What Are Adaptogens & Why Are They So Important?
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If there is one thing that we face daily, it is stress. Whether it’s rushing to get the kids to school on time in the morning, rushing through traffic to make it to your morning meeting or cramming for that big exam next week, stress is something that both women and men experience daily.
Feeling ‘everyday stress’ is natural, but when you are plagued with high levels of stress on a recurring, daily basis, you may need to reevaluate your daily stessors, as they can lead to poor quality of sleep, muscle tension, and headaches to name a few.
What are Adaptogens?
The word adaptogen in herbal medicine refers to an herb or plant extract that helps the body adapt to stress and fatigue. Nutritionists, herbalists and integrative doctors agree that they have the ability to help “adapt” our bodies to the demands of modern day stressors. Two major players in the adaptogen game are Rhodiola and Ashwaghanda. Here’s why.
What is Rhodiola?
Rhodiola is the ancient energy and well-being herb. This potent adrenal adaptogen has been used in European and Asian medicine for hundreds of years. “What makes Rhodiola Rosea (also known as the golden root) such a unique adaptogen is its ability to not only modulate the body’s response to stress, but unlike other adaptogenic herbs, Rhodiola is a cellular energy generator. This allows for, not only a means to offset the negative effects that cortisol (the main stress hormone) can have on us, but also allows for an alternative means to generate energy,” reports Amanda Williams, MPH, Director of Nutrition for InVite® Health.†
When we’re under chronic stress, our bodies will begin to lose the ability to produce antioxidants effectively which can weaken our immunity, depress our mood, and create an opening for chronic diseases to take over. In the setting of daily stress, fatigue, and lack of physical energy, Rhodiola has become one of the most well-researched and scientifically validated herbs to promote well-being and restore energy, which makes Rhodiola ideal to support healthy energy production and mood.†
What is Ashwaganda?
Ashwaganda is a classic Ayurvedic herb used for stress relief, positive mood and healthy brain function. “Ashwaganda has been shown to significantly protect brain cells from the harmful oxidative effects of stress, which otherwise disrupts nerve communication, amps up inflammatory responses and causes physical damage to the brain,” reports Nicole Crane, BS, NTP, former Director of Nutrition for InVite® Health. Research also shows that this powerful feel-good herb supports memory, relaxation, and overall cognitive function by regenerating the brains nerve cells.†