The health and wellness industry has seen a meteoric rise in holistic and natural wellness products known as Adaptogens, which aim to boost our health from the inside out. As much as a magnificent moisturiser may help with certain skin concerns, many experts in the wellness field believe that the key to longevity in health and beauty starts from within. When we are stressed, our body is in an almost constant state of ‘fight or flight’ and due to our modern lifestyles, (which typically involves burning the candle at both ends,) the equilibrium our body needs to promote relaxation and ultimately overall health, is seriously knocked off kilter.
So, What Exactly Are Adaptogens?
Simply put, adaptogens do what they say on the tin and help your body adapt to stressors and our responses to them. If we are living in a constant state of stress, we can notice it negatively in multiple areas, from sleep and poor digestion, to low immunity and even hormonal imbalances. Adaptogens are superhero herbs, that work with your body to dial up stamina, increase immune system strength and help to calm stress signals both mentally and physically. They work acutely to modulate stress levels from our adrenal gland and help our bodies to respond positively to different stressors.
These healing herbs have been used in medicine for millennia, in a myriad of ways. We know that the word ‘herb’ is most commonly used to describe adaptogens, but they can also be found in the form of a bean, leaf or even root. Most notably, they come from plants and natural sources. As well as this, adaptogens generally have a holistic effect on health, meaning they work across your whole body rather than with one specific system, so it can be pretty confusing for consumers to decide which herbal hero is best for them. You may have heard of amazing adaptogens like Ashwagandha, or spotted medicinal mushrooms appearing on supermarket shelves, but when you deep dive into the world of herbal healing, it is easy to see just how many powerful plant sourced products are available. We have picked some of our favourite adaptogens that will work to deliver a daily beneficial boost.
Probably the most well-known adaptogen, you will probably have already heard of this powerful product. Ashwagandha’s ability to both calm and energise is the perfect tonic for stressful 21st century life, and there are many ways to get your daily dose. If you live in London, you may have heard of cult health shop and café, Glow Bar. With a bounty of beautiful products and an array of exciting adaptogen packed pick-me-ups from healing herb spiked coffees, to magical moon milks, this is the place to head when you’re hunting for a holistic fix.
If you’re not a local or lockdown has limited your ability to travel, you can peruse their online store, which offers a serious selection of some of the best herbs in the business. This includes their organically certified Ashwagandha powder, which is designed to ‘calm body, mind and spirit in times of stress’. This powerful product can be whipped up into a soothing hot drink or slid into a smoothie for a hit of tension tackling calm. Ashwagandha is known to steady cortisol levels and its main function is bringing your body back to a state of equilibrium. It is most likely what you’d get prescribed if you went to a natural healer, especially if you were experiencing symptoms of acute stress and the related side effects. If powder isn’t your thing, you can also pop a pill in the form of Together Health’s Full Spectrum Ashwagandha supplements, which are made from whole organic root and are highly absorbed by the body.
Used for thousands of years in medicine, mushrooms hold amazing restorative, healing and holistic powers and even an average button mushroom from the supermarket has a dose of medicinal magic. Some of the most powerful benefits of mushrooms are function of the immune and nervous systems, a reduction of fatigue and normal collagen production, amongst many more. We love the Marie Reynolds Fungi Fusion supplements, because they pack all of this power into easy-to-take tablets, so you can effortlessly add them as part of your daily wellness routine.
Different mushrooms do have different properties too, so if you’re looking to delve into something a little more specific when it comes to mushroom magic, you can explore the powerful properties of some of these infamous fungi on an individual basis. Some of the most popular mushrooms that are used in adaptogen-based supplements and wellness products are Chaga, Lion’s Mane and Reishi.
Chaga is jam packed full of antioxidants and like many of its fungi family, it boosts your immune system, whilst calming inflammation. Similarly, Reishi will give your immune system a new lease of life, but this medicinal mushroom will also aid in improving sleep and reducing fatigue, the perfect tonic for an overtired brain. Last but not least, Lion’s Mane is the king of brain function. It helps boost memory and gives you some cognitive clarity if you’re feeling somewhat foggy and it has also been known to help improve low mood including mild anxiety and depression.
Wellness For Women
There are a multitude of amazing adaptogens that can carve out calm in our cycle. You probably know that most women have hormonal fluctuations throughout the month, and this rotation of chemicals can cause various mood and even appearance changes. There are some specific adaptogens and adaptogen-based products that are designed to help women at each stage of their cycle, from fertility boosting to pain reduction.
Glow bar have curated a cult tonic, known as ‘Yoni Moon Milk’. This powerful powder is packed full of fiery Ginger, delicious Cacao, a gut-friendly prebiotic and super balancing Shatavari, which is designed to support women all throughout their cycle. It helps to harmonise mood, regulate hormones and tastes amazing whipped up with some warm oat milk to boot.
The ingredient Shatavari alone is a wonder product for women. This vital element of the Yoni Moon Milk can also be sipped solo in a smoothie for a daily wellness boost. Not only does it balance out hormones, but it helps to regulate your period, heightens fertility and even acts as a natural aphrodisiac. If libido is something you want to look at closer, Maca is another fantastic adaptogen that is said to seriously help spice things up.
Despite all of this, we know that adaptogens aren’t a miracle cure. Like everything else, you need to work with them in order for them to be at their most affective. It all starts will good digestion and gut health. If you feel sluggish all the time, perhaps look at what you are eating and drinking, and see if there is anything you can improve on. Bad habits like excessive sugar, late nights or too much alcohol can mute the magic of adaptogens, so starting with a clean slate is ideal. If you’re treating yourself right to start with, the impact of these healing herbs will be so much greater.