Adaptogens. What are they? Do you really need them?

The craze for adaptogens is sweeping across the blogosphere. If you have no idea what they are and what they are used for, this post is for you. Can they really increase the quality of life?

What are adaptogens?

As the name suggests adaptogens are supposed to help us adapt. Okay, adapt to what? To the changing living conditions, environmental changes and anything that upsets the balance in our bodies. Using a metaphor, adaptogens are like supplements that let us cope with the changing world. No wonder they are so popular. These days, overwhelmed by duties and stress, we find it hard to unwind. If there’s a thing that helps us adapt to the changes, we all like to give it a go.

What do adaptogens do?

This is simple: they make our bodies less vulnerable to the so-called stressors, air pollution, processed food and busy life. Interestingly, adaptogens produce various effects:

  • inhibit oxidation.
  • reduce inflammation.
  • improve mental clarity.
  • lower the level of sugar and cholesterol.
  • let you quiet your mind, not making you sleepy.

Round-up of popular adaptogens

Adaptogens aren’t medications. They are sometimes labeled as supplements but aren’t ones. Simply put, adaptogens are powdered herbs and plants used in alternative medicine: non-toxic, tolerated by the body, known for thousands of years. Surprisingly, they are commonly used by professional sportspeople and astronauts! That’s why adaptogens are surely interesting. See the most popular ones that aid the body’s natural ability to adapt.

  1. Ginseng is very common but most people have no idea it’s an adaptogenic plant. It’s recommended for white-collar workers since it improves memory and reduces fatigue. It also boosts immunity and delays body aging.
  2. Ashwagandha is an exotic adaptogenic plant which is extremely popular in India. It works wonders for people suffering from hashimoto, thyroid insufficiency and insulin resistance. It also reduces tiredness, calms the senses, lessens stress and fear, and helps alleviate pain e.g. backache.
  3. Maca – the root of maca is an adaptogen that is recommended for women since it balances the level of estrogen (female hormone). It relieves PMS and menopause, boosts fertility, inhibits oxidation and has a rejuvenating effect.
  4. Rose root is an endangered plant and makes a great pick for the energizing effect. It stimulates, strengthens the quick-thinking ability, sharpens the mind as well as prevents cancer. This adaptogen is commonly used for treating fears and depression.

How to use adaptogens then?

Comparing adaptogens to supplements makes sense. You can get them in a similar form: capsules, powders or teas. This is very convenient. It’s up to you – either take a capsule or add some powdered or liquid adaptogenic plant to your meal, for example.

What’s interesting, adaptogen-based beauty products are growing in popularity. They are supposed to help achieve balance, health and lovely-looking skin and hair. However, we shouldn’t forget that products taken by mouth are absorbed best.