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Mar 22, 2018

Adapto-What? Adaptogens Explained


Adaptogen - what is it?

If you love keeping up with health and wellness trends, it's likely you've come across the term “adaptogens”. But what exactly is this buzz word? Adaptogens are a group of non-toxic plants that help the body resist all different types of stressors via the adrenals. It’s easy to think of them as healing plants. Your body wants to stay in equilibrium (aka a balanced state for carrying out all normal functions), but many different stressors come along in our everyday lives that make this difficult. Whether it’s a demanding job, traveling, maintaining relationships - we all suffer from it. The beauty with adaptogens is that they have the power to help our bodies stay within that equilibrium by working to fight any type of stressor (whether its chemical, physical, or biological) to decrease our cell’s sensitivity to stress. Despite the fact that the adaptogen craze only started a year or two ago in the U.S., they have been used for thousands of years - in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. The actual term “adaptogen” was coined by the Soviet Union in the 1940s. Thankfully, Western society is finally starting to shift from solely a pharmacological-based view on medicine and wellness to include more holistic options as well! Although they are still not on the forefront of Western medicine, many functional medicine doctors and even some MDs are recommending them. After all, studies have confirmed that these herbs have been proven to reduce stress and improve attention and endurance in the face of fatigue.

Different types of adaptogens

There are different types of these powerful herbs, so it’s best to choose based on your personal preference and lifestyle. Some work to stimulate the body by providing energy & mental clarity (such as Cordyceps, He Shou Wu, and Maca). Others work to ground and calm, such as Holy Ashwaganda or Calming Adaptogen. Just be sure to purchase your adaptogens from a reputable company that sources organic, pure, & medicinal grade plants so that you know you are getting the highest quality possible.

How do you consume them?

There are many ways that you can add adaptogens into your daily life - but my favorite, by far, is to add them to my morning matcha latte. My morning routine includes a delicious, warm tonic packed with superfoods; I genuinely look forward to it and love that it sets the tone for my entire day! Rose Botanica emphasizes the importance of self-care, which is simply taking care of yourself. An easy way to practice self-care is by taking the time in the morning to concoct an elixir for your specific needs. It is delicious and good for you. Whether you personally like coffee, matcha, or a non-caffeinated alternative, I highly recommend making some type of warm beverage in the morning to add your adaptogens to.

Every morning, I make a different combination - it’s best to switch it up. However, I normally start with one energizing herb that aids with mental clarity (such as Cordyceps or He Shou Wu). Moodbeli’s Bliss Booster is another great option if coffee is your AM jam, but the cacao doesn’t mix well with matcha. I also always choose a second adaptogen, based on how I am feeling that day. If I know that I have a very stressful day coming up, or if I wake up feeling anxious, I will add Moodbeli’s Calming Adaptogen. If I feel like I need extra energy, I will add another energetic herb instead. I blend my matcha and adaptogens with a bit of coconut butter and Tocos, which gives it that creamy, luscious consistency that I look forward to every morning. As an added benefit, Tocos is a bioavailable source of vitamin E and a known beauty food staple. 

I also add calming adaptogens in herbal tea or a warmed nut milk at night if I feel that I need some help winding down after a stressful day. Nothing better than a warm, healing elixir as you soak in a bath after a long day of work! Just remember that there is no right or wrong with adaptogens. You only need to use a small amount (somewhere around ½ tsp.) to see the effects, which is great because a single jar will last for months! Adaptogens have helped me to reduce stress and up my self-love game, which I think we could all use help with. I hope that you will give them a try! xo

by Rose Botanica Wellness Contributor, Halle Kearney

About the Author: Halle Kearney is a former division I volleyball player who is passionate about self-care & wellness, particularly the mind-gut connection. She works in the healthcareIT field, and takes full advantage of her ability to work remotely. Halle has adventured across the country this year - living in the mountains in Montana and sunny Southern California to name a few. After dealing with many athletic-related injuries and stomach issues, Halle has found that eating healthy and incorporating time each day for self-wellness rituals has created all of the difference in overall well-being. Her perfect day starts with a tough cycling class in the AM followed by a blissful matcha latte and ends with meditative yoga & a calming elixir.

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