Adaptogens date back to hundreds of years of history.”

The ability of adaptogens to help people resist against chemical, physical, psychological and biological detractors have encouraged their use for eons.  They been shown to ward off toxic factors or stress chemicals like cortisol as well, making them ideal for today’s fast-paced world.

They are herbs and roots which when put to regular use help the user “adapt” to different conditions like increased mental or physical work, prevent exhaustion, and provide some resistance towards chronic stress.

After many decades of existence, researchers still debate whether to consider adaptogens in medicine because of their close connection to anabolic drugs. Official or not, nobody has openly doubted the positive impacts of adaptogenic herbs. Instead, the New World has quickly started to recognize its benefits. 

Some of the most popular adaptogens include Ginseng, Maca, Ashwagandha, Cordyceps, Holy Basil, Rhodiola, and Codonopsis.

Common Adaptogen and their Uses

Overall, adaptogens reduce stress; however, each adaptogenic herb performs a slightly different function, and one should use them under particular circumstances. Here’s a list of some readily available adaptogens which you can make part of your diet:

1. Cordyceps

Cordyceps is the name of a medicinal fungus growing in the highlands of China. It is known to increase energy and oxygen use during exercise, reducing fatigue. Besides these benefits, Cordyceps also possess anti-aging properties and fights high cholesterol levels.

Summary

It is rare and hence one of the most expensive adaptogens; however, it’s available in powder form and is easily incorporated into a regular diet when mixed with soups.

2. Ginseng

It improves body immunity, boosting energy and cognition.  It also lowers blood sugar levels. However, please note that children and pregnant or breastfeeding women must not use Ginseng. 

Summary

You can incorporate ginseng into your diet easily by grating dried ginseng root, and adding a spoonful or two to your drink, tea or coffee.

3. Ashwagandha

Forget about the “mysterious” name; it is among the most important herbs in Ayurveda. Other than its calming effect, Ashwagandha can improve muscle strength, heart health, and stop cell growth in some cancers.  

Summary

It’s usable in powdered form, capsules, or as a liquid extract to make refreshing drinks.  Raw ashwagandha provides maximum health benefits.

4. Holy basil

It is a tonic for the mind, spirit and the body. Amongst all adaptogens, Holy basil has the most extensive application possibilities. Its fresh flowers help fight bronchitis. Its alcohol extract treats stomach ulcers while the extracts from the leaf enhance metabolism, reduce exhaustion and forgetfulness. 

“ Holy basil It’s best consumed as a tea(leaves) even daily because it is caffeine-free.”

5. Maca

Maca reduces anxiety and depression. Furthermore, it’s proven to help gain muscle, boost energy and enhance exercise performance. Usually, it’s root is dried and used as a powder,  also available as a liquid extract and capsule. Maca is best when added to oatmeal and smoothies.

Conclusion

Adaptogens are here to stay. More and more companies today incorporate adaptogens into their products to make them accessible to the public.

Doctors, however, advocate for caution when it comes to consuming adaptogens, especially daily (some adaptogenic herbs have no elaborate scientific research) because it’s not clear the effect they may have on people with some medical conditions.  Always consult with your physician before incorporating something new into your diet.

 

Summary

In its entirety, adaptogens are safe for most people and serve as a great supplement to healthy living.