What are natural adaptogens and how can they help you?
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We’ve all heard about ‘adaptogens’ but what are they?
Adaptogens help your body adapt to stressors, environmental influences, emotional difficulties and even mental pressures. Since adaptogens can be tailored to your needs, you simply need to look at the kinds of things you want to cure and take the herbal adaptogen that can help you combat that specific stressor. These needs can be anything from stress and low energy levels to soothing the body or increasing one’s hair and skin’s strength and shine.
David Winston, a clinical herbalist who shared his research with Goop, described adaptogens as:
“The term adaptogen is neither an ancient term nor one that comes from herbal medicine. The concept was first described by the research scientist Dr. I. I. Brekhman in 1961, using a science-based understanding of what exactly is (and is not) an adaptogen:
Adaptogens are nontoxic in normal therapeutic doses. They produce a non-specific state of resistance in the body to physical, emotional, or environmental stress. So they reduce the effects of stress, whether the source is psychological, physiological, noise, temperature, etc. They have a normalizing (amphoteric) effect on the body, helping to restore normal physiologic function that has been altered by stress. This means if the immune system is depressed, adaptogens enhance the immune response. If the immune system is overactive—for instance with allergies—adaptogens help re-regulate the immune response, decreasing overactivity.”
So, how exactly do they work?
Now that we understand what they are, it is super important to understand how adaptogens work and why we need them. When we face a stressor in our everyday lives, be it an emotional, mental or physical stressor, chances are that it throws our body and emotional state out of sync. When this happens, our bodies go through a syndrome known as the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) which is a three-stage response made up of the alarm phase, the resistance phase and finally, the exhaustion phase.
When we take apoptogenic herbs as part of our daily lifestyle and diet, we find that when faced with a stressor, the adaptogens will enable us to stay in the resistance phase for longer than usual, pushing the exhaustion phase further away. According to Healthline, “Instead of crashing in the midst of a stressful moment, task, or event, we attain equilibrium and can soldier on”. In this way, adaptogens help bring the body back to a state of homeostasis where we can feel calm, collected and ready for anything without causing a further crash on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live – Jim Rohn
Interested in taking an adaptogenic herb? Here are our favourites!
Ashwagandha, one of the most popular natural herb adaptogens, and definitely one of our favorites here at Avalife, not only helps your body manage stress but provides incredible benefits for your brain and body. It can boost brain function, lower blood pressure and even manage anxiety and depression! Used for over 3000 years, this ancient herb increases strength while reducing inflammation in the body that can be caused by stress or illness. It can also help reduce cholesterol and lower cortisol levels. Some research has even shown that taking Ashwagandha on a daily basis can help improve and protect memory due to how effective it is at protecting nerve cells in the brain.
Our Avalife Ashwagandha can play a vital role in your health as it is proven to increase energy and endurance, strength and stamina, enhance memory and cognition while reducing stress levels by bringing a sense of calmness and maintaining mental wellbeing. What’s more, Ashwagandha is also the only adaptogen that is rich in iron, making it an excellent, natural and cost-effective aid for anemia.
Holy Basil is another great apoptogenic herb that is both popular and powerful. Holy Basil can be found in Avalife Calmand Avalife Stress Free. Interestingly, the entire Holy Basil plant is an adaptogen that can help your mind cope with many types of stressors such as chemical, physical, infectious and emotional. Holy Basil is also proven to reduce stress, any sexual issues, cure sleep problems, help with forgetfulness and exhaustion.
Holy basil can be great at treating diabetes, lowering cholesterol and even treating inflammation. It can also help reduce the risk of stress induced ulcers by decreasing stomach acid and increasing the stomach’s natural defense.
Avalife Stress Free contains the benefits of Ashwagandha and Holy Basil and would be recommended as an everyday supplement if you are ready to conquer your stress and would be a powerful, yet gentle way, to try natural adaptogens.
Here’s how to start with apoptogenic herbs
While it sounds simple to just start taking an adaptogen, it is wise to first ensure that you understand exactly what each one does. This is particularly important since adaptogens all differ from each other. For example, adaptogens like red and white Asian ginseng are stimulating which could cause anxiety or insomnia if you get overstimulated easily. Others, like schisandra or rhodiola are drying and if you suffer with dry skin or even a dry cough, then it could make your symptoms worse. Similarly, some adaptogens are calming and relaxing and are great to take before bed rather than in the morning.
Before taking an adaptogen to aid your body’s stressors, make sure that you chat to a registered medical practitioner to ensure that the adaptogen you are interested in will work in harmony with your lifestyle or any other medication that you are already taking. It is also super important to ensure that you do as much research as possible on various apoptogenic herbs before supplementing to get the most out of it. It is also vital that you follow the manufacturer’s advice and only take the dose of adaptogens as prescribed.
We have loads of great information to help guide you well on your way on our website. Visit www.avalife.co.za to find out more about our various adaptogens, natural herbs and supplements.
- Goop. (Date unknown), ‘An Herbalist on the Healing Power of Adaptogens’, Goop. Available at https://goop.com/wellness/health/an-herbalist-on-the-healing-power-of-adaptogens/(accessed: 16 May 2021)
- Healthline. (Date unknown), ‘12 Proven Benefits of Ashwagandha’, Healthline. Available at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#_noHeaderPrefixedContent (accessed: 16 May 2021).
- Healthline. (Date unknown), ‘Smart Girl’s Guide to Adaptogens’, Healthline. Available at https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/smart-girls-guide-to-adaptogens#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1 (accessed: 16 May 2021).
- Healthline. (Date unknown), ‘The health Benefits of Holy Basil’, Available at https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/basil-benefits#brain-benefits (accessed: 16 May 2021).
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