Adaptogens turn you into a super human?!

In India and China, soldiers have used adaptogens for centuries to handle the stress of combat, recover faster, and increase their energy. Today, you can use adaptogens for – you guessed it – their adaptogenic properties: they help your body adapt to biological and psychological stress by making it easier for you to balance your hormonal systems. What does that mean, exactly? Adaptogens help you cope with common symptoms of living in the modern world, including fatigue, impotence, and infertility. In other words, adaptogens make you more resilient in all facets of life, giving you energy, focus, strength and a better overall mood.

Even though these adaptogenic herbs have worked for thousands of years, scientific research is only beginning to reveal to the West the potential that adaptogens have to upgrade your stress response and energy levels.

What are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens were initially defined as substances that enhance the "state of nonspecific resistance" in stress, a physiological condition that is linked with various disorders of the neuroendocrine-immune system. Studies on animals and isolated neuronal cells have revealed that adaptogens exhibit neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, antidepressive, anxiolytic, nootropic and CNS stimulating activity. In addition, a number of clinical trials demonstrate that adaptogens exert an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental work capacity against a background of stress and fatigue, particularly in tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention

Adaptogens are unique plants or herbs that support your adrenal system. They help balance your hormones, so you can manage your stress response on a day to day basis. They adapt to what your body needs and have the ability to regulate your system up or down depending on the need in the moment. Adaptogens are medicinal plants that augment resistance to stress, and increase concentration, performance and endurance during fatigue. 

Strong scientific evidence is available for Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract, which improved attention, cognitive function and mental performance in fatigue and in chronic fatigue syndrome. Good scientific evidence has been documented in trails in which Schisandra chinensis and Eleutherococcus senticosus increased endurance and mental performance in patients with mild fatigue and weakness. Based on their efficacy in clinical studies, adaptogens can be defined as a pharmacological group of herbal preparations that increase tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhance attention and mental endurance in situations of decreased performance. 

How do adaptogens work?

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. In short, adaptogens are amazing!

Adaptogens increase the state of non-specific resistance in stress and decrease sensitivity to stressors, which results in stress protection, and prolong the phase of resistance (stimulatory effect). Instead of exhaustion, a higher level of equilibrium (the homeostasis) is attained the heterostasis. The higher it is, the better the adaptation to stress. Thus, the stimulating and anti-fatigue effect of adaptogens has been documented in both in animals and in humans. .

Adaptogens increase the state of non-specific resistance in stress and decrease sensitivity to stressors, which results in stress protection, and prolong the phase of resistance (stimulatory effect). Instead of exhaustion, a higher level of equilibrium (the homeostasis) is attained the heterostasis. The higher it is, the better the adaptation to stress. Thus, the stimulating and anti-fatigue effect of adaptogens has been documented in both in animals and in humans. .

soo….we get the the base of an adaptogen but what are they!?

our favourite adaptogen is HOLY BASIL which is our MNK

Holy Basil

Holy basil, or Tulsi, is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine and is traditionally used as an adaptogen, aphrodisiac, and liver supporter. It’s also used for longevity!

Benefits of holy basil

Protects liver: Studies show that this herb can be an effective liver protector, and is especially potent when paired with milk thistle, another liver supporter.[16]

Lowers stress and anxiety: Other practices include using holy basil as a stress reducer, antioxidant, and anti-anxiety supplement.[17, 18, 19, 20]

Increases muscle mass: Holy basil is high in ursolic acid, a compound also found in apple peels, that may affect body composition by increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat, although there’s not enough solid evidence out there yet showing this really works.[21, 22] (I’ve used other forms of ursolic acid for body composition too…an interesting idea, but I couldn’t tell if it worked in my very short and not well controlled n=1 experiment.)

Boosts libido: Holy basil is also known to be both an anti-fertility agent and libido enhancer, so this could be a fun herb for couples not ready to conceive. Holy basil is one of the only aphrodisiac and testosterone boosting-supplements, while also being reducing fertility in men, and researchers aren’t entirely sure why. Some animal studies suggest that it could also be tied to its high ursolic acid content.[23, 24] The ursolic acid could prevent spermatogenesis.

How to use holy basil

You can use Holy Basil as a garnish on your dishes, add it to your water, or make a tea. You can also purchase a powder or supplement form.

Holy basil is best for

  • Reducing stress and anxiety

  • Supporting your liver

  • Lowering inflammation

  • Building muscle mass and lowering body fat

  • Lowering men’s fertility*

  • Boosting your (or your partner’s) libido

other Adaptogens are;

  • maca

  • chaga

  • cordyseps

  • macuna pruriens

  • panax ginseg

  • reishi

  • rhodiloa rosea

  • siberian ginseg

  • & more

References:

16] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21731390

17] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21619917

18] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7275241

19] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19253862

20] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19253862

21] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24614098

22] http://www.jbc.org/content/286/7/5546.abstract

23] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15854639