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Have you been feeling run down, anxious, or stressed lately? Do you feel like you are walking through a fog and wish that someone or something could cut through the dense clouds and illuminate the path for you? If you answered yes to either of these questions, your body is desperately trying to convey to you that it needs some TLC. So how do you get back to “yourself” again? How do you go about restoring your energy, reducing your stress level, and sleeping better? One word: adaptogens.
What are Adaptogens?
You’ve probably seen adaptogens or have even consumed them, but you might not have ever heard the term until now. Adaptogens are nontoxic, edible herbs or botanicals that assist the body in reacting to and navigating physical, emotional, and environmental stress. Think about your everyday life. You’re constantly bombarded with toxins – vapor from stalled vehicles on a crowded freeway, frustration in being stuck in that traffic jam, your painted fingernails that you nibble anxiously. Adaptogens can shield your body from this onslaught while restoring and balancing physiologic function.
How Do They Work?
Your body is a living neural highway. Sometimes, just like the roads we drive on, a few roadblocks or detours will pop up, redirecting chemicals within our system. Adaptogens travel down two main highways in the body – the HPA axis and the SAS. The HPA (hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal) axis is the road that controls endocrine function, your nervous system, and some immunity. The SAS (sympatho-adrenal system) is in charge of our fight-or-flight response. Adaptogens will cruise down these roads on a cellular level, preventing what’s called cortisol-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, meaning it will help hamper the stress response.
What Kind of Adaptogens Are There?
Even though adoptogens all work through the same systems in your body, each will address unique concerns. Some are stimulating and increase your mental prowess (red ginseng, white Asian ginseng, and rhodiola) while others help calm your anxious heart (schisandra, ashwagandha, reishi, and cordyceps). Some are moistening (American ginseng, codonopsis, and shatavari) while others have a drying effect (rhodiola and schisandra). Many can boost your immunity and deliver glowing skin and shiny hair. The idea is to find the right combination to fit your unique needs.
How Do You Use Adaptogens?
Want to start feeling better, sleeping better, help your stress levels, and live longer? Add adaptogens to your daily routine. You can easily add them in your favorite tea, coffee, smoothie, and other beverages to create the perfect potion to help you find homeostasis. Take them around the same time every day in small doses – the results, including radiant skin, a boosted immune system, and balanced hormones, can be incredible.Remember, as wonderful as adaptogens are, they don’t replace a healthy lifestyle, which includes quality sleep, exercise, a healthy diet, and proper stress reducing techniques. Adaptogens are the map to help you reach the goal of overall wellness and bring your body back into balance naturally.