In What are Adaptogens? We explained that these herbs help your body adapt to stress. But, how exactly do adaptogens help us adjust to stressful circumstances? We are so glad you asked.

1. Adaptogens stimulate

In this way, they offer immediate relief. These are plants that give us a kick when we need to get up and out of the accumulation of stressful events and fast. The phrase most often associated with this type of situation is burnout: you are physically and mentally exhausted, meaning you are completely drained of resources. This kind of adaptogen includes Shisandra berry which you can find in Aphrodisia. They help you break through the stress fast, making it not seem so bad so you can just get through it and immediately make space to do literally nothing.

2. Adaptogens calm

They are the “slow and steady wins the race” members of the group. They help us build resilience. Unlike stimulating adaptogens, we won’t have to “pay back” the boost they gave us to get through a tough time. Plants like Tulsi and Ashwagandha (both found in Adaptogen Balance) soothe and support our central nervous systems throughout stressful events. They offer both relief and mildly uplift our moods so that we are better able to meet stressful circumstances with more comfort and ease. Stress sucks, but it doesn't have to suck so much.

3. Adaptogens nourish

Stress can be so depleting! It can make it hard for us to remember to hydrate, it can overstimulate our bowels, and make us sweat. Over time, the water and oils in our body can dry up leaving our skin and the soft tissues in our body more susceptible to injury and infection, which can make more work for an already over taxed immune system. Adaptogens like Goji Berry (in The Light Ray) and Shatavari (in Aphrodisia) are nourishing tonics.

4. Adaptogens make life manageable

If the stress is piling up in your body - and you experience fatigue, moodiness, bad dreams, or listlessness for example - an adaptogen like Rhodiola or Reishi (found in Mushroom Magic) can help to reduce experiences of overwhelm. They work to make situations feel manageable, greatly increasing your ability to exert control over what can often feel like spinning out. Adpatogens can help support you in upholding the boundaries you need to maintain in order to rest and recover from stressful events.

5. Adaptogens help us rest

You don’t have to be experiencing a total health crisis in order to ask for help. Often stress manifests through sleep imbalances: you may be exhausted during the day for example and alert at night. Adaptogens like Ashwagandha (found in Adaptogen Balance) help to support a balanced circadian rhythm. Combined with good sleep hygiene: getting off your phone, turning down the lights, avoiding stimulating subjects and conversations in the evening, Ashwagandha can help transfer energy back to your day so you can find the sleep you need at night.

Overall, adaptogens bolster our the body's natural defenses. Through multiple mechanisms adaptogens help us get back to ourselves. Working with adaptogens over time can teach us about starting and sustaining practices that can help us avoid being overwhelmed by stress in the future. A commitment to taking adaptogens for 4-12 weeks can help us establish routines around sleep, diet, exercise, drinking water, getting outside, and spending time with people we love. A reminder to take our adaptogenic formula can also be a reminder to close the computer, step outside in the sunshine for 5 minutes, or make a cup of tea.

The goal of choosing and then working with adaptogens is to help our bodies manage the problem of stress enough so that we can prioritize and get back to the foundation of good health: water, rest, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, love and joy, gentle movement practices, and sunshine. And plenty of it.

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