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Lately, the health and wellness world has been obsessed with adaptogens. Browsing the #adaptogens tag on Instagram will take you on a journey of mystical-looking mushrooms, dusts and elixirs that look more like they belong in an apothecary’s cabinet than in a modern kitchen. To a newcomer, they might seem mysterious and unapproachable – so let’s dive into what makes adaptogens so buzz-worthy.
As it turns out, adaptogens have always been around, and cultures all over the world have been using them as medicine for centuries – it’s just that we in the Western world are kind of late to the party.
To keep things simple, adaptogens are healing plants. The reason why they might seem hard to pin down is that adaptogens are a very broad category of ingredients including mushrooms, herbs, and plants. What they all have in common, though, is their ability to help your body and mind adapt to stress – hence their name! Our body has its own natural balance, which can go haywire when we stumble upon stress. Adaptogens have a normalizing effect on our stress response, which helps bring things back to baseline. To find out more about how adaptogens work, check out this article.
There are tons of different types of adaptogens out there, each with their own benefits and traditional uses, so it can be confusing to know where to start! It’s helpful to think of the unique properties of each adaptogen and leverage them to address your health goals and routine. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work and put together all the info you need to get started on your adaptogen journey!
Balance (Reishi mushroom): Also known as the King of mushrooms, and for good reason! Not only is it a stress buster, but it also helps balance many different systems within the body. Special mention to all it can do for the immune system! It can both amp it up to protect the body from infection or slow it down to calm autoimmune challenges, allergies and sensitivities.
Mood (Ashwagandha root): The chillest adaptogen around, Ashwagandha has a centuries-long history in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. For all the worrywarts out there: this is the one for you. Ashwagandha is great at lifting your mood and toning down the effects of stress and anxiety.
Calm (Chaga mushroom): Chaga is your personal force field when you are going through periods of extended stress and overwhelm. Extremely high in antioxidants, it protects the body from free radical damage and helps counter feelings of anxiety. All while keeping your immunity in check thanks to its anti-viral properties!
Memory (Lion’s Mane mushroom): Lion’s Mane is a great study buddy. It’s well known as a nootropic, a.k.a. a cognitive enhancer! It’s also useful if you suffer from digestive issues such as ulcers. It can control bacteria overgrowth and help with inflammation!
Glow (Schisandra berry): The belle of the ball! Schisandra is renowned in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a beauty and vitality tonic – so you can feel and look fabulous.
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