Updated: Feb 20
Adaptogens are a group of herbs/natural substances that help the body adapt to stress in all its forms. Noting that stress can come from exercise, fasting, caffeine, consumption, sleep deprivation, stimulation from phone/music, extended periods of concentration, general lifestyle stress, and more!
Some additional suggested effects of (specific) adaptogens:
- Anti-inflammatory: Ashwagandha and turmeric
- Anti-oxidant: Ginseng and rhodiola
- Immune-boosting: Reishi mushroom and astragalus
- Cognitive enhancing: Ginkgo biloba and bacopa
- Anti-anxiety/depression: Ashwagandha and rhodiola
- Anti-fatigue and cardiovascular health: Ginseng and rhodiola
So... here are some quick-fire tips for using adaptogens:
1. Choose the right adaptogen for your needs: Different adaptogens are believed to have different effects (much like strains of probiotics!), so it's important to choose the one that's right for you.
2. Follow the recommended dosage and time period guidelines for the specific adaptogen - the general rule of thumb with ashwagandha, for example, is to consume it for up to three months cycling off for up to 4 weeks.
3. Consider your timing: Some adaptogens are believed to be more effective when taken at certain times of day. Much like supplements, this depends on the adaptogen that you take.
4. Pair adaptogens with other stress-reducing techniques - do not rely on them alone: Exercise, meditation, quality sleep, breath-work, time in nature, positive affirmation/visualisation/thought, calming music, person-to-person touch and interaction, hobbies that bring you peace and joy, prayer, laughter...
5. Experiment with different forms: Adaptogens are available in a variety of forms, such as capsules, powders, and tinctures. Experimenting with different forms may help you find the one that works best for you.
As always, talk to your healthcare professional if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications before consuming adaptogens.