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Learn | 03.07.2023

5 Adaptogens You Need To Try

Learn more about adaptogens, their uses, and which ones you should try.

You’ve heard about adaptogens but aren’t sure where to start. While they’re all the rage in the wellness world, we’ll help you understand them and their functions a bit better.

Adaptogens have been used for general wellness and healing for centuries in various cultures worldwide. Only recently has the western world started dabbling in them to see if they really can help promote healthier daily functions.

Below, we’ve shared a brief rundown on what adaptogens are, how they’ve been used in the past, and the best 5 adaptogens to start incorporating into your routine. Read on to learn more.

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens get their name from their ability to help the body adapt to stress, tame it, and promote balance. These are plants, herbs, fungi, and roots that grow in nature and have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.

Today, adaptogens are gaining incredible popularity in the west. Regardless if you see them as trendy or not, adaptogens can be highly beneficial in regulating and managing stress without causing any serious or noticeable side effects. 

In scientific terms, adaptogens work with the human body’s stress response system, aka, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). Adaptogens can help reduce a long list of symptoms involving stress, which are as follows:

  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Inflammation

In simple terms, adaptogens help promote a state of balance. They can be taken in supplements or mixed into foods and beverages to experience their effects.

See below for 5 popular adaptogens you should try incorporating into your routine.

Ashwagandha

Perhaps one of the most popular adaptogens is ashwagandha, a well-known herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. Some of the benefits of ashwagandha include:

  • Stress-relief
  • Relieves anxiety and depression symptoms
  • Increases cognitive function (focus & memory)
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Increases testosterone in men
  • Improves sexual performance in women

Ashwagandha doesn’t give you energy, but it does remove some of the roadblocks in your way, like anxiety, to help you feel motivated.

Licorice Root

When it comes down to benefits, Licorice Root is quite specific. While it can promote a general sense of well-being, licorice root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for the following:

  • Reducing inflammation in the skin (eczema, acne, psoriasis, etc.)
  • Calm pain in the digestive tract
  • Relieve throat infections and upper respiratory issues

Simply put, licorice root has anti-viral properties that can help our bodies fight against viral infections.

Ginseng

If you’re looking for adaptogens to help with general well-being and day-to-day energy, look to ginseng. This is another popular herb used in traditional Chinese medicine, known for promoting the following benefits:

  • Energy
  • Improved focus and other cognitive functions
  • Reduced fatigue and exhaustion
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Improved immune function

Taking ginseng on a short-term basis is the most beneficial, as long-term use in high doses can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even menstrual issues in women.

Rhodiola

One herb that’s safe for long-term use is Rhodiola, native to the cold regions of the world like Scandinavia and Siberia. Unlike other adaptogens, Rhodiola is known to boost energy, among other benefits, which are as follows:

  • Promotes mental and physical energy
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • Reduced anxiety and depression symptoms
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Reduced fatigue and exhaustion

Interestingly, Rhodiola works with the body to reduce cortisol levels and the production of stress hormones. On the other hand, it increases neurotransmitters known for making us feel good, like dopamine and serotonin.

Cordyceps

While most adaptogens on this list are herbs, Cordyceps is a mushroom and part of the fungi family. They hail from high-altitude regions like Tibet and China. Some of the health benefits of Cordyceps include the following:

  • Improved immune function
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improves the body’s oxygen intake
  • Improves heart health
  • Controls blood sugar

Cordyceps have become an incredibly popular addition to daily routines in North America, often taken through supplements or used naturally in foods and beverages. 

Final Thoughts

People have started using adaptogens for a long list of reasons, with the main ones being stress reduction and energy production. While different adaptogens promote different benefits, and the duration of taking them differs, they’re all responsible for helping our bodies adapt, react, and manage stress. Try taking some today to experience what adaptogens can do for you.

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