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Adaptogens 101

What are adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a special group of herbs and mushrooms that support the body’s natural ability to fight a wide range of stressors (physical, mental, emotional, or environmental). You might be hearing this word for the first time, but herbs that fall into this category, have been widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. They are called adaptogens because of their unique ability to adapt and help balance your body’s reaction to stress by modulating its hormonal and physiological functions.

What are the benefits of adaptogens?

Adaptogens can increase resistance to stress, increase energy circulation, improve mental performance, and improve sleep. So, how do they work exactly? Adaptogens directly influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is seen as the body's "stress system", and ultimately controls levels of cortisol and other important stress related hormones.

Adaptogenic Herbs

When your HPA axis is overstimulated due to chronic stress, it negatively affects your mood, sleep, immune system, appetite, libido, and much more. Adaptogenic herbs support a more balanced response to ongoing stress, regulating stress hormone and cortisol production in order to prevent adrenal fatigue and HPA axis dysfunction. 

Here are some adaptogens in our blends:

  • Angelica Root / Dang Gui / 当归

Known as the “Female Ginseng”, Angelica Root offers many benefits for women such as promoting menstruation and improving digestion and circulation. It is also an adaptogen known to alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety, and fatigue, and promote relaxation when used in combination with other herbs. Used in Spirit Stress Reliever.

 

  • Asian Ginseng / Ren Shen / 人參

Asian Ginseng is the revered queen of all adaptogen herbs to tonify the qi. It contains active ingredients, most notably compounds called ginsenosides, which work together to revitalize the body as a whole. Ginsenosides seem to regulate inflammation, provide antioxidant protection, and maintain the health of cells to boost the immune system, increase focus, and relieve fatigue and promote energy levels. Used in Gin-Up Ginseng Energy Recharger.

 

  • Astragalus Root / Huang Qi / 黄芪

Astragalus Root is an adaptogenic herb used to strengthen qi and enhance energy levels. It is known to help build long term immunity, strengthen the lungs, and provide protective energy for building physical stamina. Used in Adaptogenic Immunity Booster.

 

  • Cinnamon Bark / Rou Gui / 肉桂

Cinnamon Bark is a warming herb, loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In TCM, cinnamon is used to improve energy, vitality, and circulation, particularly for those who get cold easily.  Used in Gin-Up Ginseng Energy Recharger.

 

  • Codonopsis Root / Dang Shen / 党参

Codonopsis Root is an adaptogen herb similar to Ginseng, but has a milder and gentler effect to strengthen immunity, relieve stress and fatigue, and promote digestion. It is used to tonify qi and nourish blood, and when combined with Astragalus Root, it doubles down as an immunity protector. Used in Adaptogenic Immunity Booster.

 

  • Ginger / Sheng Jiang / 生姜

Ginger is a superfood that reduces fatigue by improving blood circulation and blood sugar levels, as well as boosting your immune system. It also helps to stimulate digestion, which improves metabolism and modulates and benefits your overall energy levels.  Used in Gin-Up Ginseng Energy Recharger.
 
  • Goji Berry / Gou Qi Zi / 枸杞子 

Goji Berry  is an adaptogenic superfood that contains a good source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A and C (which helps build immunity), and fiber, and iron, and healthy antioxidants (immune-boosting qualities). They are known to improve energy, mood, ability to focus, and quality of sleep.  Used in Spirit Stress Reliever.
 
  • Licorice Root / Gan Cao / 甘草

Licorice Root is an adaptogen supporting healthy hormone balance and healthy normal cortisol levels (most important hormone in stress and adrenal fatigue), as well as increasing energy, and helping balance moods. Used in Spirit Stress Reliever.

 

  • Rehmannia Root / Shu Di Huang / 熟地黄

Known as a longevity herb, Rehmannia Root’s benefits stem from its adaptogenic functions. They can modulate the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands, helping the body to adapt to different stressors, and give energy when fatigue takes over. Used in Spirit Stress Reliever.

 

  • Reishi Mushroom / Ling Zhi / 靈芝

Reishi Mushroom is known as a superior herb that has been used in TCM to nourish the three treasures that are essential to sustaining human life -- jing (essence), qi (energy), and shen (spirit).  It is packed with active compounds called polysaccharides, which have immune-boosting and anti-aging properties. Reishi mushrooms are one of the most powerful tonics to improve vitality, strength, and stamina. Used in Adaptogenic Immunity Booster.

 

  • Schisandra Berry / Wu Wei Zi / 五味子

Schisandra Berry, also known as the Five Flavored Fruit, due to its nature possessing all five flavors in TCM (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and acrid), is an adaptogenic herb that promotes overall health and vitality. They provide antioxidant protection, especially in the liver, and enhance the body’s natural resistance and adaptation to stressful influences and support mental and physical endurance. Used in Adaptogenic Immunity Booster.