Adaptogens

What are adaptogens?

The word adaptogen is used by herbalists to refer to a natural herb product that increases the body's resistance to stresses such as trauma, anxiety and bodily fatigue. In the past, these “magic” herbs have been called rejuvenating herbs, qi tonics, rasayanas, or restoratives. All adaptogens contain antioxidants, but not all antioxidants are necessarily adaptogens and adaptogenic functions are probably not their primary mode of action. 

What do adaptogens do?
Very simply, adaptogens are nontoxic in normal doses, produce a nonspecific defensive response to stress, and have a normalizing influence on the body. They normalize the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). Some commonly used adaptogens are eleuthero, ginseng, agaricus blazei, ashwagandha, mace and jiaogulan. It is claimed that adaptogenic herbs are unique from other substances in their ability to balance endocrine hormones and the immune system, and they help the body to maintain optimal homeostasis. Adaptogens have a normalizing effect on the body and are capable of either toning down the activity of hyper-functioning systems or strengthening the activity of hypo-functioning systems.
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