What are they and what you should know? 🍄
The first time I became acquainted with an adaptogen was when Elijah Shannon Selby suggested I try out Chaga tea. I picked up the medicinal mushroom powder at the health food store down the road, Perelandra, and was off to the races. 🏃🏼 Thank you, Elijah. 🙏🏽 Whether you are aware of this natural wellness trend or not, I'm here to share my experience and thoughts.
That Chaga tea was wonderous for my energy and digestion. I had some gut issues, and I noticed almost an instant shift to more ease and a boost in energy. 💡Adaptogens (like Chaga) are non-toxic plants, roots, and herbs that help stabilize our physiological health. They do this primarily by increasing our resistance to stress. Most notably, balancing cortisol levels in our body - the stress hormone. When we consume adaptogens, they interact with the HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) and the sympathoadrenal system, both of which regulate the body's response to stress. In other words, they help manage our physiological stress response to ensure that our bodies (energy levels and immune system) function in a balanced state. ⚖️
It's worth noting that adaptogens haven't had as much scientific backing as other healthy foods, supplements, and practices. The EU has banned using the word 'adaptogen' in marketing, while the FDA has warned US companies for false advertising in the use of the word 'adaptogenic.'
That said, there is promising evidence in isolated cell studies and simple organisms that adaptogens are effective at the molecular level for protecting us against stress and promoting homeostasis.
Speaking purely from my experience, I've been using different adaptogens from medicinal mushrooms like Chaga, Rishi, and Rhodiola and roots and herbs like Ashwangda and Holy Basil for the last five (5) years. I've only had positive effects from each case, though I've always made sure to dive into the science to ensure I'm using these helpful substances appropriately. Timing and frequency play an essential role. Before jumping in with an adaptogen, ensure you do your research or speak with your doctor, especially if you are using prescription or over-the-counter medications. 🩺
My results were increased focus, energy, and a balanced digestive response. I noticed that by taking any of the herbs, roots, and plants it was the regular periodic use that aided my body or brain. It wasn’t as if one dose of tea or powder in my smoothie was eliminating my stress at the moment. That typically happens for me with exercise, meditation, and breathing techniques. 😉
Now for this beautiful breakdown by Dr. Berg. 📺