Adapta-what? Yes, I said the same thing when I first heard about adaptogenic herbs, but don't let the name scare you! Adaptogens are a unique class of plants that help your body adapt to biological and psychological stress by making it easier to balance your hormones. Adaptogens have been shown to help decrease cortisol, increase energy and mental focus and also help you recover faster from your workouts. So, which adaptogens should you be taking and why? I've listed a few of my very favorites below along with an explanation on how they can help you find balance and energy.
1. HOLY BASIL
Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is used in Ayurvedic medicine to help reduce inflammation, stress and anxiety while also supporting your liver and increasing your libido. Try shopping for tulsi tea to add this adaptogenic herb into your daily routine.
This is probably the most common adaptogenic herb. One of it's strong benefits is that it helps increase mental focus and clarity, so it's perfect for before a meeting or big event.
I take ashawaganda nearly every day because of it's incredible adrenal healing abilities. This adaptogenic herb is great for easing anxiety as well as lowering cortisol levels. I take some in the form of a pill once or twice throughout the day. My favorite is the Gaia Herbs brand that you can find at Whole Foods.
4. CORDYCEPS MUSHROOMS
Although cordyceps aren't classic adaptogens, they have adaptogenic properties that make them very powerful. They positively affect the immune system and also help fight fatigue and low energy. I love to drink cordyceps in the form of mushroom tea. Try FourSigmatics cordyceps tea; it tastes amazing!
*As with anything new, make sure that you clear your supplements with your doctor to make sure that they are in line with any medications or medical issues you maybe experiencing.