Lately, I’ve been experimenting with herbs (the kinds that are legal in all 50 states…). Whether you want to relax or need sustained energy, adaptogens are a great tool. I got hip to these plants when trying to bring my hormones back to balance after having my first child. I am usually not the type of person to blindly follow a suggestion from an employee at a health food store, but being at the end of my rope I did just that. Turns out the lady knew what she was talking about. Adaptogens are the bomb. Since then I’ve been studying up on them and having fun playing with different types.
What are they? They are plants that protect the body from stress, both mental and physical. They came into the spotlight back in the 40’s when the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Health was looking for something that would help soldiers more easily endure adverse conditions. They were later used by athletes to enhance physical and mental performance and have more recently been brought to popular consciousness.
Curious about ways to incorporate adaptogens into your own healthy lifestyle? Read on:
-Try some tea: You can find bagged herbal teas with either a single or combination of adaptogenic herbs at most health food stores or online. Prefer loose leaf? I love cold brewing mine in a french press and leaving it in the fridge for at least 8 hours (or overnight) for maximum effect. Some popular teas are Holy Basil (also known as Tulsi), Skullcap, and Reishi mushroom (yes, some mushrooms have adaptogenic properties too!)
-Cop some capsules: To be honest, capsules are my least favorite way to consume adaptogens. I would rather enjoy a cup of tea than feel like I am taking medicine. However, if you are looking for something easy and quick, they are a useful option.
-Take a tincture: Tinctures are kind of a happy medium between tea and capsules. You can take a dropper full and hold it under your tongue for 30 – 60 sec and swallow or just add it your favorite beverage. Keep in mind tinctures tend to be stronger than tea, so be sure to read the directions on the bottle.