Adaptogens are a class of plants that are thought to fight stress and balance the body, they help the body cope with physical and mental stress by adapting to what the body requires at any given time. I know, this sounds too good to be true but studies have shown these herbs and mushrooms support your endocrine system (hypothalamus & pituitary and adrenal glands). This system is really important, but is often overwhelmed, because it manages your body’s hormonal response to stress, anxiety and fatigue. The idea is that adaptogens support these hormones and work to restore the balance you require.
Ultimately, they’re non-stimulating, non-addictive super-herbs and super-mushrooms that will naturally help guide your body to its own natural homeostasis.
While many adaptogens have been used for hundreds of years in a variety of cultures, from Chinese and Russian to Indian and Scandinavian, the term was coined by Soviet toxicologist N. V. Lazarev in 1947 to describe a substance with “non-specific” resistance to adverse influences like stress. The concept drew from a Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist named Hans Selye, who broke down humans’ stress response into three phases: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.
Phase of resistance
Phase of exhaustion
As we encounter a stressor — say we start lifting weights — our body responds by kicking out hormones like adrenaline that improve muscle performance and increase our ability to concentrate and pay attention to the task at hand in the phase of resistance. Our body is literally resisting the stressor, so we feel energised and clearer.
And then, as we fatigue, we enter in the exhaustion phase. Adaptogens basically stretch out that “sweet spot” in the middle — the phase of resistance — allowing us to hang out in the powerful part longer. Adaptogens are thought to decrease our sensitivity to outside stress, keeping us in the resistance phase, i.e., keeping us calm.
What are the benefits of adaptogens?
- They have anti-fatigue properties and anti depressive effects
- They are a stimulant for central nervous system
- They have a normalising (amphoteric) effect on the body, helping to restore normal physiologic function that has been altered by stress. This means if the immune system is depressed, adaptogens enhance the immune response. If the immune system is overactive—for instance with allergies—adaptogens help re-regulate the immune response, decreasing overactivity.
- They have neuroprotective elements – protect nerve cells against damage, degeneration, or impairment of function.
- Adaptogens are non-toxic in normal therapeutic doses.
- They produce a non-specific state of resistance in the body to physical, emotional, or environmental stress. So they reduce the effects of stress, whether the source is psychological, physiological, noise, temperature, etc.
How can you integrate Adaptogens into your diet?
Powdered adaptogens can be added to anything—from your coffee, tea, and smoothies to your cereal, or pancakes. The options are endless. The easiest way to introduce adaptogens in a meaningful way is to tune in to how you’re feeling and then incorporate them into a daily habit you already have.
At pH Clinic Manly we stock and recommend the Superfeast Blends, Superfeast has some great blends that are tailored to suit different needs and my word have they done their research! The bottles are also of the highest quality Miron Glass, products stored in Miron glass are not only exceptionally well preserved but also enriched and activated, providing protection against degradation for up to three years.
Here is a little breakdown of the Superfeast blends for you.
Superfeast Jing blend supports healthy hormone function, stamina and libido.
Masons Mushrooms support immunity, gut health, hormonal function and the nervous system.
Neural Nectar is designed to cultivate mental energy, acuity and memory.
The Beauty Blend brings vitality to skin, hair, nails and fascia.
I Am Gaia is for female health and is designed to nourish your Yin essence and hormones.