Everywhere you look nowadays someone is talking about adaptogens. People are putting them in their smoothies, baking with them and adding them into their coffees. These magical plants and herbs claim to bring tranquility and balance to your body in a life full of constant stressors.
Recently, adaptogens are being added to skin care products and will probably be included in multi-vitamins. But what are adaptogens? What do they do? And what are some easy ways to incorporate them into your life?
First off, it is important to note that everyone’s bodies are different, so if you are unsure about starting any supplement, please contact your healthcare professional. Of course, above all, listen to your body. No one knows your body better than you!
What are Adaptogens?
For a plant to be considered an adaptogen, it must meet the following three criteria:
1) Be non-toxic and considered to be generally safe
2) Have benefits that improve the overall strength of our bodies
3) Help provide balance in our bodies by protecting us from stressors
Adaptogens have been around for centuries used in Ayurveda practices.
There are a lot of complex, medical explanations for what adaptogens do. Here is a very simple explanation: Think of adaptogens as a thermostat in your body. The adaptogens keep your body in balance otherwise known as homeostasis, by regulating how your body reacts to external stressors. Some adaptogens help regulate your hormones, your thyroid function, your cortisol levels and others improve energy levels and sex drive.
What do Adaptogens Do?
There are studies that have demonstrated these benefits. You can review those studies here:
It should also be noted that the Federal Drug Administration does not regulate adaptogens.
Incorporating Adaptogens in your Diet
You can find adaptogens in powder formulas and teas. These are probably the easiest ways to incorporate them into your diet. These products can be pricey, so be picky. Here are some companies that offer some popular apoptogenic formulas and teas: Sun Potion, Four Sigmatic and Moon Juice.
Incorporating Adaptogens in your Skin Care Routine
When used in skin care, adaptogens appear to:
- Reduce signs of fatigue.
- Lessen the toxic effects of stress
- Slow down the appearance of aging
These Adaptogens are becoming increasing popular in skin care:
1) Licorice — an anti-inflammatory that calms the body
2) Gotu-Kola — increases collagen production and assists in wound healing
3) Reishi — A type of mushroom that reduces inflammation and benefits skin disorders
Some adaptogens can be applied directly to the skin. Camu camu, maca and gotu kola are available in powder formulas and are popular in do it yourself masks.
Stress can have a significant impact on your skin, so its not surprising skin care companies have started to incorporate adaptogens into products. When looking for adaptogens, look for companies that strive for clean ingredients and who are silicone, phthalate, fragrance and cruelty free.
Discuss any new medications or supplements with your doctor before beginning a regimen. This is especially true with adaptogenic herbs, as some of them could interact with prescription medications and are not recommended for people with certain medical conditions.