Let’s Learn All About Adaptogens!

Written by Dr. Jonathan Peterson, Updated on February 7th, 2024, Published on December 21st, 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’re struggling with chronic stress that never seems to end and life becomes more and more overwhelming, you might consider adding some adaptogens to your life.

They literally work to negate the effects of stress, which can manifest physically in our bodies negatively. Adaptogens act as stimulants that negate these harmful effects on our systems.

Scientists first studied Adaptogens throughout World War 2 because they wanted their pilots to be able to fly even better, faster, and longer. Flying a plane for an extended period is stressful on the human body, let alone during a war. For example, a vine plant native to China has seeds considered a stimulant that reduces feelings of hunger, thirst, and tiredness.

How Adaptogens Work

Adaptogens work with the pituitary, adrenal glands, and hypothalamus. All of these areas are concerned with the stress response. Adaptogens disrupt this stress response. Scientists say that we go through three stages of stress: (1) alarm phase; (2) phase of resistance; (3) phase of exhaustion.

When we experience a stressful event, such as weightlifting, our body produces various hormones, such as adrenaline, because it improves muscle performance and increases our ability to concentrate.

Our body is actually resisting the stressor (quite literally with weightlifting), but our bodies give us this hormonal boost to fight the stressor and work through it with a clear head.

Unfortunately, our bodies will tire, and that’s when we enter the exhaustion phase. What adaptogens do, is increase our time in the phase of resistance, where we have the helpful hormones flowing through us, making us feel energized, clear-headed, and ready for action.

The specific effects that researchers have found that adaptogens have on our bodies include the following:

– neuron protection

– anti-fatigue

– anti-depressive

– stimulant for the central nervous system

– enhance attention

– increase mental work capacity

Who wouldn’t want to experience this??!

What are the Main Adaptogenic Herbs?

Essentially, three main herbs have been proven to be safe and non-toxic. These include:

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Don’t be confused; this isn’t actual ginseng. However, the plants are similar. It is known to prevent fatigue and depression, as well as combat stress.

Arctic root (Rhodiola Rosea): “Rose Root” hails from Asia and Europe, where the climate is cold. Historically, it’s been used to treat multiple ailments like headaches and the flu by Russians and Scandinavians.

Schisandra (Schisandra Chinensis): This one is most useful when caring for your liver and stabilizing wacky blood sugar levels. It also works as an adaptogen with added health benefits!

Have the Studies Found Adaptogens to Be Useful?

The answer is: Yes! A complete study review concluded that adaptogens promote health (remember Schisandra?) and can even treat specific conditions, primarily when used with other traditional medicine techniques.

These herbal pharmaceuticals have been known to increase mental clarity for people suffering from various health issues, such as depression. They are the perfect supplement to take when someone is on antidepressants.

For the people out there suffering from chronic fatigue with no discernible cause, Schisandra is the herb for you. It can really energize and improve both physical and mental performance. Not only that, but it also appears to help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia.

A fantastic benefit is that Schisandra does not build up a tolerance level in the body, like caffeine, and the same dose can be used every day and be just as effective.

If you are suffering from chronic medical conditions and feel that your mental and physical performance is suffering, consider adding one of the three adaptogens to your supplement list.

Feel free to discuss it with your doctor to be on the safe side, or even one of our hormone advisors on this website. Also, do your own research! It’s best to learn as much as possible about a supplement before using it yourself.

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