It is possible to protect your body from both physical and mental stress by improving your tolerance level towards exhaustion. Adaptogens, as the name itself hints, are non-toxic plants that help the body adapt to stress. This can be all kinds of stress, whether it is physical, chemical, or biological. Especially current young professionals experience higher stress levels than previous generations, partly due to rushing lifestyles, tighter schedules and increasing competition. Adaptogens, also known as adaptogenic herbs, are not new. They have been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional healing methods but have now gained popularity among the global health and wellness community.
Stress is a physiological condition, that is associated with the nervous, endocrine (hormones) and immune system. It can be an external event, environmental condition or a chemical or biological agent that triggers the body to release various hormones that result in physiological changes. A person’s response to stress that is not adequate, or too overwhelming or long term can have serious damage on the body such as disease or even death. This is referred to maladaptive stress, and it is what adaptogens are said to help the body to overcome.
Are adaptogens effective?
There is a range of adaptogens, each with a specific function. Their function with the human body can be compared to regular exercise. Each time you exercise your muscles adapt to the stress they experience and thus become stronger. Similarly, adaptogens interact with the pituitary gland, adrenal gland and hypothalamus to build resistance and improve the coping system of the body. A continuous treatment with these natural herbs helps the body achieve homeostasis and ensures the functioning of your immune and energy levels.
As a natural remedy, adaptogens can be added to your diet in various ways. You can add pre-mixed powders to your meals, drink adaptogen teas or take them in the form of supplements. Supplements are pre-measured capsules that have the advantage of providing the precise amount that your body needs. It is important to understand that adaptogens function best as an extension to a mindful and healthy lifestyle. If you do not take any other measures to managing your chronic stress, adaptogens will not provide you with the solution you are hoping to get.
Do adaptogens have side effects?
Always consult a doctor before introducing adaptogens to your diet or routine. There are some studies that suggest that common herbal supplements may interact negatively with prescription medications.
However, there is little evidence to suggest that adaptogens can cause side effects, though like any plant, they can be allergenic.
The most efficient way to include adaptogens to your lifestyle is by identifying specific ailments you are experiencing. We have sourced a comprehensive range of adaptogens allowing you to choose what is right for you.
The benefits of adaptogenic herbs:
- Improve attention
- Increase endurance (in situations caused by fatigue)
- Lower stress induced disorders and impairments in the body
- Balance hormone levels
- Keep cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and other hormone levels in check'
- Fight fatigue (that results from overkill of physical or emotional stress)
- Combat the impact that stress has on cognitive function
- Stimulate mental performance that has been impacted by stress
- Normalize body functions
- Boost the immune system (that has been impacted by stress)
- Fight the symptoms caused by elevated cortisol levels (such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and obesity)
- Increase physical stamina (improve energy levels)
- Improve the function of organs (such as the liver and adrenal glands)
- Improve the function of body systems (such as the gastrointestinal system)