Powerful Adaptogens – Herbs for Whole Body Health

May 2nd, 2012 · 8 Comments · adaptogen, Anti-aging, Antioxidant

In the world of herbal remedies there are several choices for ailments; feverfew for migraines, turmeric for inflammation, or bilberry for eye support, for example. Having a this-for-that approach to herbal medications is a great concept but also presents some of us with skepticism for adaptogens which enhance the body’s overall function, not a specific condition or ailment. Powerful adaptogens, or “longevity herbs” as they are referred to in the East, have been used for thousands of years to maintain the body’s vitality and are catching on in the West. Want to support your body’s immune system and organ function, improve stamina, recover from illness quicker, address mood and sleep disorders, or help cut the stress from your life? Enter some of our favorite adaptogens.

How we survive depends on how we adapt and this is the basis for how adaptogenic herbs got their name. Adaptogens reduce the effects of physical, environmental, and psychological stress on the body and some have been shown to boost the heart, liver, immune system, and mental health of the person taking them. While it is hard to pinpoint exactly how adaptogens promote longevity, it stands to reason that any herb or natural product that improves the function of the organs and greatly reduces stress levels will indeed extend your days.

Powerful Adaptogen: Schizandra

Schizandra is a powerful adaptogen for whole body health

Schizandra is a powerful adaptogen for whole body health

This 5-flavor berry has been enjoying the spotlight since it was discussed on Dr. Oz recently and people around the world are discovering how a tiny berry can have a big impact on their health. Schizandra has been a medicinal wonder in China for thousands of years as a full body remedy. Its key use historically has been as a beauty aid for younger skin, a preserver of youth in providing energy to the body naturally, a powerful sexual tonic, and as a remedy to speed recovery. The liver is the organ most improved by the use of Schizandra though it does support others. Read more about Schizandra as a potent anti-aging supplement here.

Powerful Adaptogen: Reishi

The “mushroom of immortality” in Taoist tradition is used to manage age-related disorders like high cholesterol, arthritis, immune disorders, coronary heart disease, while increasing energy and enhancing overall health. This capsule from Source Naturals provides support to the immune system and is a favorite around the shop during illnesses because it combines 16 of the most powerful mushrooms, including reishi, to defend the body against sickness. Learn more about mushrooms as a natural remedy for illness  that outlines some of the most powerful herbs for sickness!

Powerful Adaptogen: Ginseng

Ginseng is a powerful adaptogen for both sexes but is especially potent for men.

Ginseng is a powerful adaptogen for both sexes but is especially potent for men.

American Ginseng has shown promise in addressing a range of ailments including nervous disorders, promoting the health of the stomach, and stimulating energy levels; it is especially helpful for loss of appetite and indigestion. American Ginseng from Kroeger Herb provides support to the prostate and enhances energy and performance in men (read more about this herb for men here) but it isn’t just for the guys! Women can greatly benefit from the boost Ginseng can provide to energy levels. Feel like you’re always on the go and need a little natural pep? The 1 ounce tincture from Kroeger Herb is the perfect size to fit in your bag so you can keep it with you for a quick boost anytime!

Powerful Adaptogen – Holy Basil

If the impact of stress in your life is a major concern, this adaptogen could be a good place to start. Holy Basil is a sacred plant in Ayurveda, the traditional therapeutic system of India, and enhances the body’s ability to cope with and minimize stress. Holy Basil is often referred to as tulsi or “the incomparable one” and is considered matchless for reducing stress, increasing vitality and energy, and promoting longevity. Add to those benefits the fact that hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems can be addressed with this herb. Want to learn more about ways to cope with stress? Check out this post with 5 easy steps to reduce it!

Please remember that with adaptogens as with any herbal product, benefits won’t be seen over night so approach their use with patience. The power in adaptogens is that you are supporting your entire body with the use of one herb and assisting your system in adapting to the changes in environment, mood, immune system, and so on. Don’t be afraid to experiment with adaptogens! Once you have tried Holy Basil for a few months (for example) give Schizandra a try. There are so many benefits for the system from this powerful group of herbs that taking a variety of them over time will provide. To learn more about this powerful group of herbs, check out this blog post.


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