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Adaptogens - what are they and how could they help you?

Adaptogens are pharmacologically active compounds or plant extracts from different plant classes

For example:

  • Panax ginseng

  • Eleutherococcus senticosus

  • Asteraceae—Rhaponticum carthamoides

  • Crassulaceae—Rhodiola rosea

  • Schisandraceae—Schisandra chinensis

They have the ability to enhance the body’s stability against physical loads without increasing oxygen consumption. The intake of adaptogens is associated not only with the body’s better ability to adapt to stress and maintain/normalize metabolic functions, but also with better mental and physical performance.

The concept of adaptogens was originally created in 1947 to describe a substance that may increase resistance to stress. The term "adaptogenesis" was later applied in the former Soviet Union to describe remedies thought to increase the resistance of organisms to biological stress.

Although plant adaptogens have been used by people since ancient times, the term “adaptogen” is relatively young—it was introduced in 1947 by the Soviet scientist Lazarev.

The most popular adaptogen is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).

It’s mostly known for its stress relieving and cortisol lowering properties. Ashwagandha may also improve the quality and total sleep time in people with and without insomnia.

Supplementing with Ashwagandha may improve V02max, upper/lower body strength and recovery.

Ashwagandha may also improve sperm quality in men with fertility problems.

Some studies suggest that it may help to control food cravings.

Ashwagandha seems to help with signalling some neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine,GABA) and help to regulate them.

It may help with lower blood sugar levels, it may also lower inflammation and help fight infections.

How much to take?

In studies participant are usually taking supplements with 300mg – 500mg twice daily.

Make sure to buy a good quality standardized supplement.

For some it may take days or weeks to start feeling it’s effects.

Who shouldn’t take adaptogens?

Those with bleeding disorders, people on blood pressure lowering medication, pregnant or breastfeeding women, if you have Hashimoto.

Remember to consult your doctor before taking any supplement

All the best

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