Currently, the wellness-sphere is alive with chatter of adaptogens. And chances are, you’ve probably heard all the talk, too. Apparently, they’re catch-all cures for a wide variety of ailments—namely: anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, stress… the list goes on. And yet, most of us can’t pinpoint what adaptogens really are or more importantly, which ones to use.
Indeed, navigating the world of adaptogens is as vast as it is confusing. So, in order to cut through all the noise, check out this crash course for newbies. We’re filling you in on what they are, why they’re important, and 7 common varieties you can use. Are you ready for your foray into adaptogens? Consider us as your compass and read on!
WHAT THEY ARE
A unique class of plants, herbs, and mushrooms, adaptogens work to increase our ability to adapt to various stressors. So, whether you are suffering from chronic fatigue, a virus, or straight-up stress, adaptogens will adjust and act upon your specific needs. This is, perhaps, the clearest illustration of the natural substances’ most unique characteristic: “non-specific adaptability.”
With the power to simultaneously calm a overactive mind, improve your sleep quality, and more, it’s no wonder busy people want to use adaptogens in their everyday lives.
WHY THEY’RE IMPORTANT
You’re probably aware that stress is the ultimate killer. An increasing amount of research shows stress is linked to chronic anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. This is where adaptogens come in. Like tiny personal assistants on speed dial, adaptogens help people cope with the mounting pressures of our modern society.
Which begs the question: which adaptogen should you be taking? To start, here are 7 common types and what their unique advantages are.
7 COMMON ADAPTOGENS FOR NEWBIES
WHAT IT IS: Also referred to as “Indian ginseng,” this age-old herb is believed to offer rejuvenating properties that promote physical and emotional well-being and longevity.
UNIQUE ADVANTAGES: According to wellness folks, ashwagandha can do pretty much EVERYTHING. But realistically, it can help strengthen the immune system, promote energy, and ease stress and anxiety.
WE RECOMMEND: Sun Potion Organic Ashwagandha (111g), P1,170
WHAT IT IS: Dubbed the “king of mushrooms” in parts of Russia and Siberia, chaga holds the throne for the highest amount of antioxidants among all superfoods.
UNIQUE ADVANTAGES: With its rich antioxidant content, chaga is commonly used to ward off the common cold, support the skin and hair, and lower inflammation caused by stress.
WE RECOMMEND: Four Sigmatic Chaga Mushroom Elixir Sachet, P97
WHAT IT IS: A mushroom used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, it’s no wonder why. Cordyceps are full of essential amino acids and vitamins like B1, B2, B12, and K.
UNIQUE ADVANTAGES: Cordyceps is believed to promote feelings of wakefulness and mental focus like caffeine. And without the crash! To add, it also combats adrenal exhaustion and improves oxygen circulation in the body.
WE RECOMMEND: Four Sigmatic Cordyceps Mushroom Elixir Sachet, P97
WHAT IT IS: A flowering plant native to Southern China, He Shou Wu has a long history of use as an anti-aging, blood-building, beauty, and rejuvenating ingredient.
UNIQUE ADVANTAGES: Considered a healthy tonic for the blood, hair, skin, and nervous system, He Shou Wu may support the immune system, improve stamina, and increase antioxidant activity in the body.
WE RECOMMEND: Sun Potion He Shou Wu - Wildcrafted (80g), P2,570
WHAT IT IS: Perhaps one of the most pleasant-tasting adaptogens around, maca is a Peruvian root that’s believed to improve energy and stamina.
UNIQUE ADVANTAGES: Maca’s benefits include the preservation of energy levels and increase the ability of muscle recovery and repair. (Oh, and it may increase libido, too!)
WE RECOMMEND: Roarganics Maca Root Powder (250g), on sale at P700 (limited time only)
WHAT IT IS: Long-heralded in Eastern Medicine as Ling Zhi (or the Mushroom of Spiritual Potency), the reishi mushroom has long been celebrated for its myriad of medicinal benefits.
UNIQUE ADVANTAGES: Although it has a variety of potential health benefits, one of the most notable effects of reishi is that it can boost immune function and provide stress support.
WE RECOMMEND: Four Sigmatic Reishi Mushroom Elixir Sachet, P97
WHAT IT IS: Used for centuries in Chinese medicine, lion’s mane has gained widespread popularity for its potential to support overall brain health.
UNIQUE ADVANTAGES: Considered a brain enhancer, lion’s mane is thought to boost memory function and cognition and may possible even help repair mild cognitive impairment.
WE RECOMMEND: Four Sigmatic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Elixir Sachet, P97
As always, consult with your physician first before testing any of these products out to ensure that they’d be compatible with your body.
Photos via Instagram: @sunpotion and @foursigmatic
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