Having a wide variety of the purest products on our shelves, it’s not uncommon that people ask “What’s your favorite herb?” or “What do you take every day?” While the answer may differ as far as the name of the herb I am taking is concerned, the type of herb remains the same…I love adaptogens.
Adaptogens are herbs that have been around for thousands of years; they’re the basis of Ayurvedic healing in India and are known as Superior Herbs in Chinese medicine. To be considered adaptogenic, an herb must meet each of these three requirements:
- The herb must produce a nonspecific response. For example, an adaptogenic herb will allow your body to “adapt” to an increase in multiple stressors, be it physically, mentally, or emotionally.
- The herb will have a normalizing influence on the system. If you are having difficulty sleeping and have little energy each day, for example, an adaptogenic herb will assist you in getting proper rest as well as providing you with energy during the day.
- The herb is innocuous and does not hinder normal and healthy bodily function.
What makes adaptogenic herbs so unique is that they provide wellness for the entire body, not just one symptom or complaint. Because the day-to-day stressors of life impact us both mentally and physically, adaptogens work towards providing our bodies with a balance among the up and down. Stress at work, lack of sleep, changes in schedules, illness, a long to-do list, or the loss of a loved one are only a few examples of some of the stressors that can impact our body negatively but can be lessened with the introduction of adaptogens.
How do adaptogenic herbs benefit the function of our bodies in such a big way? Because they are immunocompetent herbs (the capacity for a normal immune response), adaptogens allow our bodies to respond to antigen exposure in a normal way and support our systems when we are sick or are undergoing surgeries or chronic illness. Recovery time can be improved, some illnesses may be able to be avoided altogether and the function of the immune system is strengthened with the normal use of adaptogenic herbs. Aside from benefiting the immune system and the body’s ability to fight illness, adaptogenic herbs are also known as anti-stress herbs and support the healthy function of the brain to improve mood, clarity of thought, mental performance, and our ability to cope with the stress of day-to-day life.
There are several adaptogenic herbs with some being true standouts in the crowd. Schizandra, for example, is an excellent adaptogenic herb for liver and mood support, sexual and reproductive function, and lack of energy. Ashwagandha has been known as the “Gold Standard” upon which all other adaptogens are compared and is the most revered tonic of Ayurvedic medicine. Ginseng is probably the most well-known adaptogenic herb on the market and provides support for men’s reproductive health and improved energy levels for both sexes. Goji is a superfood, used for anti-aging and disease prevention due to it’s affects on the liver.
While each adaptogen has a primary focus or benefit on the body, it’s important to remember that for an herb to be considered an adaptogen, it must support whole body health and healing.
How an adaptogenic herb impacts my health will be different from how it will positively impact yours as there are different needs for your system. Trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, increase in stress, or even fighting off a cold will change how an adaptogenic herb will benefit you because the herb will fill in the gaps as needed for a fully functioning, healthy system.
After taking one type of adaptogenic herb for a few months, you may notice that the benefits begin to plateau and you aren’t experiencing as many benefits as you once were. At this point it’s recommended that you switch to another adaptogenic herb so you’re able to continually experience the full body benefits on an ongoing basis. Adaptogenic herbs are non-toxic to the system so there is no concern with having “too much” of any of this group of herbs when following the dosage on the bottle. Take a look at all the adaptogens we offer; so important, they have their own category! Want to learn more about adaptogens? Take a look at these informative adaptogen posts.