What are Adaptogens? Herbs and Plants That Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety

adaptogen drink

Healthy living has been a huge topic in recent years: finding ways to reduce stress, treat anxiety, and overall improve your body can help you live your best life. There are many ways to reduce stress and anxiety, from reducing work loads to increasing the amount of time you spend on restorative and meditative practices, such as yoga or meditation. If you don’t have the time to do all that, however, there are alternative options available, and that is where adaptogens come in. With adaptogen drink and food, you can supplement your body with what it needs in order to better handle stress, return to normal quicker, and prevent stress from doing damage to your body.

What are Adaptogens?

The adaptogens used in natural adaptogen drinks are sourced from many herbs and plants throughout the world. In history, adaptogens have been key to many traditional medicines, from Chinese and Asian medicines to African and South American solutions that help the body get past stresses or other ailments in a wholly natural way.

When your body is subjected to stress, it goes through a few processes in order to adapt to the situation until the situation returns to normal (this is known as general adaptation syndrome, or GAS). GAS has three parts: initial alarm, where fight or flight responses kick in with a release of cortisol to boost body energy levels to deal with the stress; then a resistance phase, where the body attempts to repair and recover to a normalized state; and finally, an exhaustion stage, if the stress last too long and the body starts to run out of energy. Adaptogen drinks can help.

“Adaptogens” was a term coined in 1947 based on the Latin word “adaptare,” or “to adjust.” They allow your body to avoid the last process of GAS by keeping it in the resistance phase for as long as is necessary to fully repair and recover. The exhaustion stage can be terrible for your body, causing depression, burnout, anxiety, and fatigue, so anything—including adaptogen drinks—that keeps your body from that stage is great for your overall health.
Of course, not every herb or plant is an adaptogen. Adaptogens must be non-toxic to the user, and they must have properties that produce nonspecific responses in the body and help influence the body to normalized physiology when inundated with stressors. Adaptogens can take many forms: you can have an Adaptogen drink, or they can be cooked into food or eaten as a berry or fruit.

Examples of Adaptogens from Around the World

Holy Basil

Holy Basil originates from and plays a major role in traditional medicine in South Asia. It is more pungent and bitter than pesto basil, but it has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, resulting in adaptogenic benefits that can help protect the body from stress. Holy basil has also been found recently to help with diabetes, helping the body better normalize blood sugar and blood fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Holy basil as well is an antioxidant, and it can be prepared as an ingredient in an adaptogen drink, or it can be drunk as a tea.

Ginseng

Ginseng is popular and well known in cooking all over the world, both as a root and as a powdered spice. However, some people may not realize its full adaptogenic properties and how they can help your body fight off stress and anxiety. Ginseng is a natural adaptogen that helps improve physical and mental performance, memory, reaction time, and mood. It can also stimulate the central nervous system, normalize blood glucose levels, and stabilize blood pressure. It can be prepared within regional dishes or in adaptogen drinks.

Yanomami Mushrooms

Hailing from the Amazon rainforest, Yanomami mushrooms are a blend of mushrooms that have been gathered and consumed in the traditional medicines of the Yanomami people for generations. In recent years, they have been introduced to the international market as a way to generate income for the indigenous communities in the Amazon, and they are highly regarded by world-famous chefs and gourmet restaurants who prepare it in dishes and adaptogen drinks.

Guarana

Guarana is a popular additive to many all-natural energy drinks, and it is an adaptogen that originates from the Amazon. Guarana has properties that include enhancing athletic performance and boosting brain activity, as well as giving your body a much-needed energy kick without the side effects of high caffeine that coffee can have.

If you are looking for an all-natural drink you can have during the day that can help you better deal with stress and anxiety, consider doing a search for an adaptogen drink that is tasty, healthy, and that can be consumed at any point during the day.

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