Adaptogens 101: What they are + why they help you zen the F out
Adaptogens have been making waves across the wellness industry and Instagram for awhile now. They are big business in the US with cool brands such as MoonJuice putting them on the map. My fascination with adaptogens kicked off a lot of my thinking around setting up Botanic Co. when I was experimenting with them in my daily teas and started to really feel the benefits.
So what are these magic herbs really about?
While we’re just now beginning to know the ins and outs of these “magical” plants, adaptogens have been around for hundreds of years, used in Ayurvedic, Russian and Chinese healing traditions. The word “adaptogen” itself was coined in 1947 in the Soviet Union to mean “a substance which was claimed to increase non-specific resistance to adverse influences to organism and stress.”
In simple terms, adaptogens are natural substances, that help the body adapt to stress and restores balance in the body. They are also believed to combat hormone issues, gut health, boost immunity and higher sex drive. Adaptogens allude to a wide variety of plants and herbs, such as ashwagandha, schizandra berry, holy basil, ginseng, astragalus root, licorice root, rhodiola and cordyceps. They can be taken either alone or in combination with others.
So how do they work?
Here comes the science bit: Your brain-adrenal (HPA) axis, brain-thyroid (HPT) and brain-gonadal axis (HPG) need to work in perfect harmony for a healthy mood, metabolism, energy, immune system, and sex drive. When your HP axis is unbalanced it leads to hormone problems like adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems and libido issues (Like zero fun!). This where the equilibrating power of adaptogens comes into play.
Sounds amazing riiight? That’s why we love them in Botanic Co.
However, I would also say to people that just because these adaptogens have some history behind them doesn’t mean that they will fix every ailment you have. Adaptogens aren’t magic pills or cure-alls. A healthy lifestyle and managing major health issues require more than having superherbs in your daily routine so see them as complementary addition to your lifestyle alongside other good stuff like nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep, self-care etc…