Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that protect the body from the impact of stressors - be it physical, chemical, or biological.
By: Kiki Athanas, Calii Love’s In-House Wellness Expert & Founder of Me by Kiki™
They do this through supporting our adrenals, which regulate our hormonal responses to stress.
Our adrenals are super important, as they control many activities in the body, including weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, the immune system, and of course – our stress response.
In particular, they are in charge of our “fight or flight” response (vs. when we are in “rest and digest” mode); releasing adrenaline and then cortisol and even insulin – all revving up so that we can run from or fight the danger our system has detected.
Okay – let’s get to the point and why you care.
WHAT ALL THIS MEANS FOR YOU:
Adaptogens can help us get to the real root cause of our energy crisis: adrenal imbalances.
Adaptogens support the stress response system and boost your reserves as well as your resilience.
Adaptogens have been coined the ‘royalty’ of herbal medicines for restoring health, vitality, immunity, stamina, and promoting longevity.
So how to get started? Well, while many adaptogens share common benefits, each adaptogen has its own specific benefits. In other words, choosing the appropriate adaptogen for your current situation is important to ensure you enjoy potent healing from these potent herbs!
For adaptogen “newbies” as I like to call them (it’s okay – we all start somewhere!) – I like to suggest a more soothing and gentle adaptogen, most notably: Ashwagandha. This tonic herb has the gentle and nourishing qualities that tend to serve most people very well – whether you’re suffering from burnout or simply looking for a little “lift” in your everyday.
Apart from being calming, Ashwagandha is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
First used traditionally in India thousands of years ago, it’s still a tried and true herb to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, improve memory, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. It also boosts the immune system, is included in the treatment of arthritis and can even help in the treatment of fertility challenges.
In terms of weaving it into your daily regime, combining it with other gentle herbs like lemon balm and camomile (which also work to support and sooth the nervous system), would be your safest and best bet.
You can use it as a dried powder, tea, in supplement (capsules) form, or even as a tincture.
You can add 1-2 teaspoons of the powder into smoothies or other foods, it can be taken in capsules, (generally the recommended dose is 500-1000 mg twice daily), or in tincture form, (approximately 2-4 mL, twice daily).
Remember that while using adaptogens “recreationally” is generally safe and can certainly lead to some amazing benefits – for those suffering from more debilitating symptoms (like burnout), it’s best to work with a qualified health care practitioner who can work with you on a more customized basis to find the herb and dose that’s just right for you!