Adaptogens: A Growing Supplement Category

adaptogens

What if there was a way that you could improve your mental performance, boost your physical endurance, and more effectively handle your stress? What if there was a way that you could achieve all of these benefits by taking a pill?

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not – thanks to adaptogenic herb supplements.

What are Adaptogenic Herbs

Adaptogenic herbs are the latest buzz word in the supplement industry. While this might be the first time you have heard the word ‘adaptogen’, they’ve been around for a long time. In fact, they’ve been used in Chinese, Ayurvedic, and alternative medicines for thousands of years. But what are they?

Adaptogens are healing plants that possess specific healing powers. Namely, they assist in balancing, protecting, and restoring the body on a molecular level by regulating the glands that play a key role in how the body responds to stress: the adrenal, the hypothalamic, and the pituitary glands.

When the body is faced with stress, it goes through three separate phases:

  • The alarm stage
  • The resistance stage
  • The exhaustion phase

stressed studentWhen you experience any type of physiological or psychological stress, your body responds by producing an influx of certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones help the body manage stress by increasing concentration, improving strength and boosting reaction time. This is known as the resistance stage of handling stress. As the levels of these hormones deplete, you move into the exhaustion stage. Adaptogenic herbs alter your response to stress by lengthening the amount of time you are in the resistance stage, which promotes concentration, boosts strength, and helps you cope with stressors more effectively.

Researchers have found that adaptogenic herbs produce a number of profound effects on the body. The most notable effects include:

  • Ability to resist fatigue
  • Stimulation of the central nervous system
  • Ability to resist depression and anxiety
  • Enhance attention span
  • Improve concentration

Adaptogenic Herb Supplements

There are several different types of adaptogenic herbs, and many of them have been made into supplements. Below is a list of adaptogenic herbs that have been found to provide a number of significant health benefits.

  • Holy basil. Also referred to as ‘tulsi’, holy basil has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. This herb offers anti-aging capabilities and can ease the effects of a variety of medical conditions that range from the common cold to chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Research has also found that holy basil improves reaction time, enhances concentration, and improves the way the body responds to stress.adaptogens - ashwagandha
  • Ashwagandha. This herb is commonly referred to as Indian ginseng and the effects it has on the body’s stress response has been studied extensively. Not only can it help to combat the effects of stress, but it can also reduce anxiety levels, ease adrenal fatigue, and improve the function of the thyroid gland. Given all the benefits that this herb provides, KSM 66 ashwaganda is becoming popular in the supplement world. This all-natural supplement enhances mental clarity, boosts concentration, allows for better stress management, improves endurance, and boosts strength.
  • Rhodiola rosea. Also known as golden root or just simply ‘rhodiola’, this is a powerful adaptogen that has received a lot of attention. Similar to other adaptogenic herbs, rhodiola improves the body’s response to stress by decrease the production of cortisol (the stress hormone), increases concentration, and eases adrenal fatigue. This adaptogenic herb also has antioxidant capabilities that have the ability to help stave off several health issues, including high blood pressure, depression, and chronic fatigue.

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