Tell me if this sounds familiar: You wake up tired after 8 hours of sleep. Unable to function, you drink your usual cup of coffee and instantly feel a boost of energy. Like clockwork, you hit the afternoon wanting to climb into bed. What do you do? In the age of chronic stress and fatigue, we all too often turn to caffeine and sugar to get us through those morning and afternoon slumps.
But what if there's a better way? What if you could have a great night sleep, wake up refreshed and stay energized and focused throughout the day? It turns out, there's a way and it's rather ancient.
What are adaptogens?
If you're thinking adapta-what?! You're not alone. But these powerful ancient plants are gaining popularity, and as you will find out, for a good reason. Used for thousands of years in both Ayurveda (the ancient Indian natural healing system) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), adaptogens help improve the health of your adrenal system, the system in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. Common adaptogens include Reishi, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha and Cordyceps. Shop these Adaptogens and more Tonic Herbs and Mushrooms here.
It really is in the name. They're called adaptogens because that's exactly what they do; they help your body adapt to different forms of stress. This in turn helps enhance your ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue as well as support your body at a cellular level.
Let's take a closer look at how adaptogens win the fight against stress, fatigue and aging.
Adaptogens, stress and fatigue
One of the many hats adaptogens wear is their ability to fight stress. Instead of the slowly changing natural environment our ancestors lived in, we now experience constant change and prolonged exposure to stress. This in turn affects our primary stress hormone, cortisol. With continuously high cortisol levels, we experience something known as the “fight” or flight” response. When we're in a constant state of stress, we put pressure on the adrenal gland, which leads us to a path of chronic health issues including acne, digestive issues, fatigue and weight gain.
Adaptogens work by regulating our adrenal gland, which is responsible for overseeing much of our hormonal stress responses. Thanks to their ability to “adapt,” this elite group of plants improve the way your body responds to stress by up-regulating or down-regulating stress hormones as needed.
Adaptogens and ageing
The fountain of youth is a ‘sell’ that has been bestowed on all of us time after time. A lot of these ‘preservation’ products, services and treatments are expensive, harmful or ineffective, and people are starting to wake up to different approaches to longevity. One of the signs of aging poorly is fatigue and poor sleep, which is where adaptogens can play a role.
How? There are two metabolic mechanisms involved in ageing that are constantly operating in our bodies called anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism is a restorative, healing, balancing process, while catabolism is active and degenerative. Chronic stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, unhealthy relationships, excessive sugar, excessive caffeine, excessive alcohol and smoking are all factors that increase catabolism; leading to fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, weight imbalance and overall signs of ageing. Adaptogens increase anabolic mechanisms, countering those harmful catabolic mechanisms and restoring your body to a positive homeostasis – helping us age more gracefully!
The short of it
Many of us don't know the sneaky link between chronic stress and modern health issues. Given that millions of people suffer from symptoms triggered by stress, we sadly still try to fix a complex problem with caffeine or sugar. But here's a dose of reality we all need to hear; caffeine and sugar don't work.
So, what works? A healthy and holistic approach to eating, living and creating.. What about adaptogens?! These powerful herbs have a lot to offer for everyday well-being and it’s all about the accumulative effect of consuming these consistently to affect the way your body does things. Instead of accepting stress as a normal part of modern life, adaptogens will help your body to better respond to and manage stress better. That's worth something, right? Start your adaptagen journey with our Superfeast products here.