Adaptogens 101

Why this May Be the One Thing Missing from Your Wellness Arsenal

Adaptogens are one of the hottest wellness trends right now – but most people are still unclear as to what they are and how to use them. 

What is an adaptogen herb?

Adaptogens are unique plants or herbs that support your adrenal system. They have been used in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for centuries to promote a sense of well-being.  Considered the “Kings” and “Queens” of herbal medicines, they have the ability to restore health, vitality, immunity, stamina, and promote longevity. The term adaptogen refers to the unique ability of these herbs to help you adapt to the stress in your life. They do this by “normalizing” or “regulating” the adrenal stress response. Adaptogens “adapt” to what your body needs and have the ability to regulate your system up or down depending on the need in the moment. Even though adaptogenic herbs have worked for thousands of years, scientific research is only beginning to reveal the potential they have.

Key properties of adaptogens are that they are:

  • generally safe (for just about everyone but pregnant women)
  • help you handle stress
  • work to balance your hormones
  • help to manage your stress response on a day to day basis
  • aid the immune system
  • decrease fatigue

Adaptogen Use

Adaptogens help your body to cope more effectively with the demands of everyday life. They provide a sustained sense of calm, and while they increase energy, they are non-stimulating (with the exception of Chinese ginseng). You can use adaptogens to help your body adapt to stress by making it easier for you to balance your hormonal systems.

    Ashwagandha: The Superstar Adaptogen

    This month’s La La Life box includes Ashwagandha from Sun Potion. Known as one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, the traditional medical system in India, ashwagandha has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions.  Ashwagandha is both calming and anti-inflammatory. It is best known for its stress-lowering effects. The medicinal herb appears to help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands in response to stress.  The herb reduces cortisol release from the body's adrenal glands. Cortisol has long been known to contribute to insomnia, high blood pressure and depression. Another amazing use is that it shows promise in improving memory formation.

    Ashwagandha is best known for:

    • increasing energy
    • reducing stress and anxiety
    • improving memory formation
    • improving sleep
    • aiding with neurodegenerative diseases
    • optimizing thyroid function
    • regulating mood swings
    • reducing inflammation and oxidative stress (damage from inflammation)
    • boosting the immune system
    • can be beneficial in the treatment of fertility challenges

    The take away is adaptogens aren’t going anywhere because they are pretty amazing.  Expect to see ashwagandha tonics, proteins, supplements and even lattes in the year ahead. Ashwagandha is perfect to add to smoothies, coffee, teas, tonics, milks, and baking. It has an earthy taste that pairs well with cacao, coffee and the popular mushroom tonic mixes.

     

    Here’s a simple recipe to experiment with the Ashwagandha included in your La La Life box.

    Bliss Booster

    Ingredients

    • 1 Tbsp Cocoa or Organic Cacao Powder
    • 2/3 Cup Plant Milk (Almond, Coconut, etc), warmed
    • 1/3 Cup Boiling Water
    • 1 Tsp Virgin Coconut Oil
    • 1 Tsp Ashwagandha
    • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Powder (preferred, or you can sub  pure vanilla extract)
    • 1/2 Tsp Organic Maple Syrup  

    Blend all in a high speed blender (ideal) or you may use a frother or shaker bottle. Sip slowly and enjoy the bliss-boosting effects!

     

    These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.