6 Natural Adaptogens That Help Manage Stress
Whether you're dealing with stress in your personal life or at work, it can be hard to navigate and balance day-to-day. However, there are a few natural ways to help your body respond to stress.
You may be wondering...what exactly is an adaptogen?
Well, they are non-toxic plants and herbs that have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, which help your body resist all kinds of stressors. These natural remedies are great to take daily, because you want to begin to retrain your body to be able to handle any kind of stressor. Think of it as a workout for your adrenal system, it will become stronger and stronger.
Your body naturally releases stress hormones, and if your body is constantly under stress, this can cause problems for your metabolism, inflammation, immune system, and digestive system. High levels of cortisol and corticosterone (stress hormones) can also lead to weight gain, anxiety, depression, and even illnesses and autoimmune diseases.
Below are 6 of our favorite natural adaptogens:
1. Holy Basil
Holy Basil is revered as one of the most sacred plants in India, also known as "Tulsi" or "The incomparable One." Using holy basil as a supplement has been linked to a decreased amount of stress hormone levels. It also improves mental clarity and memory, and long-term can reduce the risk of age-related mental disorders. Holy Basil is available as a supplement in either a capsule or liquid extract form. Check it out this one from Gaia Herbs.
Using a peppermint essential oil helps to stimulate your body's circulation, and metabolism. Peppermint oil can also be used to alleviate digestive issues and reduce overall inflammation. The best way to receive these beneficial affects is by inhaling the aroma of the essential oil with using a diffuser (we love these diffusers!). It's also important to be mindful that when you use higher concentrations of this oil it can have a more stimulating effect, and when you use a lower concentration, it will have a more restorative and relaxing effect.
Rhodiola is an herb that grows in the cold mountainous regions of Europe and Asia, and contains more than 140 active ingredients. Talk about powerful! Studies have shown significant improvements in symptoms including stress, fatigue, exhaustion and anxiety after just 3 days of taking this herb. Rhodiola is available to take as a supplement or tea, but most people prefer to take it in a supplement form, because it provides a more accurate dosage. We love taking Moon Juice's SuperYou Adaptogen supplement, which contains Rhodiola amongst other powerful herbs.
You may have heard of this difficult to pronounce adaptogen, it's been trending for a while now in the wellness world. Ashwagandha can help your body respond to stress anyway it needs. It ultimately balances your cellular processes when your body goes through stress, and helps you naturally level out the stress hormones in your body. We love taking Moon Juice's Spirit Dust, which is an adaptogenic blend that includes Ashwagandha.
4. Licorice root
Licorice root is a popular root that is used in Chinese medicine and has a similar pungent flavor to anise seed. Licorice root is extremely rich in flavonoids, making it high in antioxidants and extremely anti-inflammatory. It can also help regulate your body's cortisol levels. Licorice root is available to take as a capsule or liquid extract supplement. We suggest taking a look at HUM Uber Energy supplement that contains Licorice root in it’s adaptogen complex.
6. Cordyceps Mushrooms
Cordyceps Mushrooms - a powerful adaptogenic fungi that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to improve stamina and endurance. Cordyceps mushrooms can also be used to fight fatigue and boost immunity. You can add dried Cordyceps in a powder form to your soups, smoothies, or homemade energy bars. We like this one from Sun Potion and recently came across the Four Sigmatic Get Going Elixir Mix which is created with on-the-go people in mind!
Some days tend to be more stressful than others, but we've noticed a few positive affects after integrating some of our favorite adaptogenic herbs into our daily routine:
Being able to sleep better at night
Being able to breathe more easily through chaotic moments