“Adaptogens are plant substances (often herbs) that have been found to help our bodies manage stress and maintain balance, or homeostasis. In other words, they help us adapt to external stressors. By strengthening our internal systems, adaptogens can promote vitality, stabilize mood and improve performance and focus. They can be consumed as supplement capsules, teas or tinctures.
Adaptogens are meant to help our bodies build resilience to stress and mitigate its further affects on the body. They are not a cure, and they may not work in extreme or immediate cases of anxiety or depression. Further, adaptogens work best in addition to a foundation of a balanced diet and adequate hydration.”
*Perez, A. (2021, June 29). Your Guide to Adaptogens. Forbes Health.
Adaptogens work at a molecular level by regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. These are involved in the stress response. They work by “hacking” the stress response in the body.
Typically, when our bodies are stressed, we go through three stages of stress:
phase of resistance
phase of exhaustion
As we encounter a stressor — say we start lifting weights — our body responds by kicking out hormones like adrenaline that improve muscle performance and increase our ability to concentrate and pay attention to the task at hand in the phase of resistance. Our body is literally resisting the stressor, so we feel energized and clearer, thanks to our body giving us a boost to fight the stressor.
And then, as we fatigue, we enter in the exhaustion phase. Adaptogens basically stretch out that “sweet spot” in the middle — the phase of resistance — allowing us to hang out in the powerful part longer.
Brusie, A. (2017, June 29) Adaptogenic Herbs: List, Effectiveness and Health Benefits. Healthline.com https://www.healthline.com/health/adaptogenic-herbs