Interested in natural adaptogen-based supplements? Check out our complete product line and use the promo-code ‘ADAPTOGENS’ during checkout to receive a 10% discount on your first order.

Adaptogens’ time has come

If there’s one way people around the country might describe 2020, it would be “stressful.” There’s the stress of the pandemic, the stress of the political climate—and the literal climate. We’ve all been forced to adapt to new ways of working, learning, and just dealing with the day-to-day rigors of living.

So it seems fitting that much of Western culture is taking a hard look at a group of plants that help facilitate a healthy response to stress: Adaptogens. So whether you’ve just clicked on that email you’ve been dreading or you’re training for your first 5K, adaptogens combat the negative effects of stress and improve our mental and physical endurance. Plus, they’re easy to take: eat some as part of a meal, dose others as supplements or brew them into teas.

A look back

But adaptogens are no flash in the pan in the wellness world. These non-toxic plants have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions. In fact, adaptogens were studied during another time of global stress: World War II. In an effort to find alternatives to amphetamines that didn’t have the negative side effects, Russian scientists started studying the effects of adaptogens on subjects who found themselves under regular stress.

The results were consistent across the board: improved stamina and recovery in Olympic athletes and a 40% drop in high blood pressure and heart disease in factory workers. Did we mention that an influenza epidemic was sweeping the country at the time? Studies found reduced incidences (sometimes by up to 66%) of the flu in Siberian minors and long-distance truck drivers when dosed with adaptogens. (1)

The science behind the nature

The way in which our bodies react to stressors plays a big role in how adaptogens work to combat them. When we get stressed, our bodies go through three stages of responses: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Thanks to a stimulating effect that holds off the exhaustion, adaptogens help us stay in the resistance phase longer. Instead of crashing during a stressful task or event, adaptogens help us attain equilibrium and persevere in the face of whatever’s putting us to the test.

Each adaptogen has different bioactive elements and therefore different benefits. For example, Curcumin (as found in OrangeDuzt™) is the key bioactive molecule found in Turmeric, and responsible for the bulk of the plant’s healing powers.

AdaptogenKey Bio-Active MoleculesScientifically-Validated Benefits 
AshwagandhaWithanolides, sitoindosidesMitigates stress (including corresponding weight-gain)
BacopaBacosides, saponins Enhances cognitive performance
Boswellia Amyrins, terpenesAnti-inflammatory, anti-cancer
CordycepsPolysaccharides, beta-glucansBoosts stamina, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, blood sugar control
Eluethero Eleutherosides, saponinsBoots physical and mental stamina 
Ginseng ginsenosides, saponins Boosts working memory and reaction time
Goji berry Polysaccharides, Carotenoids, ZeaxanthinAntidepressant, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), boosts immunity, blood sugar control
Green TeaCaffeine, L-Theanine, Catechins (EGCG)Enhances metabolic function including cardiovascular and cognitive health 
Holy basil Eugenol, Ursolic acid, Rosemarinic acidAnti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), antidiabetic 
Reishi triterpenoids, polysaccharides, peptidoglycansBoosts immune system under stress, anticancer
RhodiolaRosavins, Salidroside, TyrosolDelays physical and mental fatigue, antidepressant, Improves exercise performance
Schisandra SchisandrinsImproved cognitive function, anti-depressant
TurmericCurcuminoids Anti-Inflammatory, Improved cognitive function, Cardio-protective

Better together

Adaptogens can be even more effective when used in concert with each other to create synergistic healing effects. When combined, adaptogens can work together to create different health benefits. Curcumin has earned a reputation as the “king” of all the adaptogen companion herbs for its ability to provide a multitude of benefits when combined in the right doses with additional adaptogens. MorningStar™ combines curcumin with green tea, a combination that has been found to help fight certain types of cancer. (2)

Do adaptogens actually work?

It’s true that adding adaptogens into your routine isn’t quite like popping a pill—the results are not usually felt immediately. Adaptogens are most effective when taken regularly, so start out by incorporating them into your daily routine and give them a few weeks before assessing how you feel.

Part of the whole

Like any health-related issue, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before adding adaptogens to your diet or routine. While there’s little evidence to suggest that adaptogens can cause side effects or health problems—they are plants and can cause allergic reactions or gastrointestinal distress for some people. 

It’s also important to remember that adaptogens are just one component in a well-rounded health regiment. Dealing with chronic stress should be managed at its root and may require additional lifestyle changes beyond adding adaptogens to your routine. 

Adaptogens may sound like a bit of a paradox: they increase and sustain physical and mental activity but also help you relax and recover. It may not make sense on the surface but that’s the beauty of adaptogens—their paradoxical nature makes them uniquely suited to everyone. When we can adapt to stress, we perform better and feel better despite what’s stressing us out. And with that, we can also improve our overall health and well-being.

1. Schezin, A.K., V.I. Zinkovich, and L.K. Galanova. ‘Eleutherococcus in Prevention of Influenza, Hypertonia and Ischemia in Drivers of the Bolzhsky Automobile Factory.’ New Data on Eleutherococcus: Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Eleutherococcus (Hamburg, 1980). Vladivostok. Far East Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1981, 93.

2. Eom, Dae-Woon, et al. “Synergistic Effect of Curcumin on Epigallocatechin Gallate-Induced Anticancer Action in PC3 Prostate Cancer Cells.” BMB Reports , vol. 48, no. 8, Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-BMB Reports, Aug. 2015, pp. 461–466. Crossref , doi:10.5483/bmbrep. 2015.48.8.216.

Interested in natural adaptogen-based supplements? Check out our complete product line and use the promo-code ‘ADAPTOGENS’ during checkout to receive a 10% discount on your first order.