By Emily Monaco.
Adaptogens are a unique class of herbs and roots that decrease the effects of hormones and other compounds that are released into the body in times of stress, such as kinase, nitric oxide, and cortisol. Since the effects of these compounds can improve health, lessen fatigue, and generally improve wellbeing, it’s no wonder that people are clamoring to introduce adaptogens into their diets.
Most experts agree that there are just over a dozen true adaptogens, including ashwagandha (a member of the nightshade family), astragalus (the root of a perennial plant), cordyceps (a fungi), eleuthero (also known as Siberian ginseng), jiaogulan (a medicinal vine), maca (the root of a Peruvian plant), panax ginseng or panax quinquefolius (“true” ginseng), reishi mushrooms, rhaponticum (a perennial thistle-like flower), rhodiola (the root of Rhodiola rosea plant, used by the Vikings), schisandra (the berry of a Chinese vine), sea buckthorn (a shrub), and tulsi (also known as “Holy basil”). They also agree that, in order to be effective, they should be taken daily.
“The nature of an adaptogen is that it strengthens the body over time,” explains Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, an internationally recognized expert in natural and herbal medicine, who recommends taking an adaptogen daily or nearly daily for six to eight weeks to see true results.
Click here to learn from experts on 5 easy ways to make adaptogens a part of your diet.