In the wild waters of today’s environment adaptogens are the lifeboats that carry us to safety.Our multi-tiered lifestyles demand more from our physical bodies and our psyches than ever before in history. Adaptogen plants are a gift from nature at a time when we need the most support.
Adaptogens: Your Stress Damage Solution
Being the crème de la crème of herbs, you many find the qualities of adaptogens rather appealing. These plants support and protect the body against toxic chemicals, mental stress and physical exhaustion by increasing the body’s ability to adapt and repair.
The name is certainly appropriate; these plants adapt well to harsh environments and they carry the ability to help the body adapt to its environment. Originally used in ancient Chinese medicine and Ayurveda for mental health, physical strength, fertility and libido these intelligent plants have become the double-edged swords of healing.
To qualify as an adaptogen a plant needs to have a supportive effect on ones physical, hormonal and mental health. Adaptogens have the unique trait of being non-specific in their actions. This means they hone in on any area that is damaged, overactive or fatigued, and like a conductor they bring up actions that need raising and pacify those that need calming.
If you are mentally exhausted or physically fatigued adaptogens will help you feel more energetic and awake. At the same time adaptogens are not stimulants. If you are stressed to the max and highly strung, or just not coping with life, then adaptogens will help bring you to a calm and centered state; yet they are not tranquillizers and will not have a drug-like effect on the body. In other words they enhance your energy capacity while keeping you calm as well as increasing your ability to deal with stress including getting good sleep. They also work in synergy with each other, therefore taking two or more at a time can amplify their abilities. Only 1 in 10,000 plants fit this description.
The Russian scientist, G.M. Barenboirn said it well:
“For the first time in the history of human civilization the biological potentialities of the human body have failed to meet the requirements imposed on it by the epoch. One witnesses an unusual ‘epidemic’ of fatigue aggravated by the powerful action of man-made, external chemical and physical environmental factors. Like the drugs that saved the world from numerous bacterial and viral epidemics that cost millions of lives in the past, the adaptogens are needed to help man withstand the diverse stresses of today.”
More than just Mental Stress
Stress comes in so many forms. In todays world simply dealing with the speed and amount of information coming at us each day can be stressful. We have information stress, deadline stress, lack of sleep stress, low nutrient stress, blood sugar stress, relationship stress, environmental chemical stress and lack of ‘me time’ stress to name but a few. Even though our bodies are highly adaptable there is a point at which they start to become compromised.
Our body is only designed to experience stress under life threatening or emergency situations, which in a healthy reality is not more than 10% of our lives. Yet the beliefs and pressure of today’s life means we can flip into emergency mode over every little bit of stress instead of only in genuine emergencies.
Long term stress starts to impact us in many ways. It begins to compromise our physical and mental stamina and acuity. It lowers our libido and reproductive health. It increases our chances of insulin resistance, inflammation and weight gain. And it compromises our liver function and gut bacteria making it hard to kick out toxins and absorb nutrients. After a while our nervous system and brain chemistry take strain leading to mood swings, depression, insomnia and all that jazz. Plus further down the line the chronic inflammation lays the foundation for possible chronic disease.
The beauty of working with adaptogen herbs is that they help tone and repair the areas of our body and brain that need the most attention. This usually starts with the adrenals…
What do Adrenal Glands do?
Adrenal glands are basecamp for the stress system. Adrenals mastermind multiple functions in the body from your blood sugar balance, your insulin levels and fat storage, to controlling inflammation, blood pressure and hormone production. Adrenals are also the directors of our primitive survival response system. They jump into action the moment there is the slightest threat, which today is usually something like the sound of our bosses voice.
The adrenal glands are tiny, smaller than a walnut. Asking them to poor adrenaline and cortisol into our body’s for 80% of our waking hours is a very tall order. Stress hormone production is supposed to turn off after the ‘danger’ is over but after many months or years of this pattern we end up with a constant drip of high cortisol into the body. This can put a rather large toll on our system.
Long-term cortisol dominance can lead to various lifestyle disorders, including high blood pressure, weight gain, infertility, reproductive issues, depression, mood disorders, thyroid problems and autoimmune disorders to name but a few.
Adaptogens in SuperThrive:
Maca / Reishi Mushrooms / Ashwaghanda / Rhodiola / Schizandra / Tulsi / Fo-Ti/ Taheebo