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Adaptogens with Amanda Daniel - Chef, Better Ageing Advocate & Founder My Tribe Type

What's Are Adaptogens, And What Are They Made Of? 

Adaptogens are a classification of herbs or plants that can modulate the stress response. There are arguably only 11 adaptogenic foods. Many foods are beneficial to the body in times of stress, but only adaptogens affect the stress hormone response.

THE LIST OF TRUE of adaptogens:

  • American Ginseng
  • Ashwagandha
  • Cordyceps
  • Eleuthero – Siberian Ginseng 
  • Panax Ginseng
  • Rhaptonicum
  • Rhodiola
  • Schisandra
  • Shilaiit

These listed foods are herbs, roots, mushrooms, and berries. They are ancient medicinal foods used for centuries for their healing abilities.

Adaptogens have grown in extreme climates and adapted to them; it is this cellular mimicry that we benefit from.

You will find them sold in either powder form as a food supplement or in capsules as supplements. They are also in many new stress formulations.

Adaptogens work best in blends and are often found in this format, as the qualities of one are often amplified and balanced by another.

What Are The Benefits Of Adaptogens?

Adaptogens assist the body to modulate the stress response, allowing you to adapt to your environment. This is their key ability. They also have linked abilities that amortize their benefits.

Adaptogens are natural compounds found in certain plants and herbs that can help your body cope with stress. They're like the support system for your body when things get tough.

When you're stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol, which can have negative effects on your health. Adaptogens step in and regulate these hormones, helping to bring your body back into balance.

While adaptogens won't magically solve all your problems, they can be a useful tool in managing stress and maintaining overall well-being. Some well-known adaptogens include ginseng, ashwagandha, and rhodiola.

How Can We Introduce These Into Our Daily Lives? 

As with any new addition to your diet or supplement regimen, it's crucial to consult with your healthcare practitioner before incorporating adaptogens into your daily life.

Adding adaptogens is akin to introducing a new food, not a synthetic vitamin or pharmaceutical. They are natural substances with numerous benefits that you can seamlessly integrate into your daily rituals and meals. Many people like to incorporate adaptogens into their daily routine as a ritual to enhance their stress relief. Here are some ideas for how to include them:

Morning Matcha: Start your day by adding adaptogens to your morning matcha or any warm beverage of your choice.

Yoga and Meditation: Include adaptogens in your daily yoga or meditation practice. You can mix them into your tea or enjoy them as part of your post-practice routine.

Post-Workout Smoothie: Boost your energy and recovery by adding adaptogens to your post-workout smoothie.

Bedtime Beverage: Create a soothing bedtime ritual with adaptogens, perhaps in the form of a calming tea like Golden Milk lattes.

When considering adaptogens, it's essential to identify the one that suits your specific needs. For daily stress and hormonal balance, many women, in particular, turn to Ashwagandha. If you're looking for increased energy, Siberian Ginseng might be your choice.

Consult with your herbalist or seek out a blend that aligns with your objectives. Begin by slowly incorporating them into your daily rituals, as individual sensitivity may vary. Most blends and supplements come with suggested dosages to follow. If you're using powdered bulk herbs, start gradually and adjust based on your body's response.

Adaptogens can be integrated into various forms, such as powders, which you can add to tea, coffee, cacao, smoothies, porridge, soups, and broths. The simplest method is to mix them with water, honey, and lemon, creating a powdery tea or infusion. You can enjoy them hot or cold.

It's important to note that adaptogens themselves generally do not have a pleasant taste; they can be quite bitter. However, blends and a touch of honey or incorporating them into flavourful recipes can make them more palatable. Typically, you only need a level teaspoonful, making it easy to mask their taste in your food.

Keep in mind that some adaptogens are better suited for the morning, as they can be stimulating (like Rhodiola), while others are more calming (like Ashwagandha). It's advisable to conduct your research or follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

Why Do We Want To Take A Herb To Modulate Stress? And What Is Ashwagandha? 

I've found that taking herbs to modulate stress can be incredibly beneficial for maintaining a sense of balance and well-being in my life. Stress is something we all deal with, whether it's from work, personal life, or daily challenges. It can take a toll on our physical and mental health over time.

Stress is a catalyst for many long-term health concerns, especially for individuals like me who have autoimmune diseases. Conditions like autoimmune diseases can be exacerbated by chronic stress, leading to increased inflammation and potential flare-ups.

Herbs like Ashwagandha provide a natural way to help the body adapt to stress. Instead of turning to pharmaceutical options, which may come with side effects, I prefer the idea of using herbs that have been used for centuries in traditional medicine.

These herbs can help regulate the body's stress response, keeping those stress hormones in check. They allow me to stay more focused, calm, and resilient, even in the face of life's stressors. It's like having a buffer that helps me cope better with the ups and downs.

Ashwagandha is one of those remarkable herbs I've come to appreciate, especially as someone dealing with an autoimmune condition. It's been a popular choice for managing stress, among other health benefits.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that's been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It's often referred to as the "Indian Ginseng" because of its similar adaptogenic properties to ginseng. This herb is derived from the root of the Withania somnifera plant, which is native to India and other parts of Asia.

What makes Ashwagandha special is its ability to help the body adapt to stress by regulating cortisol levels. This not only supports stress management but also can improve sleep, boost energy, and enhance overall vitality. It's a versatile herb that can benefit both mental and physical well-being.

I like to think of Ashwagandha as a natural stress ally, helping me maintain a sense of balance. Of course, it's essential to consult with a healthcare practitioner before adding any new supplement or herb to your routine, just to make sure it's the right fit for your unique needs.

Amanda has a house in a small village in the Luberon, Provence and cooks from the markets, sharing recipes and philosophical renovations.