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We have all heard about or somehow tried to incorporate adaptogens into our diet. These might include ashwaghanda, astragulus, holy basil or others. As an acupuncturist, I love adaptogens, as they are known for assisting the nervous system to help adapt and relax the body during times of stress, which actually happens quite often. They also aid the adrenals in the reduction of cortisol release, which inhibits fat digestion and keeps the body from switching off its processing modes. Additionally, in order for these herbs to quality as adaptogens, they have to be completely safe and non-toxic. They must also qualify for a broad-use nervous balance as well. A few of my go-to adaptogens that are lesser-known include…
This herb is best known for invigorating sexual functions. It assists with kidney energy, allowing the body to build nutrient density and optimal adrenal activity. It will help boost the immune system and enhance vitality while also boosting elimination of foreign particles in the body (even cancer cells). Referred to as Siberian gingseng, it contains polysaccharides that have been shown to enhance immunity, sterols that attribute to its sexual and adrenal invigoration, flavonoids that boost cardiovascular health and coumarins that assist with its sedative properties. This adaptogen is great for all ages, from adolescence to the elderly. CHECK OUT
Just like the name suggests, with the word rose in it, this is a happy herb. Anti-stress and fatigue eliminating properties make it so useful! Rhodiola rosea boosts the body’s blood to build immunity and general wellbeing. It also assists with memory and learning. Rhodiola is also a Siberian herb, and thorough studies it has been discovered that it helps protect the bodily damage on a cellular level, as well as assisting with regulating the heartbeat. This is a happy adaptogen through and through — learn more about it here. CHECK OUT
This is a powerful berry with anti-inflammatory properties that aid in enhancing physical performance and endurance. It also possesses anti-oxidant properties, which aid with energy, mental health and liver support. It can significantly reduce stress hormonal levels in the blood, which has made it a favorite amongst many. In ancient China, this adaptogen was used as for the royalty to fight against aging and also for reproductive purposes. This is an all around beneficial adaptogen to protect and shield the body against viruses. However, if you do have any viral or bacterial illnesses, its best to discontinue its use until you’ve recovered.
As with many herbs and in line with traditional Chinese medicine, it’s important to note that using adaptogens alone, as a single herb, may not show the herb’s true potency. Herbs are meant to be used in formulations, as they are very synergistic. If you feel that you haven’t seen a difference when incorporating magical adaptogens into your diet, this may be the issue. My line, Vie Healing, offers three different formulas of adaptogenic supplements that address, sleep, stress and detoxification. The formulations are properly filled and paired with herbs that enhance the benefits of one another and create a potent and effective result. CHECK OUT