during the anxiety phase of the GAS. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland and pumped out. It is released to provide more energy to help the body overcome stress. While this energy boost is great temporarily, over time the effect of cortisol will eventually wreak havoc, causing problems such as weight gain (especially in the abdominal area), muscle weakness, fatigue, anxiety and distraction.

Of the three stages of GAS, the resistance stage is often referred to as the “sweet spot”. This is where adaptogens really shine. The theory is that adaptogens work by stretching this resistance phase so that our body can experience their benefits over a longer period of time. When resistance is encountered, the body works hard to recover while maintaining a high state of energy, awareness, strength, etc. It has all the positive benefits of fight or flight without expending too much energy (and without fear!). Obviously, being able to experience this for as long as possible would be very beneficial to combat stress on both a physical and mental level.

But how exactly do they do this?

Adaptogens have been scientifically shown to affect the sympathoadrenal system as well as the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (or HPA axis). Both areas of the body influence and control hormone production (i.e. cortisol) and other physiological responses, including immune function, emotions, mood, libido and energy expenditure. When their influence is strengthened with adaptogens and the resilience phase is extended, we weather the storm of mental and physical stress much better. Simply put, we “adapt” better.”

Studies on adaptogens show that they are beneficial for many medical conditions such as chronic inflammation, stress-induced fatigue, cancer and mental illness. Some preliminary research suggests that adaptogens may even be useful for treating some neurodegenerative aspects of aging, helping older people live longer, happier and healthier lives.

To get the maximum benefit from any adaptogen, it should be taken regularly over a long period of time. Don’t take a magic pill and expect to feel better immediately. Consistency is very important. Like CBD, adaptogens work best when the focus is on maintaining a healthy lifestyle designed to reduce stress, such as exercise, meditation and quality sleep.

What Are Some Common Adaptogens and What Do They Do? While this may seem overwhelming, it also makes it easier for people to choose the right one for the specific symptoms they are experiencing.

Ashwagandha (herb) – One of the most widely studied, Ashwagandha is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to reduce stress levels, increase concentration and boost energy. Ashwagandha is also considered an anti-inflammatory and is reported to help with anxiety, insomnia and balancing cortisol levels in the body.

American and Asian Ginseng (herbs) – Both herbs are said to improve memory, immune system, reaction time, sense of calmness and overall well-being. It has been used for centuries in traditional Native American and Chinese/Korean medicine.

Astragalus root (herb) – Although an herb, the root of this plant (from the legume family) is actually used in Chinese medicine to combat fatigue, reduce stress, treat heart disease and slow the natural aging process. It may also be useful in treating colds by supporting the immune system.

Chaga (mushroom) – Chaga grows only on birch trees and is rich in antioxidants that boost immunity and reduce inflammation. It was used by soldiers in Finland during World War II as an alternative to coffee.

Cordyceps (mushroom) – This adaptogen is actually a combination of a mushroom and a caterpillar (sounds strange, we know, but it has been scientifically researched). It helps boost the immune system, fight fatigue, balance hormones, reduce inflammation, increase energy and reduce stress.

Goji Berries (fruit) – Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are very popular for their ability to help boost energy levels, mental and physical performance and overall sense of well-being. They are also said to improve sleep.

Holy Basil/Tulsi (herb) – A traditional herb widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, holy basil helps to calm the nerves, relax and reduce stress.

Maca (vegetable) – In the same family as broccoli and cauliflower, maca improves mood and boosts energy.

Mucuna Pruriens (bean) – Mucuna Pruriens, also called “dopamine bean”, is promising for its ability to improve psychological stress. Some people believe it is also a natural aphrodisiac.

Reishi (mushroom) – This adaptogen acts as an antioxidant that boosts the immune response and keeps the skin youthful. It also helps the body adapt better to stress and promotes good sleep.

Rhodiola rosea (herb) – Another widely studied adaptogen, Rhodiola (or arctic/pink root) may increase energy and stamina and reduce anxiety, depression and fatigue.

Schisandra (fruit) – This adaptogen is thought to balance blood sugar and help keep the liver healthy. It is also useful for soothing stomach upsets and is useful as an antioxidant.

Siberian Ginseng (herb) – It’s not a herb and not even really ginseng, but research shows that Siberian ginseng can help fight depression, fatigue and stress by providing the body with more energy.

Turmeric (spice) – Commonly used in Indian cuisine, turmeric reduces depression while boosting brain function and helps maintain healthy cortisol levels in the body.

Wild yam (herb) – Another herb used for centuries in traditional medicine, wild yam helps regulate female hormones (especially during menopause) and reduces muscle spasms.

This is just a small sample of the many unique adaptogens in the world. There really is an adaptogen for every purpose, but it may take some research and experimentation to find the right one for you.

Debunking Some Myths

With every trend comes myths and half-truths. While in most cases adaptogens live up to expectations, there are a few common myths we would like to debunk for clarity.

Myth: Adaptogens have no side effects

FACT: Like anything people put into or on their bodies, there is always the possibility of side effects. Fortunately these side effects are very rare. In these cases, people report headaches, fatigue, diarrhea and dry mouth. This is most likely to occur when you first start taking a new adaptogen, and each has its own set of potential side effects.

