What Adaptogens Do

What are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a group of intelligent plants with a huge variety of uses and health advantages. They've been used for centuries, mostly by ethnic groups from all corners of the world, and are known for their ability to help us adapt to everyday challenges.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the belief is that a person is healthy when the body is in balance and the energy can flow freely. Ayurveda also emphasises that health is a state of balance between mind, body and consciousness.

The actual term ‘adaptogen’ is really quite new. It was established after an extensive research conducted in Russia during the Second World War. Over a period of 45 years, 1200 scientists conducted 3000 experiments with over 500,000 people. These experiments investigated ways to help Russian pilots and submarine crews increase their stamina. They looked to traditional cultures to see which plants were commonly used to survive harsh and challenging circumstances.

Adaptogens help our body resist stress in a way like no other, because when taken they act like a “trainer” to our body to handle the effects of stress. Maybe that’s why they’re becoming so popular in a world where stress is the number one killer.

How Adaptogens work?

Adaptogens balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-endocrine axis (OMG! ikr?!). In a much, much simpler language this means that in the long term, adaptogens work with your stress-response system to help your body adapt to stress and actually cause it to produce less stress hormones. And the amazing thing is – they do it without the unfortunate side effects most other stimulants cause (common effects: addiction, tolerance buildup, sleep disruption and blood sugar issues).

While all adaptogens help adapt to stressors and balance the immune system, they all have their own unique qualities as well. That’s why, adaptogens can work brilliantly by themselves or when used with other complementary adaptogens to unlock more wholesome benefits.

What are Adaptogens good for?

Adaptogens can basically aid every system in our body that might need some support. Like our immune system that sometimes act up, especially when it’s cold and rainy and you really want to be on a warm sandy beach!

Here are some of the many amazing benefits you may experience when introducing adaptogens into your life are:

  • Boosted energy levels
  • Strengthening of your immune system – bye bye, flu season!
  • Improved cognitive function: focus, memory and clarity
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Hormonal balance
  • A boost to your libido, desire and heightened pleasure
  • Support and recovery from stress, exhaustion and exercise
  • Slowing of the visual signs of ageing
  • Did I say stress yet? Calm reactions to stressful situations
  • An overall feeling of well-being

The bottom line is, adaptogens help balance our bodies. If you’re tired for example, adaptogens will boost your energy. If you’re anxious, they’ll help you chill. And so on… Sounds unreal isn’t it? But we, and many other (like Gwyneth Paltrow which we LOVE), can vouch they do work. However, nothing is magic and combining them with healthy lifestyle, sport activities and time outdoors can help you see results and become that annoying healthy person.

Resources:
Super Powders by Katrine van Wyk


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