The Complete Medicine Cabinet (Part 2):
The Benefits of Adaptogens On Your Health & Wellbeing
When you’re stressed, what’s the first thing that you do to find relief? Do you take an adaptogen? If you don’t know much about natural remedies, you probably haven’t heard of adaptogens or what adaptogens are good for. However, these natural solutions are one of the best medicines that you can take to handle stress.
What are the benefits of adaptogens?
Adaptogens are a natural or herbal substance that helps your body adapt to pathogens or situations that may cause illness. As non-toxic plants, they help your body resist stressors of all kinds. The scientist who discovered them summarized the benefits of adaptogens in three main ways:
- Adaptogens assist the body in resisting various stressors, whether it’s physical, chemical, or biological. They also help the body combat climate change, radiation, environmental pollution, infectious diseases, and interpersonal disharmony.
- By offsetting external stress that causes physical disorders, adaptogens help the body maintain homeostasis.
- Adaptogens achieve homeostasis without disrupting normal functions in the body.
Regardless of the stress that you’re experiencing, the benefits of adaptogens are clear: they offer relief. They can help your body adapt to any outside situation that it can’t handle on its own, making them a crucial remedy to add to your medicine cabinet. And if you want to use multiple adaptogens to target more than one condition, you can.
Most herbs are therapeutic solutions that relieve various ailments. When you’re considering an adaptogen, you should think about what you’re going through and why you’re going through it to determine the best adaptogens for your symptoms. Instead of taking millions of supplements for stress, you might only need a few adaptogens to experience relief.
How do adaptogens work?
Adaptogens work on your body like exercise does on your muscles. When you work out, you put stress on your body. But the more you exercise, the more you train your body to adapt to stress. The same concept applies to adaptogens. They train your body to handle the impacts of stress.
You experience the benefits of adaptogens because they interact with your sympathoadrenal system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Both of these networks are responsible for handling your body’s response to stress. By addressing your hormone production and physiological responses to stress, adaptogens help your body — including your immune system, mind, and energy levels — function properly.
Every morning, I take adaptogens to help my body achieve homeostasis. I also like to take more than one. Usually, I’ll pair four different herbs in a formula to ensure my body has the nutrients it needs to combat external stressors. However, I never use more than four herbs. If a formula requires more than four herbs to complete an action, I put a harmonizing herb into it to help balance out the actions of each herb.
Otherwise, too many herbs in a formula can dilute the remedy and prevent it from working effectively. It’s like having too many people talking in one room. When it gets loud, you can’t discern who’s saying what or who you should pay attention to. The same thing applies to adaptogens and herbs. If you take too many, your body has a hard time figuring out which one to focus on.
With herbs, it’s best to keep things simple. Your body will have an easier time identifying the natural substances, repairing itself, and experiencing the benefits of adaptogens if it’s focused on a few herbs at a time.
The benefits of adaptogens with CBD
Adaptogens don’t just pair well with other adaptogens and herbs. They also work great with natural remedies like CBD. Your body needs multiple nutrients to work properly, especially if you’re not prioritizing good nutrition. CBD and adaptogens can work together to help you experience optimal relief and the best health possible. Below are just a few examples of how you can pair the two remedies to optimize your health and wellness.
|Purpose||Best Adaptogens||Best CBD Product|
|Boost immune system||Eleuthero, Astragalus, Shitaki or Maitake Mushrooms||Heal|
|Decrease stress||Rhodiola root, Schisandra Berries, Licorice Root, and Eleuthro||Relax|
|Combat long-term stress||Ashwagandha, Asian Ginseng, Holy Basil||Relax|
|Increase energy levels||Eleuthero||Metabolize|
These are just a handful of examples that showcase situations where you can combine adaptogens and CBD. There are plenty of other scenarios where the two remedies can work well together. However, if you’re just starting to learn about CBD and adaptogens, use the table above to guide your consumption. That way, you have a good starting point.
The practical steps to using adaptogens
If you decide to try adaptogens, you might wonder how to use them. The good news is that it’s easy. There are only five things you need to consider to enjoy the benefits of adaptogens.
How to take adaptogens
You can take adaptogens as a tincture or a capsule. However, I prefer to take them as a tincture and advise others to do the same. As with CBD sublinguals, adaptogens are more effective as a tincture. In that form, you can dial in your dose, so you never take more than you need.
The only thing you need to remember is that you shouldn’t put an adaptogen tincture underneath your tongue. It’s an alcohol extraction, which means it can burn your mucous membranes. To avoid that pain and enjoy the benefits of adaptogens, add a few drops of the tincture into a liquid instead. Cranberry juice is a great drink to combine with it. No matter how bad the adaptogen tastes, the cranberry juice always covers it.
But if that strategy doesn’t mask the bad taste for you, then consider using a capsule. The only thing you need to be careful about is the company you buy the product from. Some brands will sell old adaptogens or store them improperly, which could change the composition of the plant. However, if you can find one that doesn’t do this, you should feel comfortable purchasing capsules from that company.
How to determine the best dose
With most adaptogens, there’s a general rule of thumb: use one drop for every five pounds of body weight. It doesn’t matter how old you are — you can give an adaptogen to a baby, though they probably wouldn’t need it. The only thing you need to remember is to take one drop for every five pounds of body weight.
Once you ingest the adaptogen, your body will use it quickly, and then it’ll leave your body. Unlike CBD, which absorbs in your fat cells and is stored for later use, adaptogens travel through your bloodstream. They go into your body and do its job. Then, they absorb quickly.
When to take adaptogens
One of the many benefits of adaptogens is their versatility. You can use them every day or as needed. For example, in the wintertime, you’re exposed to a lot of situations that can weaken your immune system. During that season, you might want to use an immune-boosting formula with adaptogens and therapeutic herbs to prevent a cold or illness.
Conversely, maybe you’re in a long-term situation that’s putting fatigue on your adrenal glands. You might have a stressful job or are experiencing stress at home. In those scenarios, you could take adaptogens until the stressful situation is over. But a good rule of thumb is never to become so reliant on an adaptogen that you don’t leave the stressful situation. If your body is telling you that a circumstance is creating a fight or flight response, it’s time to change your situation.
Add adaptogens to your medicine cabinet
Adaptogens are one of the best natural remedies that you can add to your medicine cabinet. They’re easy and safe to use. They combine well with other natural solutions. And they help your body adapt to stressors that it can’t handle on its own.
If you want a complete medicine cabinet, you should add adaptogens. By doing so, you’ll be one step closer to having everything you need to experience a better quality of life.
Want to learn the next natural remedy you should have to complete your medicine cabinet? Look out for the next post in our series The Complete Medicine Cabinet for answers! And share this series with someone else, so they don’t miss out.