Adaptogen’s like American ginseng fall into a specific group of herbs. To qualify as an adaptogen the herb must be: nontoxic, must increase the bodies resistance to a variety of stressors and help normalize the bodies response to stress related changes. Adaptogen’s improve the functioning health of the adrenal system, the system that manages the bodies hormonal responses to stress.
In actuality, adaptogen herbs have been around for thousands of years, used in both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, however the term adaptogen is relatively new. The term adaptogen was first introduced by a soviet doctor by the name of Nikoli V. Lazarev in 1947. The word adaptogen originated from the Latin work “adaptare”, to adjust. During this time the Soviet Union was in search of substances that would increase the stamina, strength, endurance and cognition of their athletes, military and other important personnel. Since this time, adaptogens have been consistency recognized as a non-toxic, non-specific resistor to bodily stress.
HOW THEY WORK?
Adaptogens help to regulate the function of important hormones. Stress is a hormonal response that prompts the adrenal glands to produce the hormone cortisol. Today many modern-day stressors are ongoing, and can lead to chronically high cortisol levels. However, the body is only designed to ward off stress in short bursts. Extremely high cortisol levels are extremely dangerous, as the constant release of the hormone puts constant pressure on the adrenal glands. Exhausted adrenal glands can throw the body of balance, leading to adrenal fatigue and can result in a weakened immune system. That’s where adaptogens come in, adaptogens help to normalize the body’s levels of cortisol. Adaptogen’s are often said to work like a thermostat. Just as a thermostat works to keep the temperature from getting to hot or cold, adaptogens work to keep stress at a desirable level.
WHAT THEY DO?
Hormones play an important role in controlling and coordinating body functions. More specifically, the hormone cortisol helps to control how the body metabolizes fat, protein, carbohydrates and minerals, and also helps to reduce inflammation. Therefore if these hormones are under stress and unable to perform their job properly, the body does not function optimally and this imbalance can lead to sickness and disease. Adaptogen’s overall play an important role in prevention as there primary role is to keep the body in a balanced, healthy, well functioning state that limits exposure to illness. Strengthening the body’s response to stress can lead to increased metabolism, enhanced immunity, better sleep, higher energy levels and much more. If you are in search of way to increase your health and vitality, adaptogen’s are you answer.