Ease anxiety, boost libido, reduce bloat, enhance your skin’s natural glow — do any of these benefits sound too good to be true? Well, they’re not. These are all very real benefits of some magic little plants and herbs called adaptogens.
Dr. Will Cole, DC, a functional medicine practitioner from Pennsylvania, told POPSUGAR that what makes this plant family so special is that “they have a common bond of having a balancing impact on your body’s immune system and hormones.” Dr. Josh Axe, DC, a major proponent of natural health, echoes Dr. Cole’s belief in adaptogens, especially in their ability to keep your cortisol levels in check.
Research has shown when cortisol levels are high, there is a correlation in weight gain and inflammation. Dr. Axe also said that healthy cortisol levels are the key “to looking younger, feeling younger, and being healthy.” Both are fans of taking adaptogens, encouraging their patients to consider adding them to their wellness regimens for optimal well-being, as they can help lower stress levels, increase energy, and boost immunity.
If you’re interested in introducing adaptogens into your own wellness regimen, this guide is a great place to start.
Ashwagandha — the Mood-Boosting Anxiety-Killer
Can help to ease anxiety (in small studies, it’s been shown to ease anxiety up to 44 percent)
Helps to reduce stress May help to promote weight loss by balancing cortisol levels Supports your thyroid Can enhance your mood
Rhodiola — the Coffee Alternative
Boosts alertness/mental performance Boosts seratonin levels, boosting mood Can help with symptoms of depression Supports adrenal fatigue Commonly used as a coffee alternative
Pearl — Your Skin’s Fairy Godmother
Rich in minerals and antioxidants Great source of amino acids Great for your skin Helps keep hair nourished
Maca — the Powerhouse (in and Outside of the Bedroom)
Boosts libidoCan aid physical performance Can help boost sex drive and endurance Boosts mood and energy
Schisandra — the Liver-Lover
Supports your adrenals Contains antioxidants to help remove free radicals from your body Supports cancer prevention Reduces stress and helps to balance hormones Great liver support
Cordyceps — the Fountain of Youth
Rich in antioxidants Helps with antiagingHelps fight oxidative stress Contains anti-inflammatory properties Supports your liver and aids healthy detox
Holy Basil — the Stress SlayerFights fatigue and stressSupports cancer preventionBoosts your immune system Regulates blood pressure and cholesterol Supports digestion and helps to reduce gas and bloat
Ginger — the Anti-Inflammatory, Immunity Booster
Helps with digestion
Helps prevent nausea
Soothes sore muscles
He Shou Wu — Your Friend . . . With Benefits
Believed to support your hair (getting rid of grays and hair loss) Can boost sexual activity Can boost testosterone and sperm count in menSupports the immune system
As you can see, adaptogens are a very powerful natural medicine, and with their growing popularity, they can now be consumed in a variety of ways. Whether it’s in a powder form, like with Moondeli, Sun Potion, or Moon Juice blends; topped on toast or blended in your morning shake with spreads like Pearl Butter; or simply dropped into your favorite smoothies with liquid tonics like Bioray, they’re popping up all over! Which adaptogens are you eager to try out?