What are adaptogens? In simple terms, they are natural, plant-based tools that help ease stress and the chronic conditions that stress can create. In technical terms, as Forbes Health explains, they work within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (also called HPA) and the sympathoadrenal system, both of which moderate how the body responds to stress. Adaptogens adjust hormone production and other responses to stress, helping to keep the body in balance, so that stress does not erode your immune system, sap energy levels, cause mood swings, bring on anxiety or interfere with mental focus.
Adaptogens have been used for thousands of years, particularly within Chinese and Ayurvedic healing arts, according to Time magazine, believed to keep the body in balance and thus stronger and healthier. For the most part they are plants — herbs, roots and sometimes mushrooms — that can be added to meals or made into nutritional supplements. Often they are brewed into teas.
To evaluate what adaptogens can do for you, think of your wellbeing as a pendulum that can swing widely out of sync in reaction to stress. Adaptogens act as counterweights that bring everything back to the middle, in balance, a status called homeostasis.
They work best as part of a holistic approach that includes a sound diet, exercise and good sleep, and should not be considered a cure for serious illness. However, their stress-busting properties can help to maintain a healthy lifestyle, creating a positive cycle of sound living.
Studies suggest that adaptogens have the ability to adjust hormone levels, either reducing stress-causing hormones, or increasing beneficial hormones, as summarized in Healthline. The example most frequently cited: Adaptogens help reduce excess cortisol, a hormone necessary to keep the body functioning under stress, but dangerous when levels get too high.
Specific chronic conditions that can be balanced by the use of adaptogens include asthma, cardiovascular conditions, cold and flu, depression, and headaches. Adaptogens may be incorporated into your daily routine — taking them in regular small amounts can help keep you in balance. An adaptogen habit can be as simple as cooking with turmeric, moringa or ginger, or taking a supplement.
As always when building a long-term herbal regimen, consider interactions with other medications you might be taking, and be aware of potential side effects. Consult your health care provider or do your research.
A soothing way to work adaptogens into your day is through drinking tea infused with these nutrients. The relaxing act of brewing and sipping a warm cup bolsters the stress-busting benefits.
How much should you drink? Two to three cups of adaptogenic tea per day for six to eight weeks will yield the best results.
These adaptogens are ingredients in our teas:
— Ashwagandha: Credited with calming and anxiety-reducing properties, as well as strengthening adrenal function, Prevention states. Because it also battles inflammation, it is often used by arthritis sufferers. Ashwagandha is an ingredient in NANEA | For Anxiety & Stress
— Ginger: Boosts attention span and cognitive function, according to Women’s Health. Ginger root is an ingredient in Ginger Tea, 'OLENA loose tea and tea bags for inflammation and pain relied and MW Coconut Chai.
— Moringa: Vitamin-packed and loaded with antioxidants, according to the nutrition resource Eat This, Not That. Moringa has 3X more potassium than bananas, 7X more vitamin C than oranges and 4X more vitamin A than carrots. Our moringa is so special because it's grown without chemicals in microbial rich soil.
— Turmeric: Studies show this bright yellow root may play a role in managing inflammation, metabolic syndrome, anxiety and muscle soreness, Prevention states. We battle inflammation on so many fronts from cancer treatment to hip replacement to just working out and allergies. 'OLENA turmeric tea can help reduce inflammation and pain.
To conclude, adaptogens are plants for longevity that can help us both physically and mentally respond better to stress, anxiety, fatigue and other chronic conditions. These herbs have the ability to gently restore overall wellbeing and tea is one of the easiest and safest ways to add these nutrients to our diet and self care routine.