If you’ve been keeping up with the health industry, you may have heard of adaptogens. What you may not know is that adaptogens are an important part of what makes functional mushrooms so special.
Are adaptogens really as amazing as people make them out to be though? Here, we will dive into the world of adaptogens and see whether they’re just a trend or not.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogenic plants, including herbs and mushrooms, ubiquitous in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, have been around for centuries. However, the term was only first adopted by Soviet scientist, Dr. Nikolai Lazarev in the 1940s.
Adaptogens are naturally occurring, non-toxic substances that can optimise a host of physiological functions, helping bring the body into a state of homeostasis or equilibrium. Most notable and impressive is their application in stress reduction by way of modulating the stress response. Hence “adapt” being in the name!
To be classified as an adaptogen, a natural substance must match all of the following:
- Can help normalise system functions and support the maintenance of a state of homeostasis or overall balance
- Assist the human body in resisting a variety of adverse conditions that cause stress
- Be non-toxic, safe for long-term use, and non-habit forming
What’s even more incredible is that these benefits are achieved with progressive use so you don’t get any noticeable energy crashes.
Our Featured Adaptogens
When it comes to plants with benefits, not all herbs & fungi are considered adaptogenic, but the ones we use in our products are!
Cordyceps are a mushroom known to boost stamina, fight stress, and balance hormones. Lion’s Mane are another fungi that are revered for its cognitive performance-boosting abilities as it’s now recognized as a ‘nootropic’ (a brain-enhancing substance). Another example is Reishi, which is often associated with stress adaptation, and helping with sleep.
Outside of fungi, there are also botanical adaptogens. For example, Rhodiola Rosea (aka Arctic Root) is known for its anxiety-reducing, and mental & physical fatigue-fighting effects. Another common adaptogen is turmeric, which calms inflammation, boosts brain function, and staves off depression.
Our line of medicinal mushroom blends contains both adaptogenic fungi and botanicals for a better holistic health solution.
Now that you know what adaptogens are, how do they work?
How Do Adaptogens Work in the Body?
This is how adaptogenic substances are thought to work in the body: when we’re faced with a stressor - physical or mental, real or imagined - our bodies go through General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). This is a 3-stage response: first, there is alarm, then resistance, and finally exhaustion.
After the alarm is sounded, adaptogens can keep us in the resistance phase longer by way of a stimulating effect that staves off the exhaustion phase.
So, instead of cracking under pressure during stressful times, an equilibrium can be maintained, and we’re better able to carry on. Adaptogens seem to be especially suited in filling our energy buckets.
Think of adaptogens as a little support buddy that helps your body deal with stress.
What Ways Can You Benefit From Adaptogens - and How Do You Take Them?
Adaptogens provide many benefits for your body, but they work best when taken routinely. They have more of a slow burn effect than a one-and-done effect.
When it comes to a specific list of benefits, adaptogens may help you in the following ways:
- Normalise body functions and lower stress levels
- Combat the negative impact that stress has on cognitive function, and may improve attention and focus
- Support health hormone levels and keep cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in check
- Fight off the symptoms caused by elevated cortisol levels (e.g. anxiety, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and obesity)
- Bolster the immune system and fortify the body’s ability to recover
What are the best ways to take adaptogens to reap the full benefits?
- How about taking a highly concentrated tincture in a tea, coffee, latte, fresh juice, or smoothie?
- Find ways to bring them into your daily routine to keep yourself consistent
Adaptogens – Your Wellbeing
While it may be safe to take them regularly, they shouldn’t be relied on to provide everything the body needs to fight off the negative impacts of stress.
That’s why we feel it’s important to be mindful of other health-promoting habits, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and things like yoga or meditation that help keep your body balanced.
In recent years, the concept of adaptogens has witnessed significant growth and awareness by health and wellness consumers. So are adaptogens just a passing health trend? We think not!
What do you think about adaptogens? Share your thoughts and/or experiences with us on our socials (@doseology.sciences)!