Adaptogens are natural substances that can help balance the body and improve health. They have been used in traditional medicine for centuries, but only recently have people started to truly understand their benefits. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 of the most popular adaptogens and what they do for your body!
How Do Adaptogens Work?
According to experts, adaptogenic herbs interact with the HPA axis, a complicated system of glands, hormones, and receptors in the human body. The HPA axis is involved in maintaining homeostasis, stressful reactions, and energy metabolism in the body. 1Panossian A, Wikman G., Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress-Protective Activity Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010
When we eat adaptogens, their natural qualities and compounds work with the HPA axis to help regulate our systems.2Miller WL., The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis: A Brief History Horm Res Paediatr. 2018
For example, if there is an overabundance of one hormone, adaptogens can assist in reducing it. On the other hand, if a hormone is lacking, adaptogens can be used to boost it back up.
Adaptogens have been found to interact with the immune-neuro-endocrine system, which helps the body regulate energy usage and maintain strong immunological responses.
10 Proven Benefits of Adaptogens
Each adaptogen has its own unique properties, but they all share some common benefits. Here are the top ten benefits of adaptogens:
They improve your energy levels and help you to feel more energetic.
Adaptogens are a great way to naturally boost your mood because they help to increase the production of serotonin, which is a mood-boosting neurotransmitter. They also help to reduce the amount of cortisol in your body, which is a hormone that can cause feelings of anxiety and depression.
Many adaptogenic herbs and supplements, like Ashwagandha, are known to have a balancing influence on the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands, all of which are crucial players in the stress response. As a result, they aid in the recovery from stress as well as cortisol levels that are optimal for health.
They boost mental and physical performance at the same time, thanks to their stimulant effects. Adaptogens were actually developed and researched by scientists during WWII in order to help pilots fly longer and stronger without becoming weary.
In short, adaptogens can assist you in obtaining that consistent energy that you desire without the crashand provide a greater feeling of well-being and vitality to your daily routine.3Alexander Panossian* and Georg Wikman, Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010
They reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Stress can happen when something bad happens and it affects how your body feels.
Stress hormones cause the body to react in a certain way.
There are many things that can cause stress, like an event or something you see.
Or there could be a chemical or biological agent that causes stress in your body too.
When you are stressed, it can make you sick. It may even lower your life expectancy. This is what people mean when they say “maladaptive stress”. Some things, like adaptogens, can help the body get rid of the stress.4Pratte MA, Nanavati KB, Young V, Morley CP., An alternative treatment for anxiety: a systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha Altern Complement Med. 2014
Its been suggested that adaptogens can help treat some stress-related disorders, and might also improve the quality of life for people who are already dealing with chronic illnesses.5Panossian AG, Efferth T, Shikov AN, et al., Evolution of the adaptogenic concept from traditional use to medical systems: Pharmacology of stress- and aging-related diseases Med Res Rev. 2021
They help improve the overall health of your gut.
Adaptogens are a great way to naturally treat digestive-related conditions because they support healthy digestion by increasing enzyme production needed to break down food, they reduce inflammation, and they help to restore the balance of gut bacteria.
Adaptogens heal the damage that has already occurred in your gut and also prevent future issues from happening.
They help reduce inflammation in the body and treat conditions that cause chronic inflammation, much of which starts with a condition known as leaky gut.
If you struggle with this type of inflammation, adaptogens will be helpful to treat this issue because they promote anti-inflammatory responses in your body and also inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines.
They can help to improve digestion and absorption of food.
Some issues that can be treated by adaptogens include irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory diseases of the gut.
They improve your focus and concentration.
Adaptogens have a strong impact on the brain and nervous system, helping to regulate neurotransmitters and alleviating neurological issues such as headaches, anxiety, lack of focus, depression, and poor memory.
Adaptogens have been shown in studies to improve the amount and quality of mental work performed by a person.
It’s also been suggested by researchers that adaptogens might be helpful when it comes to treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
They help you to sleep better.
Adaptogens can help to regulate your circadian rhythm, which will help you get a good night’s sleep. They also promote relaxation and calmness, which can help you fall asleep easier.
Adaptogens are also a natural way to help improve your sleep quality because they regulate the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep.
They slow down the effects of aging and protect you from damage caused by free radicals.
Adaptogens are great for improving brain health because they have neuroprotective properties that can reduce cognitive decline and protect the neurons in your brain from damage or stress. They also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, neurotransmitters, and nerve cells.6Panossian AG, Efferth T, Shikov AN, et al., Evolution of the adaptogenic concept from traditional use to medical systems: Pharmacology of stress- and aging-related diseases Med Res Rev. 2021
Adaptogens increase the production of telomerase, an enzyme that helps to protect your DNA and keep it from shortening as you age.
They can help to lower your blood pressure if it is high, which reduces your risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.
Adaptogens are a great way to keep your heart healthy because they help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can cause problems like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Some adaptogens, like rhodiola rosea, have been found to be especially helpful in reducing stress-related hypertension.
They increase libido levels in men (and women)
Adaptogens promote a healthy response to cortisol, which can help to reduce the effects of stress that can cause hormonal imbalances.
Hormone imbalances can cause a lot of problems in the body and lead to health issues, not least of which is loss of libido.
They can help to boost your immune system and fight off infections.
Adaptogens increase the production of white blood cells in your body, which are essential for protecting your body from infections.
They are great at relieving pain and reducing inflammation in the muscles, joints or other areas of the body.
Some adaptogens have been shown to be effective in fighting cancerous cells, which can help reduce the risk of cancer.
Many adaptogens are powerful antioxidants that fight off harmful toxins and pollutants.
Oxidative stress plays a role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Adaptogens have natural pain-relieving properties that can help you to feel more comfortable if you are struggling with muscle or joint pain.
As you can see, adaptogens offer a wide range of health benefits that can improve your life in many ways.
If you are looking for an all-natural way to boost your health, then consider adding some adaptogens to your diet!
If you are interested in trying out some adaptogenic herbs or supplements, be sure to do your research first and talk to a healthcare professional to find the right ones for you!