Adaptogens have been used in various types of ancient medicine for centuries, but are only just starting to be picked up and used in supplements.
Featuring in coffee mixes, superfood powders, teas and being sold in capsule and powdered form, adaptogenic herbs are all the rage on the health and wellness scene, and for good reason.
Adaptogens are extremely powerful and provide immensely impressive health benefits, so they should definitely make up your daily consumption, or at least one of them should!
This article is going to be your adaptogen 101 – I’m going to explain exactly what adaptogens are, tell you about the top 3 most powerful adaptogenic herbs that you should be taking, and answer the most frequently asked questions about them.
So, let’s jump into it!
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are herbs and roots that help the body adapt, hence the name, to stressors. This includes psychological, chemical, and physical stress.
Rather than just reducing the symptoms that are caused by these stressors, adaptogens actually change the way that the body deals with them, benefiting long term health and wellbeing.
If we experience stress for a long period of time, also known as chronic stress, which The American Institute of Stress records 33% of Americans do, your body becomes affected. Stress affects the quality of sleep, blood pressure, the immune system, the digestive system, and the heart.
So, we must know how to reduce stress, and adaptogens are one of the easiest and most powerful ways to do that.
Different adaptogens provide unique health benefits, but overall, all adaptogens reduce stress and improve health. Some of these are more powerful, and therefore more popular than others. So, let’s take a look at some of these below.
3 Adaptogenic Herbs You Should Consume Daily
Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen that’s proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels, boost mood, and improve sleep quality.
It also helps the body to deal better with stressful situations, by balancing the levels of cortisol in the body – it makes sure the levels of cortisol in the body are healthy so that adrenal glands are still supported, but so chronic stress doesn’t occur.
Rhodiola helps the body adapt and better deal with stressors, whether they’re physical, psychological, or environmental.
It reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue levels, therefore boosting the immune system and promoting higher energy levels. It also improves brain function and clarity, meaning it’s an important adaptogen for those that are dealing with work-related stress or psychological stressors.
Reishi mushroom is an adaptogen that helps the body, and the mind, handle stress. Reishi does this by boosting the immune system, boosting mood, supporting mental clarity, and alleviating stress-related insomnia.
It also supports the adrenal function healthy and balanced, which is essential for a regulated metabolism, balanced blood pressure, and, of course, the reaction of the body to stressors.
How To Take Adaptogenic Herbs
All adaptogenic herbs are different, and there are so many ways that you can take them. For example, if we just take a look at ashwagandha, you can consume it as tea, in a supplement on its own, or within a superfood powder.
If you’re looking to take consume an array of adaptogenic herbs, and you’re keen to increase your nutrient intake at the same time, a superfood powder is a perfect option for you.
Most high-quality superfood powders contain adaptogenic herbs. For example, my own super greens powder, SuperGreen TONIK, contains both ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea.
If you are going to go down the superfood/super greens formula road, just make sure you’re choosing a formula with a fully disclosed label that contains sufficiently dosed ingredients.
Are Adaptogenic Herbs Safe?
Adaptogenic herbs are safe for the majority of people. However, they’re incredibly potent, and therefore it’s advised that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, children under the age of 18, those with medical conditions, or those taking medication, should consult a doctor before consumption.
You should always double-check the warnings of each adaptogen you take because some are actually harmful to particular people. For example, ashwagandha shouldn’t be taken by those with diabetes, thyroid conditions, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
So, although adaptogens are typically safe and beneficial for a wide range of people, always double-check!
What Else Should You Do To Support Lower Stress Levels?
Taking adaptogens is obviously an incredibly powerful way to reduce your stress levels and improve the physical symptoms of stress. However, if you’re purposefully going out of your way to living a stressful life and make things harder for yourself, you might just be balancing your stress, rather than working towards a lower level of stress.
So, you should try and make some lifestyle changes, as well as consuming adaptogens, reduce stress levels. Here are just a few, small things that you can try to do to reduce your stress levels.
- Spend more time in nature
- Set goals and stick to them
- Find the route of your stress and work towards solving it
- Make sure you’re eating well
- Exercise regularly
If you want to find out more about stress management, take a look at my article here.
The Bottom Line: Consume Adaptogens & Stress Less!
Now that you know just how powerful adaptogens are and you know the best ones out there, it’s time to incorporate one or two of them into your daily diet.
Whether you’re consuming them in a superfood powder or you’re going to buying specific adaptogenic herb supplements, make sure you’re going for a high-quality supplement with a fully disclosed ingredients label that shows the adaptogens are sufficiently dosed!
Best of luck reducing your stress levels and improving your health and wellbeing!
LifeHacker Guy Greens Recommendation
Please give me a few moments to shamelessly introduce my brand, SuperGreen TONIK.
I have researched a lot (and I mean a lot) of super greens out there but was disappointed with most of the ones I tried.
So, I went out and created my own with the help of a USA manufacturer because I wanted to ensure I got all my veggie goodness in the right amounts, and of course within a no-fuss single serving each day.
None of the other brands offered that.
Its the best out there (of course I would say that about my own), but let me tell you why...
- No hidden ingredient amounts - we have full disclosure labelling, so you know EXACTLY whats inside
- Sufficient ingredient amounts to make a difference - we include at least (if not more of) the minimum effective amounts supported by research
- Ingredients that also could boost mental clarity and shake off brain fog - to boost my at work and home
After many months I finally got a greens formula that fuels my body and mind for the day ahead.
But please dont JUST take my word for it, make up your own decision by checking out my review. (I TRY BE BE AS UNBIASED AS POSSIBLE )