The Power of Adaptogens
What Defines an Adaptogen
Adaptogens are naturally occurring substances that are believed to help the body overcome stressors and the stress associated with illness to restore balance (homeostasis). They work to restore an overall balance to many systems, not just specific symptoms and have been revered in traditional medicine for millennia. Another defining requirement is that they have low levels of toxicity and side effects are uncommon at recommended dosages.
They generally occur in nature as plants (often roots and herbs) as well as species of fungi. Many medicinal mushrooms restore balance to a multitude of symptoms and are considered adaptogens.
Why the Body Struggles to Return to Homeostasis After Stress
When the body becomes stressed, our adrenal glands are stimulated to release cortisol which temporarily disrupts other hormones as well as other symptoms in the body. This works well as a short-term adaptation to respond to acute stress, but if the body becomes overwhelmed with stress and cannot downregulate this system to restore balance, it can get caught in a vicious cycle and take longer than expected to return to baseline. Sometimes baseline is not restored at all.
Illness has a similar effect on the body, activating the immune system and dedicating limited resources to fighting infections and removing toxic compounds. The immune system is another system that sometimes struggles to downregulate post-illness. Some autoimmune disorders are believed to work in this manner where the body recognises an infection or foreign compound, but does not have the means to fight/remove said infection/compound and the immune response remains heightened permanently. As mentioned before this uses up resources and similarly to adrenal responses, disrupts other systems.
Adaptogens are often able to restore functionality or reduce the severity of symptoms in systems such as sleep, hormones, cognition, energy production and several others.
Adaptogens with the Intention of Biohacking
Adaptogens are not restricted to homeostatic use cases. Many healthy individuals can derive benefits that improve their day-to-day lives.
Ashwagandha has anti-anxiety effects that are comparable to the benzodiazepine, lorazepam. It is also able to improve sleep scores over the course of two months.
Compounds like Rhodiola Rosea and Cordyceps Mushroom have the ability to increase ATP production, providing more energy resources to the body which allows individuals to get more done with their day.
We provide a broad range of adaptogens with a full spectrum of benefits highlighted in the matrix below.
Shop our adaptogen range below.