What are adaptogens and do they help with stress?

Almost two out of three Americans say that the uncertainty in our country causes them stress. From political turmoil to a global pandemic, to personal trials and work deadlines, few people navigate the chaos of life in a calm, blissful state. But the answer — or at least part of the answer — alongside others, such as self-care and personal balance, may be as simple as consuming strategic plants and mushrooms for stress relief.

Adaptogens are not new at all, as different cultures have used plants and mushrooms as medicine for centuries. Cleveland Clinic defines an adaptogen as something with these three properties:

  • It is non-toxic when taken in normal doses as directed.
  • It helps your body deal with stress.
  • It returns your body to a balanced level of homeostasis.

They also note that adaptogens are not a substitute for eliminating or altering long-term stressors, such as if you have a bad relationship or work environment. The adaptogen works by lowering cortisol levels when you’re stressed or increasing them when they’re too low due to fatigue, bringing you into balance.

But the concept of ‘food as medicine’ is taking hold on a nation that is stressed and looking for answers, complete with… his own hashtag. However, it can be difficult and confusing to sort through products that are reliable, trustworthy and useful – in a largely unregulated alternative medicine system.

dr. Jeff Chen, MD/MBA, is the founder and former executive director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, and now CEO of Radicle Science, which is working to revolutionize and scientifically validate non-prescription natural health products. He says the purpose of adaptogens is to balance body systems, acting on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which aids in homeostasis in the body and regulates stress hormones.

“Adaptogens have shown a variety of potentially beneficial effects, including anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects in clinical trials. Many adaptogens are generally recognized as safe (GRAS), but they can still interact with drugs, so it is important to « If you’re taking prescription medications, talk to your doctor before starting an adaptogen, » he says. Consumers should be aware that many products are not regulated by the FDA, so they should do their own research before starting anything.

Here are a few adaptogens to consider based on your body’s needs.

Adaptogen and mushroom mix Balance mix

Adaptogen and mushroom mix Balance mix

Ashwagandha is one of the most extensively studied adaptogens, Chen explains, and it is widely available as a dietary supplement. Cleveland Clinic explains that it can regulate metabolism and calm how your brain responds to stress, in addition to reducing swelling and protecting cells. This product contains Ashwagandha, in addition to mushroom powder for immune support, ginseng and other herbs. It can be added to coffee, tea, smoothies or soups and contains no fillers or caffeine, something to be aware of.

Chaga Mushroom Powder (Wildcrafted) by Sun Potion

Chaga Mushroom Powder

If you’re not a huge fan of the taste of mushrooms, but are interested in their tremendous health benefits, Chaga Mushroom Powder offers an alternative way to consume the adaptogen through slow-cooked tea. Be prepared: This takes eight hours to make. But it can then be kept in the fridge to drink daily.

Mushrooms can be used for weight loss support, as a 2013 study by John Hopkins University revealed that participants who replaced a portion of meat with mushrooms lost more weight than the control group, and it even had a positive impact on blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Sekuleo Collects, MD, concierge physician at ConnectMD and mindset coach, favors the Sun Potion brand and encourages consumers to review reviews and focus on consumer feedback on securities, in addition to choosing cash-back companies -Guarantee. He adds that results and interactions may vary by « person, age, medication already taken, and metabolism. » He says, “I regularly have people try the same supplement from two different companies to decide which one is best for their bodies. This determination is strictly subjective.”

Licorice Root, Arogya


Collectors recommend another adaptogen, licorice root, as one of the best stress relievers. It works by equalizing your stress levels, such as cortisol, to create a calming effect, some studies have shown. It is also known to have additional digestive and respiratory support functions. Some people find the taste a bit sweet, and therefore find it easier in daily use. Gathers says licorice root is an ingredient to include in your regimen when you’re stressed, along with rhodiola rosea, schisandra chinensis and eleutherococcus senticosus. You can also find licorice root at most health food stores or in the supplement sections of your local supermarket.

How do I choose the best adaptogen for me?

In a sea of ​​choices, it can be overwhelming to research, test and analyze how well an adaptogen works for you. Gathers recommends the following process to facilitate your decision making:

  • Grease two or three brands and then compare using these considerations.
  • Verify that the active ingredient is in the most bioavailable form by doing a quick Google search.
  • Determine if the ingredients are whole food-based, meaning they are derived from natural sources rather than lab-produced, which will be stated on the packaging
  • Research the inactive ingredients and look for additives, artificial colors or flavors, and choose those with minimal to none of these.
  • Examine whether the supplement manufacturer is clear about their quality testing, verify that they follow current good manufacturing processes (cGMPs) and have an internal cGMP procedure, the gold standard for quality and safety in the supplement space.
  • Please ensure that the product is available to be received directly from the manufacturer, as third-party suppliers may improperly ship or sell non-therapeutic products.

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