Adaptogens

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Last month, a colleague and I hosted our “Resilience at Midlife” workshop. A group of beautiful women gathered to learn self-compassion techniques and nutrition tips for building and maintaining resilience. At the heart of self-compassion is being kind to your self in the midst of perceived inadequacies, failures or suffering. Not always easy, but when practiced on a regular basis, self-compassion has tremendous benefits.

We also discussed foundational nutrition that supports the body. One aspect of foundational support is the use of adaptogens to help keep your body in balance. The interesting thing about adaptogens is that they can tone down a hyper-functioning system or strengthen and boost a hypo-functioning system. The direction of the imbalance doesn’t matter.

Adaptogens are natural, non-toxic substances that help the body adapt to stress, support normal metabolic functions, and restore balance. They can increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional and environmental stressors, and provide a defense response to acute or chronic stress. To qualify as an adaptogen, the substance must provide this non-specific response. That means it provides benefit regardless of the direction of the imbalance.

For the most part, adaptogens are herbs, plant fruit, seeds and roots. The 15 known adaptogens have strong scientific research confirming their use and a long history of safety and efficacy. Six other such plants are considered “possible” adaptogens. Although these six plants do not have the same level of scientific research confirming their use at this time, their effectiveness is just as strong as the known adaptogens.

holyBasil

One known, and commonly available, adaptogen is holy basil. Its taste is sweet and warm, making a delicious tea…hot or cold. Also known as tulsi, holy basil is considered the “Queen of Herbs.” For centuries, holy basil has been used to alleviate mental fog, enhance memory, and help individuals through stagnant or situational depression. The tea is available at grocery stores that sell the Organic India brand. Other suppliers include Upton Tea Imports and Mountain Rose Herbs.

I frequently drink tulsi (holy basil) tea or a combination of tulsi and green tea. Both have properties that calm my nerves, lift my spirits, and help me stay grounded through the day.

The other way I benefit from the supportive effects of adaptogens is through a product called Thrivagen. Thrivagen by SunHorse Energy is an adaptogenic formula designed to help women strengthen their resilience and cope with stress. The adaptogenic components in Thrivagen have been long recognized for their beneficial effects on female physiology. SunHorse makes a men’s formula, too, called Mojo 8.5. Mojo 8.5 supports male energy and endurance at the cellular level.

To learn about the adaptogenic benefits of Thrivagen or Mojo 8.5, visit Restoration Nutrition. When you decide to purchase, use code “JTC Nutrition” to receive $10 off each bottle. The coupon can be used multiple times.

A great resource for learning about adaptogens is the book titled Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes. It’s available online at Amazon and through bookstores such as Barnes & Noble.

As summer moves into full swing and your activity level increases, support your body, mind and spirit with the use of adaptogens. Whether as tea or a restorative formula, it is likely you will notice the difference within days. I sure did!

It is recommended you talk with a healthcare provider before adding any new supplement to your daily/weekly health routine. Contact me with questions. It’s my passion to help people feel their best through nutrition.

Here’s to your health and vitality!

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I believe good health is as close as your kitchen. My nutrition practice is based on nutrient-dense, whole food and lifestyle choices that support health and wellness, especially during times of high stress and transitions. My role is to educate, guide and support individuals who want to break the stress-induced cycle of depletion and regain control of their health. Having passed the HNCB exam, I am a Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate). To learn more, contact me at 303-442-2492 or by email

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4 thoughts on “Adaptogens

    1. Thanks for your note, Joyce. Adaptogens provide significant balancing benefits in my life. For a number of my clients, too. And what better way to get that support than through the plants themselves. I’m not familiar with Solle Naturals. Will take a look. New learning is always good. Stay well!

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