Inside scoop: What are adaptogens? A brief overview of how they support all bodily systems.
This post was submitted by Kiki Athanas, a holistic lifestyle advocate, educator, retreat & workshop host, journalist, speaker and founder of ME by Kiki.
Adaptogens are herbs used for stress-relieving purposes and are the true “herbal pharmaceuticals” of today. Despite what you might otherwise think, stress isn’t inherently “bad”, but it is true that too much of it wreaks havoc on our health, and can be detrimental to our neurological, endocrine, and immune systems.
Hence, consuming plants that can help to counteract those negative effects can work wonders for bringing your body back into balance and ultimately restoring your optimal vitality. So what are adaptogens?
One example of this particular type of herb is Kratom, a popular stimulating herb which has been used since the 19th century in Asian countries. Low doses of this plant have mild pain-relief effects, while higher doses offer stronger pain relief and euphoric effects which are normal in opiate pain medications. Visit kratom.org to know more about its uses and how this herb can effectively lessen stress.
What Are Adaptogens?
Yes, while they seem to be the trendiest “wellness fad” of today, in reality, adaptogens have actually been considered the “Kings” and “Queens” of herbal medicines for restoring health, vitality, immunity, stamina, and reducing the impact of “stress” on our health for centuries.
They are called “adaptogens” because of their unique ability to help you adapt to the stress in your life. This is through normalizing and regulating the adrenal stress response (otherwise known as the HPA axis), regulating cortisol, and relieving the physical impacts of stress on our bodies and minds by reducing inflammation, balancing blood sugar, insulin, and much more.
Don’t think you’re suffering from “stress” but rather are battling other demons? I hate to say it, but the culprit here may very well still be “stress” in one form or another, and it’s the root cause that’s leading to these other consequences – which may be surfacing as pain, digestive concerns, insomnia, or other unlovable symptoms.
Here’s the gist: supporting your stress response system and nourishing your adrenal glands may help you with more than a “stressed-out mind”, and provide relief of a wide array of chronic illness which are likely stemming from persistent stressors in your life – be it chemical, biological, or physical.
In fact – and likely with no major surprise to you – stress has been proven to be a major contributor to both psychosocial and physical pathological conditions in humans.
Dare to test the claims for yourself?
Some of the most well-researched and time-tested plant medicinals in the world of adaptogens include ashwagandha, ginseng, rhodiola, maca, and reishi mushrooms.
While it’s always best to work with a certified practitioner who can guide your journey while working with these herbs for maximal efficacy, you can also get started by implementing some of these magical plants into your daily rituals through tasty food and beverage infusions such as this Stress Busting Freezer Fudge in my Adaptogen Recipe Ebook available for download here.
Whether you choose to bring adaptogens into your wellness regime or not, remember that reducing stressors in your life can be as simple as taking a walk outside in nature, giving yourself ample breaks in-between work sprints, getting enough sleep, and/or being mindful to incorporate enough “me time” into your weekly schedule – even if you really do have to “schedule” it in.
Just know that stress really can be just as easy to reduce as it is to take on.
Maybe saying “no” to that additional last-minute work-project is in alignment with caring for yourself and securing your longevity – and should be respected and embraced. Practicing mindfulness – with or without your herbal allies – can go a long way.
Wishing you all stress-free vibes for a nourishing rest of your week ahead!
For wellness lifestyle - that actually fits your lifestyle, meet Kiki Athanas - Founder of ME by Kiki. A holistic lifestyle advocate, educator, retreat & workshop host, journalist, and speaker. Say goodbye to overwhelm and let Kiki save your time (and adrenals!) as your guide to curated wellness that works.