Wednesday, November 18, 2020


Hand in Hand

What is an Adaptogen?

These are herbs that are said to strengthen the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis. Taken over time they build up health and wellness, helping one to have more resiliency to the negative effects of stress. However, not all are created equal. Each herb has its own specific energetics that are best suited on an individual basis. 

They can also have an overall tonifying effect or have a propensity for a certain organ or structure, such as circulatory, digestive or nervous systems. 

David Hoffmann simply states in the glossary of his book Medical Herbalism that an adaptogen is "An herb that increases resistance and resilience to stress, enabling the body to avoid reaching collapse because it can adapt around the problem".  I like that, it makes me imagine the body working hand in hand to bring balance wherever it is found to be in need. 

Herbal Adaptogens To Explore: 

Holy basil, ashwagandah, shatavari, eleuthero, rhodiola, schizandra, reishi mushroom, american ginseng, chaga, gotu kola and licorice. 

I love ashwagandah and it works well for me. It is noted to be an immunomodulant but I have known others who experience a bit of unwanted immune system stimulation. Someone could say the same or similar about several of these. It's important to research the potential effects of any herb prior to using. We are all unique and it's our responsibility to do our own due diligence. After that, as I always say... go low and slow the first time putting your choices to the test!