What Are Adaptogens? Adaptogenic Herb Benefits
Adaptogens are therapeutic botanicals that can help strengthen your body’s natural response to stress. Adaptogenic herbs have a long history of use in indigenous cultures and traditional healing systems. In this guide, we’ll check out popular adaptogens for stress relief and how their benefits mesh perfectly with modern life.
What are Adaptogens?
You can think of adaptogens as nature’s antidote to everyday stress. From root to leaf to mushroom, adaptogens are time-tested treasures of the natural world that help our bodies adapt—optimizing our systems to deal with the effects of stress. This in turn can help you stay well in both body and mind.
Scientists began researching adaptogens around World War II, with the goal of enhancing soldiers’ stamina and performance. Adaptogens have also been deemed useful for space exploration, Arctic expeditions, Olympic games, and even chess competitions! While the term “adaptogen” was coined only about 70 years ago , these herbs have been helping humans for millennia. Rhodiola root, for example, has long been used in traditional Russian and Scandinavian medicine. Tulsi and Ashwagandha are revered herbs in Ayurveda, a healing system of India. Reishi mushroom has been prescribed for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Adaptogenic herbs themselves thrive in harsh conditions. For example, Maca grows at high elevations in the Andes Mountains where no other crops will survive. Rhodiola grows in the Siberian mountains—10,000 feet above sea level in extreme cold and low oxygen levels. Ashwagandha is native to desert regions. Their ability to withstand intense conditions shows how hardy these herbs are. It seems fitting that they can help humans in our own times of intensity!