Adaptogens- yes they have a long, unusual name, but these super-herbs and plants are a great way of giving our bodies some added love and support in times of need. They can be taken as a supplement, added to your coffee, smoothie, hot chocolate, porridge and found in many of the MEDA HUMAN drinks.
Read on to learn more about adaptogens and how incorporating them into your day to day might be the answer to some of your stress needs.
WHAT ARE THEY?
Adaptogens are a class of herbs and plants that are thought to help the body “adapt” to stressors. They are safe, non toxic plants that may support the body in feeling more balanced and harmonised.
Adaptogens can help support our body’s stress responses – whether that is reacting to or recovering from short and long term physical or mental stress. Some adaptations even have the ability to contribute to immune system health and overall well being. Research has shown that adaptogens may help to combat fatigue, help ease depression and anxiety, boost mental performance and help us feel our best.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
Adaptogens help to regulate balance in our hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal glands and work to modulate the release of our stress hormones and the physiological responses to stress. All in all, a winner for stress support!
OUR TOP ADAPTOGENS FOR STRESS SUPPORT
FOR LONG TERM STRESS
Ashwagandha and Asian ginseng may help to soothe long term stress and the hormone imbalances that result from it. Ginseng may help to regulate immune responses and the hormonal changes that occur due to stress, therefore helping to maintain homeostasis. (1) Ashwagandha has been reported to improve mental wellbeing, eating behaviours and reduce stress through its adaptogenic properties. (2) Ashwagandha can be found in our MEDA HUMAN relax beverage.
FOR ACUTE STRESS AND ANXIETY
Holy basil, also known as Tulsi, may help to reduce anxiety and acute stress (3). The whole holy basil plant can act as an adaptogen, with research showing that holy basil may help your mind cope with different types of stress. (4)
One study demonstrated how the use of Holy basil in both humans and animals reported an overall reduction in mental stress, sexual problems, sleep issues, forgetfulness and radiation from chemicals and heavy metals.(5) It also reported antidepressant activity with additional positive effects on memory and cognitive function. (6)
Try out holy basil in tinctures, supplements or our favourite – as a tea!
FOR IMMUNE HEALTH
Reishi is one of the medicinal mushrooms that may help support immune system health. It is suggested that Reishi mushrooms may promote white blood cell function – a critical part of the immune system. One study looking at male athletes discovered that taking reishi extract in supplement form improved lymphocyte function, which helps the body fight off infections. (7) You can try Reishi as a supplement, extract or even buy reishi coffee!
NOT FOR EVERYONE
Adaptogens can react/ respond differently from person to person, so doing some research into which one would best suit your lifestyle is key. If you’re new to adaptogens, it may be worth checking out MEDA’s adaptogen containing drinks such as RELAX and ENERGY to give you a taster.
Similar to all supplements, adaptogens may have side effects and possible medical interactions so it is advised to work with a doctor, nutritionist or healthcare professional before adding new supplements and herbs to your routine.
M. Venu Prasad, Antifatigue and Neuroprotective Properties of Selected Species of Ocimum L., University of Mysore, Mysore, India, 2014.(3)
S. Mondal, B. Mirdha, M. Padhi, and S. Mahapatra, “Dried leaf extract of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn) reduces cardiovascular disease risk factors: results of a double blinded randomized controlled trial in healthy volunteers,” Journal of Preventive Cardiology, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 177–181, 2012. (4)