Myth: Adaptogens work the same for everyone

FACT: Unfortunately, this is not true. Not all adaptogens work the same for everyone and some do not work at all for some people. For example, ginseng has been shown to raise blood pressure in some people and lower it in others. Much of the variation in the way adaptogens work in individual people is part of what makes them so amazing – their ability to “adapt” to each person’s specific needs (anything to bring them back to homeostasis) using their bidirectional approach.

Furthermore, adaptogens have historically been used in medicine only after a thorough examination of the body and assessment of the patient by an alternative medicine specialist. However, many people in the United States choose to “spot treat” their problems on their own instead of considering their overall health status and consulting a specialist, which can lead to problems and ineffectiveness.

Rethink ginseng. People who use the drug and are under the age of 40 often report that the drug does not work well for them. However, since most people in this demographic have a different energy problem than older people (it is claimed that young people produce “too much” energy, which makes circulation difficult, while older people do not produce enough), ginseng may not be “working”. However, it is probably the wrong adaptogen to treat the problem.

Myth: Adaptogens can be toxic

TRUE: Although people can be individually allergic to any adaptogen, one of the main characteristics of all adaptogens is that they are non-toxic (See: “What exactly are adaptogens?”). It is also important for all adaptogen users to be aware that it is possible for even the safest herbal supplements to interact with certain prescription medications (the most common culprits are ashwagandha, American and Asian ginseng, astragalus root, schizandra and rhodiola rosea). To avoid a potential drug interaction, consult your doctor before starting a new herbal regimen if you are currently taking prescription medications.

Myth: Adaptogens are habit-forming

FACT: Studies show that adaptogens have no potential for abuse, addiction or tolerance. They also do not impair any mental function and do not cause psychotic symptoms when people stop taking them. Compared to some prescription alternatives (e.g. Xanax) that many people rely on to cope with stress, this is a huge advantage, especially for people with a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Myth: CBD is an adaptogen

TRUE: Technically no, CBD is not an adaptogen. Although it has many of the same properties and affects the body in the same ways as an adaptogen, CBD is a molecule, not a plant. However, there is some research that has tried to classify hemp seed in this way, but to date this has not officially happened.

Where can I buy adaptogens?

Fortunately, due to the growing popularity of adaptogens in the United States, there are many places where they can be purchased. Many companies (both physical stores and online retailers) specialize exclusively in selling adaptogens. Some adaptogens, like Ashwagandha, can even be purchased from chains and department stores like GNC and Walmart. However, it is always best to support local and small businesses if possible. It is also much easier to get answers to your questions.

Before we begin, everyone should be aware that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently evaluate the quality or purity of any adaptogen. This makes it extremely important for consumers to source all adaptogen products from reputable and transparent companies.

How can I add adaptogens to my diet?

It really depends on the chosen adaptogen! Fortunately, due to their rapidly growing popularity, even well-known food-related magazines have started to take notice and give people more options on how to add them to any diet.

Examples: moon milk. Warm milk has been used for centuries as a natural sleep aid, and moon milk is a great way to combine this natural soothing sensation with adaptogens (especially ashwagandha and turmeric). The basic recipe dates back to Ayurvedic medicine.

While the most common way to add adaptogens to the diet is still powder or capsules (many of which can taste very bitter), there are now companies offering them in new and different forms. Coffee blends, hot chocolate, tea blends and liquid elixirs/tonics are some of the new options that are helping people get the amazing benefits of adaptogens seamlessly into the diet.

However, before consuming any adaptogen, please make sure that it has been tested and certified by a third party (by a company like U.S. Pharmacopeia or Consumerlab.com) that states it is 100 percent pure and organic.

Do adaptogens integrate with CBD?

Although CBD is not an adaptogen in itself (as described above), the two substances act very similarly. Both CBD and adaptogens aim to return the body to homeostasis (balance), reduce anxiety and depression, fight fatigue, pain and inflammation, and help strengthen the immune system. Used together, they are a dream team that severely reduces our overall stress response.

Some adaptogens combined with CBD are thought to produce something known as a “synergistic effect”. This occurs when two drugs/supplements come together to provide a greater effect than they would have individually. Essentially, CBD and these adaptogens complement each other and help each other become even more effective. Unfortunately, at this point this has not been proven by scientific studies, but it is ongoing.

Companies like FOCL are innovators in creating a single product that combines CBD with adaptogens like ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea. Having one product that contains both instead of remembering to buy two separate products not only saves time, but also helps take the guesswork out of which products work well together and which don’t.

Final Thoughts

Adaptogens are probably the best thing to happen to CBD… ever. Learning what these amazing products do and what they can do for you, especially in combination with a high quality CBD product, can completely renew and revitalize your life and daily routine. However, always remember that before you start taking any new supplements or products, it is important to consult your doctor for guidance (especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking prescription medications). You deserve to live your best life, and adaptogens can definitely help you do that.

YouTube video: You Need These 15 Adaptogens to Improve Your Health


Rate article
Review of CBD products, news, and guides from The CBD Encyclopedia | TopCBDhempOilTrust