What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are herbs, roots, and fungi that work to increase or adapt to the body's ability to resist stress and restore homeostasis. Adaptogenic herbs can boost memory and mental performance, alleviate stress and anxiety, reduce inflammation, improve mood and energy levels, and balance hormones, blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipid level.
The benefits of introducing adaptogenic supplements into your routine are gradual. Improvement can take some time but can benefit from the addition of exercise and a healthy diet. Consulting a nutritionist or herbalist is recommended.
Here are some adaptogens:
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is a well-known supplement for treating fatigue and inflammation and improving mental clarity. It can support the immune system, reduce stress and anxiety, regulate blood sugar levels, and balance the body and mind.
- Holy Basil: It’s a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory herb. Holy Basil can relieve stress and promote relaxation, and it’s an excellent source of Vitamin A, calcium, zinc, iron, and chlorophyll.
- Amla: Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is rich in Vitamin C. It is a powerful adaptogen with anti-aging and memory-boosting properties. Adding Amla to your diet promotes healthy hair, eye, and heart health.
- Moringa: The Moringa tree is useful for both food and medicine. The most potent part of the tree is its leaves. This plant is naturally antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, and anti-inflammatory.
- Turmeric: Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Mushrooms: Adaptogenic mushrooms, which are also called medicinal mushrooms, have been used for centuries in various Eastern cultures — including ancient Indian, Japanese, and Chinese medicine — to promote physical and mental performance.
- Reishi: Reishi can reduce excess fat storage for those struggling with obesity and lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
- Chaga: An antioxidant and beta-glucan that fights damaging free radicals and treats inflammation. It’s commonly used in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Poland.
- Lion’s Mane: Often used to alleviate brain fog, memory loss, and other cognitive functions.
- Shiitake: Research has found that the bioactive compounds in shiitake mushrooms may improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and fight tumors.