What makes adaptogen herbs so special? Adaptogens are herbs that appear to improve the body’s own ability to adapt to environmental stressors and changing situations. It is believed that adaptogen herbs may have a normalizing effect on the body and are capable of either toning down the activity of hyper-functioning systems or strengthening the activity of hypo-functioning systems. Additionally, most herbal adaptogens that have been identified to date have historically been used for centuries by both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In order to be classified as an adaptogen, an herb must accomplish three things: it must be nontoxic in any reasonable amount, it must generate a non specific response and instead of targeting a specific area of the body it promotes overall wellbeing, and it must work towards bringing the user back to a balanced state. Adaptogens have been found to be useful in treating a plethora of different conditions including fatigue, stress, and anxiety. Additionally, many are high in antioxidants.
Adaptogens are considered by the Chinese as some of the most effective herbs available to increase physical and mental capabilities, boost resistance to diseases and even lengthen one’s lifespan. The Chinese discovered that during challenging times, the use of adaptogens was increasingly important. Siberian hunters used them before leaving on long journeys, Chinese soldiers used them just prior to battle, and Tibetan monks increased their tolerance for cold and no food by using them daily.
Many of these herbs show up as folk remedies because they have been used effectively for generations and it wasn’t until a few decades ago that scientific proof of their effectiveness was discovered. Some adaptogenic herbs include:
- Rhodiola rosea
- Licorice root
We at Benedictine Healing Products have a number of these in tincture form, including a blend of several different herbs in our Adaptogen Plus tonic, Mega Ginseng Plus, Rhodiola rosea, Astragalus, Ashwaganda, and Eleutherococcus.