You’re tired. You’re cranky. You’re depressed. You’re some combination of the three, and probably more that hasn’t been mentioned. While you can’t control what happens on the outside, you can control what you take in. And, for this, you may want to consider giving adaptogens a try.
Adaptogens, which are herbs that are used to treat a multitude of issues because of their chemical properties which aid in providing homeostasis to the body, have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to aid with everything from fighting cancer to recovering from the common cold.
Adaptogens are fairly common; you may have even tried a few of them at some point. Here are three adaptogens and some of their possible benefits:
Ginseng, The One You’ve Likely Heard Of
Ginseng may be the most familiar of the adaptogens. Grown in the Americas by the indigenous people of the land, Ginseng found its way into traditional Chinese medicine.
You may see ginseng at your local store, sometimes in the cold remedy aisle. The reason for this is that ginseng has been suggested by studies to aid in the recovery period for colds. But, as an adaptogen, its properties extend beyond cold remedies.
In China, ginseng is often sold as a health tonic for general vitality. Inconclusive studies suggest that ginseng’s properties can aid with memory, fatigue, some symptoms of menopause, and even in insulin response.
Schisandra, the Anti-Aging Berry
Schisandra, grown in China and Russia, is so important in traditional Chinese medicine that it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Its berry was even enshrined on a Russian postage stamp in 1998!
It has been used for centuries to aid with fighting the effects of aging. Some of its known effects beyond fighting aging include normalizing blood sugar, stimulating the immune system, and fighting depression.
Beyond this, Schisandra has also been used to treat high cholesterol, irritability, night sweats, depression, and memory loss. Some have even used it to fight motion sickness!
Rhodiola, the Mountain Herb that Aids with Depression
Rhodiola, also called golden root, grows in wild arctic regions around the world. This useful, somewhat bitter-tasting herb can be eaten raw or cooked, thrown into salads, and even distilled into vodka.
Russians and Scandanavians will often use Rhodiola to fight the depression that can come on in cold climates and the stresses associated with it. In addition, Rhodiola can be used to aid with physical endurance, giving some resistance to high-altitude sickness.
Primarily, though, Rhodiola is used to fight against mental ailments, with studies suggesting that Rhodiola can aid in the reduction of stress, fatigue, and depression. There are even indications that Rhodiola aids with endurance in aerobic exercise.
How to Find Adaptogens
As all of the above, and most other notable adaptogens, are herbs that grow in different climates, one may not have easy access to them. Thankfully, products that contain these products can easily be found.
Besides visiting the supplement aisle in a grocery store, one can often find several products that have adaptogens contained within them, whether in a nutritional bar, a teabag, or even a candy (This website, for example, sells adaptogenic mood chews containing Rhodiola).
Adaptogens as a Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
Since many notable adaptogens are naturally occurring, they can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. While they aren’t a magic bullet that solves every issue a person can have, adaptogens can serve as a great way to give a person a fighting chance against modern stress.
Of course, one cannot eat nothing but Rhodiola and expect to be healthy, but adding adaptogens to a healthy diet and exercise regimen can significantly aid in physical and mental health.