Guest Post: Adaptogens for Wellbeing
If you’re interested in health and wellness, it’s likely you’ve heard the term 'adaptogens' or 'adaptogenic' being used a lot recently. But what exactly are these healing herbs, why do we need them and what are their health benefits?
Adaptogens are a particular class of herbs that have a ‘regulating’ effect on the body’s processes; namely the adrenal and immune systems. The adrenal system is heavily involved in hormone production – so healthy adrenals are absolutely essential for mood, energy and stress management. Amongst their many other benefits, adaptogens prevent the over-production of cortisol, which is the ‘stress hormone’ produced by the adrenal glands. Less cortisol = less stress.
Cortisol does have its uses – in our caveman days, its release into our system prompted our ‘fight or flight’ response, keeping us out of danger and helping us to stay awake and responsive to our environment. However, in our modern, busy lifestyles, most of us don’t face life-or-death situations daily – and these elevated cortisol levels are not useful, causing us to feel anxious, reactive and on edge. Adaptogenic herbs can help to alleviate these common mood symptoms by helping our adrenal system to regulate its natural stress response.
But, the benefits of adaptogens don’t stop there. They can also combat inflammation, have antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial properties; and can even help to stabilise blood sugar levels via their effect on cortisol production (cortisol is also involved in the body's conversion of proteins to sugars).
Some of my favourite adaptogens include:
Ashwagandha is one of the most well-known adaptogens, and it has a plethora of health benefits. It’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich, and helps to modulate the body's response to stress by supporting the all-important adrenal system.
Reishi mushroom has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, and with good reason! Reishi is a powerful immune-booster and a source of polysaccharides, balancing beta-glucan, and a host of heart-healthy compounds including ganoderic acids, mannitol and sterols. Reishi is used in tonics both to relieve stress and boost energy levels.
Rhodiola is another popular adaptogen and is known for a number of things; including promoting the production of red blood cells. Like ashwagandha, it works to bring balance to the adrenal system, helping to regulate hormones and support the body’s stress adaptation process.
BY BALANCED PANTRY
So, which herbs are ‘adaptogenic’ – and where can you find these wonder-ingredients? Well luckily, our range of wellness products has you well and truly covered. Our ‘Spoonful’ collection of adaptogenic bliss blends all have different benefits:
Contains shatavari, maca, banana, schisandra, cacao and he shou wu - for enhanced libido, a healthy reproductive system and increased energy.
Contains mesquite, schisandra, tulsi, spirulina, coconut powder and he shou wu, to promote collagen production, strengthen hair & nails and feed skin.
Made with turmeric, honey, and a tasty blend of spices, this powdered latte formula is a healthy and immune-boosting alternative to coffee or tea.
The blends can be added to your smoothie or morning latte, sprinkled through oats or over cereal, and even cooked with!
No matter how you incorporate them into your daily routine, we promise you’ll feel the benefits to your mood and energy levels in no time. Which blend are you most excited to try?
Browse our range of the Balanced Pantry collection here.
By Eve from Balanced Pantry
If you have any conditions that require medical attention, please seek a medical professional. Also, if you are on medication, pregnant or trying to conceive talk to a health professional before making any changes to your diet or using products containing essential oils and herbal extract.