As we know, living in the Rogue Valley has certainly had its challenges over the past few months. So, while supporting our immune and respiratory health is beneficial now, and as we move more into fall and winter, we should also focus on building our body’s resiliency with our botanical, stress-reducing allies. One of the best ways to do this is with adaptogens.
Adaptogens are a broad category of plants known for optimizing health and longevity. Commonly thought of as “adrenal support” in Western herbalism, their benefits extend far beyond the adrenals to benefit all of our organ systems. Adaptogens allow our systems to be flexible according to what is needed but to always return to a place of balance. You can think of them as nourishing your energy “bank account,” meaning that they are highly restorative, something missing from many aspects of modern life.
A few of my favorites include:
• Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus): improves stamina, recovery from exercise and illness, normalizes blood pressure, has a neuro-regenerative effect, moderates cholesterol, builds bone density.
• Ashwagandha (Withania): Enhances muscle- and tissue rebuilding, is cardio-protective, balances blood sugar and cortisol output, is anti-inflammatory, offers liver protection, supports restful sleep, scavenges free radicals, and also builds bone density.
• Rhodiola: Has many of the same characteristics of the previous herbs so you can start to see a theme of how adaptogens work! … is cardio-protective, supports cellular oxygenation, shortens recovery time after exercise or stress, enables better blood sugar control, is an antidepressant, and increases physical endurance. It can be drying, so it is best taken as part of a formula.
• Tulsi/Holy Basil: Offers immune support, is uplifting, normalizes body functions during stress, and can improve sexual function in both men and women. Drink Tulsi tea to enhance your meditation practice.
In an era when we are always looking for the “silver bullet” to stop illnesses like viruses or cancer, there is some irony in the fact that substances that are so broadly applicable may well be the best way to support our health. Adaptogens are best taken in the morning to work with the natural output of cortisol at that time. As you rise to greet the day, consider adding some adaptogens into your routine to enhance your wellbeing!
For a daily adaptogenic tonic, consider adding Natura Health Products® Vital Adapt® or Power Adapt® to your botanical medicine chest. As always, we recommend working with a qualified healthcare practitioner who can provide targeted recommendations based on your specific needs.