10 Adaptogens That Help Balance Stress

January 4, 2018
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    Adapted from an original article How These 10 Adaptogens Balance Stress in the Body with permission from Jessica Cohen @ eatsleepbe.com

    We all know that some stress is normal. It’s a fact of life. Even everyday stress, however, can leave us with reduced energy levels and challenge our immune systems.* There’s a category of herbs called adaptogens that may help fight that fatigue and support a healthy immune response.*

    Scroll through this helpful slideshow to find a NOW® adaptogen that’s suitable for you.

    What is an adaptogen?

    According to the folks at Merriam-Webster, an adaptogen is “a non-toxic substance and especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.” Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Normal physiological functioning sounds pretty wonderful.

    How do adaptogens help balance stress?

    By definition, adaptogens promote a balanced stress response by helping the body “adapt” to the harmful effects that stress can have on the body.* What they don’t do, however, is cure stress. Adaptogens aid the body by helping to support normal body functions, even during times when stress hormones may be released in greater amounts.* Some adaptogens may support energy levels, while others may provide immune system support.*

    Research indicates that adaptogens work best when taken daily during and after periods of stress.* Keep in mind, as with many herbal products, it may take a few weeks to several months before you’ll begin to feel an adaptogen’s stress-balancing properties.*

    Keep in mind that each of us has different body chemistry, so our stress responses can vary, as can our response to adaptogens. It may take some time to find what works best for you.

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

    An herb used extensively in Ayurveda, the traditional herbal system in India, ashwagandha is used as a general tonic, helping the body adapt to stress.* Preliminary data suggest that ashwagandha supports immune system health as well.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Astragalus (Huang qi)

    Used for centuries as a popular herbal tonic in China, astragalus is a natural source of flavonoids, free amino acids, polysaccharides, trace minerals and polyphenols, active components that can help support immune system function.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

    This fungus has been used by traditional Chinese herbalists for centuries due to its energizing and adaptogenic properties.* Scientific studies indicate that the constituents found in cordyceps possess free radical-scavenging properties and may help support a healthy immune system, as well as normal vascular function.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

    Formerly known as Siberian ginseng, eleuthero root has been traditionally used as a compound that supports that supports the body’s natural ability to adapt to stress of everyday life.* Eleuthero root is known to possess numerous bioactive constituents.

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Maca (Lepidium meyenii)

    Like many adaptogens, the herb maca has been used for centuries, primarily as a food and as a general energy tonic.* Recent scientific research suggests that maca may help support healthy reproductive functions in both women and men.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Panax Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

    Another popular herb used by traditional herbalists for centuries, Panax ginseng is known for its invigorating, adaptogenic, and tonic properties.* Modern studies show that Panax ginseng is a natural source of hundreds of compounds, such as ginsenosides, phenols and saccharides, that contribute to its biological activity.

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

    Reishi mushroom is a fungus with bioactive constituents that support healthy immune system responses.* Reishi and shiitake mushrooms are both well-regarded in traditional herbalism, and have been used for centuries to promote health and wellness.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

    Used as a tonic by numerous cultures dating back to ancient Greece, rhodiola’s adaptogenic properties were discovered by Russian researchers, who observed its ability to support the body’s response to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical stressors.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)

    Schisandra is a woody vine native to North America and Asia, and in traditional herbalism is considered one of 50 fundamental herbs. Pre-clinical studies indicate that schisandra may help to support healthy brain and neurological functions.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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    Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

    Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is revered as a sacred plant in Ayurveda, India’s ancient traditional herbal system. Studies indicate holy basil possesses powerful adaptogenic properties, and may help support the immune system and promote a positive, calm mood.*

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.