While adaptogens have definitely been a buzzy wellness trend for the past few years, their history goes back for centuries in herbal medicine practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Essentially they’re a specific group of herbs, botanicals and mushrooms that support our body’s natural ability to deal with stress. They help our bodies adapt to different stressors, whether they be physical, emotional, chemical or environmental. Different adaptogens provide different benefits, so depending on your personal needs, you can choose ones that promote relaxation, sustainable energy, support digestion, strengthen immunity, reduce brain-fog or boost libido.
There’s a few ways you can take adaptogens, the most popular being in powder or tincture form. Our favourite ways the use them is simply by blending a serving in to our morning matcha, coffee or smoothie. Since there’s so many different types of adaptogens, it can definitely be a little overwhelming to know which ones are right for you. But don’t worry, we’re giving you all the deats on our favourites below. Try picking 1-3 that resonate with you and start incorporating them into your daily routine. It’s best to try out single adaptogens before diving into the different blends that exist, since that way you’ll actually be able to tell which ones you’re benefitting from. But remember, adaptogens work best when taken in small amounts over longer periods of time, so don’t necessarily expect to feel anything immediately after taking your first dose. Be patient and trust the process!
STRESS & ANXIETY
If you’re looking to support your adrenals and calm your stress levels, then give Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Reishi or Tulsi (Holy Basil) a try.
For an energy boost, Ginseng, Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Cordyceps, Maca or Schisandra are your go-to’s. These will provide you with the sustainable energy pick-me-up you need, without the jitters of caffeine.
To boost your mood, reach for Ashwagandha or Mucuna Pruriens, which is definitely of favourite of ours because it’s actually packed with L-DOPA, the precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine.
When you want to strengthen your immune system, medical mushrooms like Chaga and Lion’s Mane, as well as Astragalus are your new best friends.
Pearl is our not-so-secret beauty secret. Pearl powder is full of minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, for radiant skin, strong bones and a supported nervous system.
These are the fun ones, especially for those who suffer with low sex drives. Shilajit and Ho Shou Wu have been used for thousands of years in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to boost libido and support balanced hormone levels.
Julia Gibson is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, functional foods recipe developer, and write currently based in Toronto. She hopes to inspire and empower others by creating nourishing foods, living a sustainable life, promoting holistic healing and sharing thoughtful writing.
photo by @moonjuice