Try Adaptogens- Everything you need to know
Millions of people worldwide are taking all-natural herbs that promise to enhance the way your body responds to stress and reduce its impacts on your health. With promises like a better libido, more mental energy, better sleep, and improved mood – it’s understandable why adaptogens are bursting with popularity. Here at Rested Health, we want to provide you with the latest research and product recommendations you can trust.
Your Adaptogen Resource Center
Learn how stress impacts your health and how adaptogens can help you overcome issues like low libido, sleep disruptions, anxiety, memory problems, lack of focus, and more.
Choosing your Supplement
If you’re just starting out, most experts agree that Rhodiola Rosea or Ashwagandha are excellent choices. You can read more closely in our glossary below to see how the different adaptogens work. Remember to talk to your doctor if you are taking any current medications that may impact your blood sugar or thyroid levels, as some adaptogens may impact blood glucose or thyroid function.
The supplement world is flooded with options. Unfortunately, rules and regulations surrounding natural health products also means that many supplements come overdosed or underdosed, contaminated with other active ingredients, and filled with unhealthy fillers.
Use these guidelines when selecting a supplement.
Do adaptogens actually work?
Whether adaptogens work for you, depends on many different factors. However, the research is pretty positive. According to the authors of a study by the Swedish Herbal Institute Research & Development, researchers concluded that “Adaptogens have a significant, beneficial and specific effect on stress-induced symptoms under fatigue.” The study found benefits for cognitive function, mental performance, increasing energy, and for improving symptoms of depression.
Another scientific review examined studies using Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Bacopa found that these herbs were effective in reducing the negative impacts of stress, improving wellbeing, and increasing mental energy.
It has been shown that adaptogens help the body maintain homeostasis by affecting how the body’s stress response system works. Adaptogens affect stress markers, including the hormones that regulate your body’s stress response and HPA axis. Some of the biomarkers and regulators impacted by adaptogenic herbs include nitric oxide, cortisol, corticosterone, glucose, cytokines, biogenic amines, and neuropeptides. Learn more about your stress response here.
While there is still more work needed on the best way to use adaptogens for specific issues, the current research supports their use as a safe way to improve your health and build your body’s resilience to stress.
Your Adaptogen Glossary
- Astragalus root: helps reduce stress and aging by protecting the structures at the end of chromosomes called telomeres.
- Ashwagandha: Helps the body cope with daily stress and may be esepcially helpful for restoring high quality sleep.
- Bacopa Monnieri: Helps to protect the brain, boosts memory, and enhances cognitive function.
- Cordyceps: A powerful fungi that helps restore balance to your hormones, reduce the impact of stress, and boost immune function.
- Chaga: Mushroom that’s great for supporting adrenal glands, strengthening immune system, and improving energy levels.
- Gingko Biloba: Help boost mood and mental energy while offering neuroprotective properties to the brain. It’s active components are ginkgo flavone glycosides which have an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effect on the brain.
- Holy basil: Effective for promoting relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety, and boosting immune-functioning.
- Panax Ginseng: Helps boost memory, sexual function, fertility, and energy.
- Reishi: Another mushroom powerhouse with medicinal benefits such as helping reduce the impacts of stress, and promoiting healthy sleep patterns.
- Rhodiola rosea: Helps lower anxiety, reduces fatigue, and can even help combat feelings of depression.
- Maca: Can help improve mood, libido, energy, regulate hormones, and help you adapt to stress.
- Schisandra: Reduce stress, anxiety, decrease sleep latency, and boosts sleep quality.
- Shiitake: Anti-inflammatory properties, rich in b vitamins, and helps boost immune system and cardiovascular health. .
- Siberian ginseng: Can help boost energy and reduce the negative effects of mental fatigue and exhaustion.
- Tongkat Ali: Boosts mood, energy, testosterone levels and libido.It works by restoring normal testosterone levels by increasing the release of free testosterone from its binding hormone called globulin.
You can combine adaptogens with one another or with other health-promoting compounds to increase the benefits. Take a look at your goals and feel free to try combining them when you’re ready. Popular stacks include Gingko Biloba + Bacopa Monneriri, Ashwagandha + Rhodiola Rosea (take Rhodiola Rosea in the morning and Ashwagandha later in the day for best effects), and Gotu Kola + Bacopa Monnieri. You will also regularly find ingredients like black pepper in certain adaptogens in order to aid in absorption.
Are Adaptogens Safe?
There are very few long-term studies examining adaptogens but most experts agree they are extremely safe to take at varying doses.
Do Adaptogens Interact with Other Medications?
Use caution when using adaptogens with the following classes of medications:
Prescription Sedatives, Sleep Aids, and Anti-Anxiety Medicines
Many herbs have calming and sedative properties so these effects can be enhanced when combined with prescription sedatives. Use with caution and note any side effects.
Ashwagandha is known to support and stimulate thyroid function, so it has the potential to bump up thyroid hormone levels if combined with thyroid medications. Have your levels tested to find a balance that works for you.
Diabetes Medications or Drugs that Lower Blood Sugar
Most adaptogen herbs, including reishi and rhodiola naturally help balance blood sugar. If you take these herbs along with glucose-lowering meds, it may cause levels to dip below normal. As with thyroid drugs, rather than avoiding herbs, consider working with your doctor to see if they might enable you to lower your dosage of drugs.
The Bottom Line
Stress can have extremely detrimental effects on your health. You may not be able to avoid the stressors in your life but you can help improve your body’s response to stress by supplementing with adaptogens. Try using some today that target your specific needs and see what works best for you! You deserve it.