It’s well-known that plants and herbs are part of a healthy diet, but did you know that some might be able to combat stress?
Adaptogens are non-toxic herbs that some believe help the body resist stress, whether it’s physical, chemical or biological. Some of these plants have been used in Chinese healing traditions for hundreds of years and are gaining more popularity today.
Proponents believe that adaptogens work like exercise for your adrenal glands, training your body to handle stress by interacting with the systems that affect hormone production and physiological reactions to stress.
So can specific herbs help in your day-to-day life? Asian ginseng and holy basil have been linked to the soothing of long-term sources of stress and may help lower stress levels. Got some bad news? Siberian ginseng and rhodiola may help with immediate stresses, and some take these herbs to boost their immune system and increase energy. Feel like you’re coming down with something? Reishi is another herb that’s suggested to boost immunity.
Adaptogens can be added to your routine in several ways. They can be drunk as a tea or combined with water to make tinctures. Pre-mixed powders are available to add to smoothies or salad dressings, and some can be taken as supplements.
Though they may have benefits, research on adaptogens is still in early stages, and they haven’t been approved by the FDA. A recent study also found that herbs can interact negatively with some prescription medications, so talk to your doctor before you try adaptogens.