Everything You Need To Know About Adaptogens
If you’re someone who runs the other way when the idea of giving up caffeine is mentioned, can’t remember the last time you got over 6 hours of sleep, craves that 3 PM cookie like no one’s business, or experiences Stress with a capital “S” in your life, then this article is for you. Not only is it about time that you got to know adaptogens, but you are about to fall in love, have your world turned upside down, and never look back (yeah, it’s that kind of love).
According to Dr. Robin Berzin, MD, founder of Parsley Health, “adaptogens are molecules, typically plant-based, that work on the neuro-hormonal system in the body.” She states that many health practitioners compare the function of adaptogens to that of a thermostat: “they turn the heat down if it's too hot and turn it up if it's too cold, by sensitizing or desensitizing the cells in your body to chemical-based signals they receive.” In other words, adaptogens help your body improve its ability to handle physical, mental, and environmental changes by supporting balance and promoting homeostasis internally. They're like that daily meditation you know would be so so good for you, but without having to sit still.
So what does this have to do with you your daily triple cappuccinos, never-ending pile of work, or energy bar obsession? Everything. The constant combination of stress, caffeine, sugar, and lack of sleep keeps your stress response system turned on, putting the body at a persistent low level of danger. Eventually this system burns out and that adrenal fatigue we just learned so much about finally takes over. Then the fatigue, hunger, and inexplicable weight gain arrive and feeling good in our bodies all of a sudden becomes an uphill battle.
And then the universe gave us Adaptogens. Remember the thermostat thing? When your body is getting all out of whack after a late night working in the office, adaptogens help balance out the stress your body is experiencing
internally. They calm and nourish the adrenal glands, so that they can safely leave their low-level-danger state. This, in turn, stabilizes everything from blood sugar to hormonal balance to blood pressure.
Adaptogens are those nights of 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep, that restorative yoga class, your favorite deep tissue massage, and those countless hours spent in your candle-lit bubble bath. Only this time, for your insides. They are love in the purest, most healing sense for your body.
How to know which adaptogenic herbs or plants are best for your body takes a healthy combination of consulting an expert, knowing your body, and some good old experimentation. Dr. Berzin recommends using a saliva test to understand which stage of adrenal fatigue your body is at, and choosing adaptogen blends designed for that specific phase in order to change the stress response.
In the meantime, we consulted our Adaptogen Queen Soul Sister Amanda Chantal Bacon for her go-to readjusting, nourishing, adrenal-loving elixir. Enjoy the love!
Amanda Bacon's Quick Body Tonic
1 teaspoon maca
1 bottle of shilajit
1 teaspoon cordyceps
1 cup nut milk of choice
dash of stevia if desired
For an internally warming, adaptogenic treat, heat up the almond milk on stove top on low. Mix in remaining ingredients and enjoy!