Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help bodies adapt to physical and environmental stress. They help ease the stress response by helping to regulate important hormones that cope with fatigue, a common condition of chronic stress. Adaptogens offer numerous health benefits, and the better known ones include:
- A boost for the immune system
- Support for managing a healthy weight
- Increased physical endurance and mental focus
- Reduction in discomfort caused by poor health
- Encouraging a balanced mood
To qualify as an adaptogen, an herb must be completely safe, non-toxic, have broad uses for health and specifically must help reduce stress, both mental and physical.
Stress actually is supposed to exist only in short bursts, which our bodies are geared to deal with well. However, the ongoing stress that exists as a part of modern living causes our adrenal systems to work constantly and suffer from overload. This in turn causes our bodies to get knocked out of balance. We most commonly experience this imbalance in our digestive systems and low energy levels. Adaptogens work by helping the hormones of the adrenal system to balance out and counter adrenal fatigue. In the same way, some adaptogens help shorten recovery times after exercise or intense physical activities.
One of the adaptogens that is well known even in the western world comes from the tradition of Ayurveda: Ashwagandha is so valued that it is referred to by some as “Indian ginseng.” Studies show that those who consume ashwagandha “enjoy dramatic improvements in how they handle and feel stress. It is also taken to keep the mind sharp, and for energy.”
Another adaptogen is one of the hottest herbal commodities on the market today: turmeric . Just about every benefit has been attributed to consuming turmeric in one form or another. Used generously throughout Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been shown to promote circulation, relieve joint and muscular discomforts, and enhance the functions of the liver.
Adaptogens have been part of the Eastern vernacular for centuries. In more recent years, the West has adopted them for a natural approach to Active Wellness and longevity. Nikken continues to combine the best of eastern traditions with western technology: Ashwagandha and turmeric are both contained in the
- Seely D, Singh R. Adaptogenic Potential of a Polyherbal Natural Health Product: Report on a Longitudinal Clinical Trial. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM. 2007;4(3):375-380. doi:10.1093/ecam/nel101.
- Panossian A1, Wikman G, Kaur P, Asea A. Adaptogens exert a stress-protective effect by modulation of expression of molecular chaperones. Phytomedicine. 2009 Jun;16(6-7):617-22. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2008.12.003. Epub 2009 Feb 1.
- Vyas P, Thakar AB, Baghel MS, Sisodia A, Deole Y. Efficacy of Rasayana Avaleha as adjuvant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy in reducing adverse effects. Ayu. 2010;31(4):417-423. doi:10.4103/0974-8520.82029.
- Smirnova MD, Svirida ON, Ageev FT, Forfanova TV, Vitsenia MV, Mikhalov GV. [The ability to use meldonium as adaptogen in winter in patients with cardiovascular disease]. Kardiologiia. 2014;54(10):51-6.
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