Superfoods, adaptogenic foods, Ayurveda, ashwagandha, oh my. Ok, we’ve all heard these buzzy health words flying around Instagram and seeing those pretty Sun Potion bottles and crazy all-powerful smoothie bowls, or maybe we haven’t. We’ve had several people asking us what we think about adaptogens, collagen and other supplements. Today we’re honing in on adaptogens. We are not professionals in the health and nutrition industry, but we’re just dishing out what we’ve gathered online and heard from the pros.
What the heck is an adaptogen?
An adaptogen is kind of what it sounds like: a type of herb or mushroom that helps your body adapt to certain stressors such as fatigue, anxiety, depression and more.
Adaptogenic herbs have been around in Chinese and Indian medicine for a long, long time (we’re talking centuries), so these are nothing new. These super powders help your body adapt to the environment based on your own needs—meaning, when your adrenal system is out of whack, it brings you back into balance without over-stimulating it. Not only do adaptogens help cope with stress, they also help with digestion, energy, immunity, physical performance, improve mood, balance blood sugar, hormones and more.
How do adaptogens work then?
We like how Dr. Frank Lipman says it: “Adaptogens work a bit like a thermostat. When the thermostat senses that the room temperature is too high it brings it down; when the temperature is too low it brings it up. Adaptogens can calm you down and boost your energy at the same time without over stimulating. They can normalize body imbalances. By supporting adrenal function, they counteract the adverse effects of stress. They enable the body’s cells to access more energy; help cells eliminate toxic byproducts of the metabolic process and help the body to utilize oxygen more efficiently.”
Well this sounds magical. Which adaptogens should I try?
First off, they say you should consult your doctor before you use them or at least try them out in small amounts. There can be some side effects, so just be careful and don’t OD on adaptogens. You know what they say—too much of anything is bad. The most popular ones that we’ve heard of are ashwagandha, astragalus, rhodiola, mucuna pruriens, cordyceps, maca and he shou wu. Click here to read which ones you should try based on whether you’re trying to help with fatigue, anxiety, sex drive, blood sugar imbalance, digestive issues, etc.
But how do I do incorporate this into my life?
We love Sun Potion, but there are many other companies you can order from in the form of powder or capsules. We like mixing our powders into coffee, hot tea or hot elixirs (these look great), smoothies or into raw treats.
How do I know these aren’t just some trendy supplement hippies are throwing into their elixirs?
Well, they’ve been around for centuries and we don’t see them going away anytime soon. They’re uber trendy at the moment, but for very good reason! You may not feel the effects right away, but once you do, it’s truly undeniable.
Are there side effects?
They say adaptogens are safe to take daily and over long periods of time unlike traditional medicine. There are some side effects if you take too much, or if you have an allergy to any of the herbs or mushrooms. Just read up before you start going ham on the adaptogens!
So, should I do it?
If you have the budget (they can get a little $$), we’d say hop on board. We’re loving our superpower smoothies and elixirs and think you will too! Good luck and let us know what you learn—we’re on this journey with you and hope to learn more about adaptogens and non-traditional forms of “medicine”.