Adaptogens. You may have heard the term recently, as this medicinal magic, in the form of herbs, is popping up more and more in American wellness guides and resources.
What is an adaptogen, exactly?
To put it in simple terms, adaptogens help your body adapt to the world around them. Adaptogens greatly improve your body’s ability to adapt to stress, whether it’s a hectic schedule, heat or cold, noise, high altitudes or any number of other stressors – in a holistic and scientifically proven manner. And thank goodness the power of adaptogens have made their way to the Western World. Once reserved for the believers of herbal medicine on the other side of the planet, holistic nutritionists in the United States have realized the need for adaptogens for our overworked society to deal with stress levels.
"Adaptogens work by supporting the adrenals, which manage your hormonal response to stress and anxiety. That’s the “magic pill” effect of adaptogens: By managing your response to stress and counteracting the surge of stress hormones like cortisol, the symptoms associated with your stress response (whether that’s a headache or an upset stomach, or worse) will go bye-bye."
So where does this magic dose of body-saving relaxation come from? Safe and non-toxic herbs such as Holy Basil, Maca, and Ashwagandha – just to name a few.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, the most highly prized herb in the adaptogen family, has been used in Ancient Indian medicinal practices for thousands of years. Touted as Ayurvedic medicines most powerful herb, Ashwagandha has been used for a variety of conditions, but is most widely known for its restorative benefits, and has been traditionally prescribed to help people strengthen their immune systems after an illness.
To date, there are hundreds of medical studies proving the healing benefits of Ashwagandha, and researchers have discovered many other wonderful benefits of Ashwagandha as well:
- Protects the immune system
- Helps combat the effects of stress
- Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
- Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
- Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Helps lower cholesterol
- Offers anti-inflammatory benefits
- Contains antimalarial properties
- Enhances sexual potency for both men and women
That last benefit is probably why the most powerful adaptogen in the world has earned the nickname, “Indian Ginseng,” due to it’s rejuvenating and reinvigorating properties. Being rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein doesn’t hurt either – and is probably the reason why so many athletes are turning to Ashwagandha for pre-workout energy!
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already wondering how you can get your hands on the world’s most powerful herb. As the founder, CEO of Fusionary Formulas, with a PhD in Ayurvedic medicine, herbs are my thing. And lucky for you, I love to share!
See below for ways to incorporate the adaptogen, Ashwagandha, into your daily life.
- Take Ashwagandha as a supplement.
- Add a teaspoon of the Ashwagandha herb to your tea. (This is especially great before bedtime, especially for those who suffer from insomnia and anxiety).
- Add it to your food – Ayurvedic medicine believes that the foods we eat have the power to heal and promote longevity. Add Ashwagandha to your morning smoothie for a wellness dose sure to last all day long.