You’re not alone if you’ve seen the word “adaptogen” more and more lately. Whether that be on your local ‘super smoothie bars’ menu or in your favourite independent coffee shop, these herbal supplements are becoming increasingly popular, and with good reason! Adaptogens appear to offer a host of benefits, from reducing stress to boosting your immune system. It all seems too good to be true!?
But what are adaptogens, exactly? What do they do? And can you get them into your diet naturally? In this blog, we’ll answer your questions about adaptogens and provide an overview of some of the most powerful claims. We’ll also tell you about Beyond NRG, our adaptogenic and nootropic blend that includes some of the best adaptogens on the market.
So, what are adaptogens?
An adaptogen is a natural herb that helps the body cope with stress. This could be physical stress, like exercise or injury, or psychological stress, like anxiety or depression. Adaptogens work by helping to regulate the adrenal system, which is responsible for our ‘fight-or-flight’ response.
There are many different adaptogens, each with their own unique benefits. Here are some of the most common:
Rhodiola rosea – Rhodiola is thought to help improve cognitive function, reduce fatigue, and decrease stress levels.
Bacopa Monnieri – Bacopa is suggested to enhance cognitive function and memory, reduce stress, and improve anxiety levels.
Reishi Mushroom – Reishi is claimed to help boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep quality.
Ginkgo Biloba – Ginkgo is traditionally used to improve circulation and cognitive function, but it is also said to help reduce stress levels.
Panax Ginseng – Panax ginseng is one of the most well-known adaptogens. It is claimed to help with fatigue, cognitive function, and immunity.
Turmeric – Turmeric is a well-known anti-inflammatory agent that is also said to improve cognitive function and memory.
Maca – Maca is claimed to improve energy levels, stamina, and libido. It is also thought to help balance hormones and reduce stress.
Ashwagandha – This herb is said to help improve sleep quality, reduce stress and anxiety levels, and boost immunity.
A brief history of ashwagandha:
Ashwagandha is a herb that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. The name ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words “ashva,” meaning horse, and “gandha,” meaning smell. This is because the root of the plant smells like a horse!
Ashwagandha is a nightshade family member, which includes other well-known plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. The herb is native to India and has been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries.
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha is known as “Indian ginseng” or “winter cherry.” It is used as a general tonic to help improve overall health and well-being. The herb is said to have many benefits, including reducing stress, boosting immunity, and improving cognitive function.
Are nootropics the same as adaptogens?
‘Nootropic’ and ‘adaptogen’ are often used interchangeably because the associated herbs often claim to improve cognitive function and help the body deal with stress. Strictly speaking, Nootropics are substances that are taken to improve cognitive function, memory, and focus. Adaptogens, on the other hand, help the body cope with stress. While often adaptogens do claim to help improve cognitive function, this is not their primary purpose.
So, do adaptogens work?
There is some scientific evidence to support the claims made about adaptogens. For example, a study published in the Indian journal of psychological medicine found that ashwagandha may help reduce stress and anxiety.
However, it’s important to remember that most of the research on adaptogens is in its early stages. This means that there is still much we don’t know about how these herbs work and what the long-term effects might be.
Are adaptogens safe to use?
Adaptogens are generally considered to be safe when taken in the recommended doses. However, as with any supplement, there is always the potential for side effects. If you’re considering taking adaptogens, it’s important to speak to your doctor first, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking any medication. This is because adaptogens can interact with some medications and may not be suitable for everyone.
Can you get adaptogens naturally?
Yes, you can find adaptogens in nature. They are often found in the roots and leaves of plants, but they can also be found in certain mushrooms. You can also find adaptogenic herbs in a variety of different foods. For example, ashwagandha is often found in Indian cuisine, while maca can be found in Peruvian cuisine.
Ultimately, the easiest way to get adaptogens is through supplements, which ensure you get a high-quality and concentrated dose of the herb’s active compounds.
If you want to try adaptogenic supplements, we recommend our Beyond NRG blend of natural caffeine, vitamins, minerals, and nootropics. This blend contains Ashwagandha, Ginkgo Biloba, Panax Ginseng, and Bacopa- four of the most powerful adaptogenic nootropics. Beyond NRG is designed to help your body cope with stress, improve cognitive function, and boost energy levels.