Wired and tired. You know the feeling. You are chronically in a state of anxious energy. “Just chill” everyone tells you. Thanks. Great advice, except it’s almost impossible to execute given the biochemical mayhem occurring in your body on a daily basis. If only they understood how you would give your left foot to fall asleep effortlessly and wake up relaxed, full of vigor, and ready to take on the day.
It’s no secret that the world we live in today does not mirror that of our ancestors. If you don’t believe me, well… watch the History channel. Modern environmental factors such as pollution, toxins, food additives, demanding schedules, and even those TPS reports are wreaking havoc on your body and overtime may lead to a compromised immune system, hormonal imbalance, and the dreaded adrenal fatigue. Categorized by four stages beginning with overly stimulated adrenal glands, it is eventually followed by adrenal burnout if left untreated. No doubt the affects of chronic stress can be debilitating. But what can we do about it?
Adaptogens. Nature’s Tough Cookie. Kind of like your best friend who fearlessly stands up for you when the bullies at school are busting your grind about that new haircut. True heroes, these herbs are known for their resiliency to harsh weather, extreme temperatures, high altitudes and other forms of environmental stress. Just as they do in their natural habitat, adaptogens help the body “adapt,” or resist the effects of stress by supporting the mitochondria to stimulate production of protein in the cell. This helps modulate system function influencing the organs to combat adverse energies, and furthermore encourages homeostasis.
So which herbs are considered adaptogenic? While many herbs are said to be “adaptogenic” not all of them actually make the cut. Some of the big boys include: Rhodiola, American Ginseng root, Ashwagandha root, Asian Ginseng root, Cordyceps, Dang Shen root, Eleuthero root, Holy Basil herb, Jiaogulan herb, Licorice rhizome, Reishi fungus, and Schisandra.
Now back to the History channel. Although adaptogens are considered to be “edgy” to the mainstream public these days, the use of adaptogens has been around for thousands of years. Modern exploration of these unique herbs began in the Soviet Union during the middle of the 20th century. Scientists were seeking to augment soldiers and citizens alike with nonspecific enhancements without side effects, and adaptogenic herbs were embraced.
Although functional medicine practitioners have been hip to the whole adaptogen supplement scene for years, the general public is finally beginning to take notice and give these herbs the respect and attention they deserve. While I don’t consider adaptogens in supplement form to be anything new or exciting (although they can work wonders for some people), it is the use of these herbs in innovative, approachable forms that is edgy.
Torii Labs, a functional beverage company out of California makes a mean morning tonic called ‘Torri Awake’ featuring wild crafted adaptogenic herbs Rhodiola, Eleuthero root and Schisandra in addition to Goji berries and fulvic acid. While a powerful concoction on its own, the fulvic acid adds a unique touch since this vital plant compound is lacking in the modern diet. Torii labs uses the unique form Fulphyl (fulvic acid), which was created to be the only pure version of fulvic acid available. This enhances nutrient absorption while removing toxins from the body.
Another ahead of the curb company embracing adaptogens is Four Sigmatic Foods. The company offers a wide array of mushroom based elixirs, coffees, and cacao drink mixes – all with stress combating benefits. Yes, I said mushrooms in your coffee. It’s a thing now, so just go with it…..
Face it, life is stressful. It’s time to adapt to adaptogens. You should at least take a vacation. Don’t worry, those TPS reports will be there when you get back.
But seriously, adrenal fatigue is no joke. If you are concerned this may be an underlying issue for you, please do additional research and consult a qualified integrative medicine doctor. Life is too short to be chronically exhausted.