Adaptogens are natural stress busters
Adaptogens protect the body from the toxic effects of stress, which includes anything from illness to intense workouts to straight-up stress. If feeling stressed and fatigued is your default mode, nature has a solution, according to Frank Lipman, MD, author of How to Be Well and founder of Be Well. “Adaptogens are a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress,” he explains. “They help strengthen the body’s response to stress and enhance its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue—slowly and gently, without jolts or crashes.”
Many of the substances that are considered adaptogens have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to boost energy, improve mood, and help alleviate stress for centuries, and are just now being studied by researchers—with some promising results. “They’re called adaptogens because of their unique ability to ‘adapt’ their function according to your body’s specific needs,” Dr. Lipman explains. As with any supplement, you should consult your doctor before taking an adaptogen; this is doubly true if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Read on for 12 of these superherbs to add to your diet.