Adaptive plants are those capable of increasing the body’s resistance to the adverse influences of physical and emotional stress
What are Adaptogenic Plants?
In other words, adaptogenic plants help normalise or «balance» the body’s energy responses and help it withstand stress situations that would normally negatively affect functioning. Adaptogenic plants are not stimulant substances such as caffeine, guarana or ephedrine. Adaptogenic plants help the body achieve an optimal balance of internal energies.
That is, adaptogenic plants “adapt” to the body and lead it to a more balanced state
Benefits of Adaptogenic plants
The health-related benefits offered by these herbal extracts include:
- Strengthening the immune system
- Promoting proper weight control
- Increasing both physical performance and mental performance
- Promoting good mood, increasing positivity
- Dealing with ongoing stress
- Reducing anxiety symptoms that can lead to depressive symptoms
Adaptogenic plants are said to be “bidirectional” because they act in different directions depending on the need to achieve an internal balance
Adaptogenic plants against Cortisol
Cortisol is a hormone that rises in stress. It is not really harmful in itself, but to maintain for a long period of time high levels of cortisol can affect our system, including the adrenal glands. As a consequence of chronic stress, you may experience irritability, anxiety, tiredness, physical and mental discomfort (pains…), gain weight…
Adaptogenic plants provide a response to regulate cortisol levels and reduce possible stress damage
How do Adaptogenic plants work?
Response to Stress
Stress, caused in an unexpected manner, is not harmful or harmful, but rather the opposite: a way in which our body can get rid of a risk or threat, to succeed in such a situation. To do this, the body triggers a series of physiological and hormonal processes, which in a way, is arguably triggering the state of alarm.
«Healthy» stress is facilitated by small pulses of activity, to return to calm. The problem: maintaining this state frequently and for long periods…
While for our ancestors, a stressful situation would be to get out of a fight against a predator alive… Today, predators are something “artificial” and instead of choosing between fleeing or dying, we stay working until the late hours, we look for solutions to get out of paying bills, daily chores, responsibilities, plans for the future… And all this as we try to live the present…
All this «cocktail» of circumstances triggers a constant activity of the adrenal system, negatively affecting health, mood and even maintaining a feeling of continuous tiredness…
Adaptogenic Stress Plants
The main task of herbal extracts is to mediate in the response to the stress of the body. Their principal function is to return to the body a hormonal basal state, to restore homeostatic balance, and to return the control and calm that we can lose while living the chronic stress. When we talk about stress, we mean both that generated at the mental or psychic level and at a physical level.
The way adaptogenic plants operate is similar to that of a thermostat: they seek to regulate stress response at desirable levels, optimising our system and mitigating abrupt peaks
Taking Plants with Adaptogenic Properties
There are certain plants that have these properties and benefits mentioned above. They can be taken in various forms, either from infusions, as a seasoning in the food, or in the form of encapsulation, opting in this case for the extract of the active substance and therefore, the highest possible concentration. In these cases, adaptogenic plant supplements are also of greater bioavailable value.
There are 3 main types of ginseng (American ginseng, Siberian, and the most well-known, Korean) and all of them offer a wide variety of common benefits: Raising tolerance for different aspects of mental, physical, or environmental stress
One of the most important effects of Ginseng is to regulate the synthesis and secretion of adrenal hormones related to stress-induced reactions. They increase physical strength during exercise in addition to their adaptogenic capacity. Ginseng improves performance by stimulating the brain and the adrenal/pythuitaric system to produce higher levels of exciting hormones, which leads to greater brain activity, improved psycho-motor capacity and an increase in mental alertness, all of which is conducive to the reduction of the perception of fatigue.
Rhodiola Rosea has adaptogenic effects that help fight stress, increase resistance to high-performing physical and mental activities, and has antioxidant effect, among other benefits.
While ginseng improves the output of certain hormones from the suprarenal glands, rhodiola acts on several neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The extract from this plant is really effective in alleviating the symptoms of depression, insomnia, fatigue and emotional imbalances. As an adaptogenic plant, it will help you withstand physical stress and related stress such as hypertension diseases and low immune protection.
Maca is a tuber cultivated in the Andean highlands. It is considered a natural energiser, with a great tonic effect that improves physical performance in general.
Maca helps strengthen the immune system, regulate hormonal balance and increases brain capacity, positively affecting the overall state of the body. Maca is known mainly for its aphrodisiac properties and increasing libido in both men and women. Maca is called «Ginseng of the Andes» and «Plant Viagra» and is widely used to treat sterility, sexual and reproductive dysfunction.
Ashwagandha is obtained from a part of Withania Somnifera plant extract, and thanks to its capabilities and use as a natural treatment, it is known as “Indian Ginseng”
It belongs to the group of plants that encompass Ayurvedic medicine, so it regulates the immune system and relieves anxiety. It has immune-modulatory effects that strengthen the immune system and help the body lower cortisol levels. It exerts a powerful antioxidant action, while being a natural anti-inflammatory, which supports reducing and calming chronic pain, without the side effects of drugs.
As a natural medicinal treatment, Bacopa monnieri has been used to support brain health such as memory, concentration and cognitive activity
Within its important benefits, Bacopa monnieri has properties to reduce anxiety. To do this, it can interact with the dopaminergic and serotonin system, as well as enhance neuronal communication (synapse). This positive effect on the nervous system is attributed to it because of its potential to improve neurotransmitters and to be a precursor of acetylcholine. Baccosides are the active principles that foster these capabilities.
Its adaptogenic action can help improve physical and mental performance, relieve fatigue and increase strength
Various studies show that Schisandra offers hepatoprotective effects while acting as a powerful energiser and antioxidant. Schisandra has also been used to normalise blood glucose and blood pressure, as well as to stimulate immune system after surgery. The Schisandra has also been administrated to increase libido, treat pulmonary disorders, decrease fatigue, improve depression, stress and insomnia.
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