What's an Adaptogen? - Duke's Materia Tonica
February 6, 2020 23:44
What's an Adaptogen?
Adaptogens increase work-tolerance, recovery from stress and promote immunity in the body. They have generalized benefits which reduce the perception of overall stress. They also increase stress-endurance.
- Ashwagandha is a adaptogen.
The benefits of adaptogens come from the biochemical combination of nutrients and unique constituents that have superior effects on metabolism, the endocrine system, hormonal glands, nerves and brain.
- For example, B vitamins and ginsenosides are a nutrient combination that make ginseng an adaptogen.
Adaptogens promote a dynamic equilibrium of 'yin' (stillness) and 'yang' (movement) that help the body to maintain a calm balance with one's environment and state of activity or rest.
The adaptogenic effect is the body coming into balance and harmony with it's current environment.
In general, adaptogens promote balanced bodily function in alignment with the environment and the desired state of either rest or activity. They support the body's ability to modify its metabolism towards stability or homeostasis with one's environment. Adaptogens:
- Promote performance with less stress, increased work-tolerance and the ability to handle more stress.
- Promote rest with less stress, increased recovery from stress and the ability to reduce perceived stress.
For example, the adrenal glands are responsible for the body's physical reaction to stress which are benefited by adaptogens.
- Ashwagandha, for instance, promotes adrenal function that has the adaptogenic effect of reducing the body's perception of stress and increasing the body's work tolerance.
Other adaptogens have an effect on the thyroid gland which is responsible for the body's physical action toward performance, a form of productive stress.
- For example, ginseng promotes thyroid function that has the adaptogenic effect of increasing the body's ability to tolerate work and to perform when stressed.
Choosing an Adaptogen
1. Select an adaptogen that fits your lifestyle. Examples:
- Rest - Ashwagandha
- Activity - Astragalus
- De-stress - Reishi Mushroom
- Performance - Deer Antler Velvet
2. Research an adaptogen that is the best fit for any organs, glands and actions that are important to you. Examples:
- Adrenal - Ashwagandha
- Energy - Ginseng
- Detox - Chaga Mushroom
- Joint Health - Deer Antler Velvet
You may take one adaptogen during the day, with activity and performance (e.g. ginseng) , and another adaptogen during rest and stress detoxification such a reishi mushroom.