The Truth About Adaptogens

Adaptogens have made their way onto the health food scene, and more people are taking note of their benefits. Naturally-occurring herbs that help the body "adapt" to life's daily stressors, adaptogens assist in our system's reactions to physical and mental stress (via Healthline). During those moments where everything seems to be a pain – you're fighting with your significant other, work is piling up, and the kids are screaming – adaptogens can help pad your system against the damaging effects of stress.

Leslie Korn, Ph.D., tells Healthline that, "As women living modern lives, we are going to have plenty of stress, but if our body and mind has a biological boost, like adaptogens, in order to cope better with this stress, then we will be less likely to get sick." By taking these herbs, it helps your body curb stress hormone production that can become chronic and, as such, exceedingly harmful for your brain and body. 

Since so many health issues stem back to chronic stress, adaptogens help with common stress-induced ailments like insomnia, digestive issues, immunity issues, and more (via Healthline). But, these herbs don't work like OTC products – they're natural and need time to build up in your system. You won't notice a difference instantly, but when you take them regularly, you will likely notice a difference in a few weeks (via Well+Good). 

Choose the right adaptogen for what you need

Since there are many different types of adaptogens that are said to help with various ailments, it's important to find which ones work for you. For instance, if you're struggling with stress and anxiety, ashwagandha might be your new best friend. Look for ashwagandha powder or capsules, Asian ginseng, or tulsi to aid in reducing the side effects of long-term "stress and hormonal imbalances" (via Time). According to Well+Good, reishi and other types of mushrooms can help soothe the adrenal glands when you've been running on empty. 

Another way to use adaptogens is by adding them to other areas of your routine. Instead of reaching for coffee to wake you up, which can wreak havoc on your adrenals and nervous system, try adding adaptogens to your morning instead. Herbs like astragalus, cordyceps, rhodiola, and goji berry can assist in making you feel more alert while avoiding spiking your cortisol levels (via Healthline). Since many adaptogens don't taste all that great on their own, you can find adaptogenic teas, mixes to add to smoothies, and supplements that you can take with ease, as noted by The New York Times.

Whether you're stressed, overworked, or overtired, nature's remedies can help soothe various aspects of modern life – especially when you find the right combination and take them regularly!