What Is All The Fuss About Adaptogens?

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You might have noticed adaptogens have been popping up in health and wellbeing articles and posts recently. But, you’re not alone if you’re not entirely sure what an adaptogenic herb is and why people are hailing them as energy boosters and stress relievers. Here’s a straightforward guide to adaptogens and their health benefits.

What are adaptogens?

They are natural herbs that help to support and balance our hormonal equilibrium or our hypothalamic pituitary endocrine axis as it’s technically known. This equilibrium is split into three sections or axis, your brain adrenal, brain thyroid and brain gonadal. All three have to be balanced to ensure your mood, metabolism, immune system, libido and energy levels are all functioning optimally.

Who can take them?

Adaptogenic herbs have been used to help rebalance hormones and improve overall wellbeing for centuries. They’re generally deemed as safe for everyone to take. However, we recommend consulting your health practitioner if you’re taking medication or are pregnant.

What are the key adaptogenic herbs?

Maca

Wellbeing gurus and hipsters have helped boost the profile of this adaptogen with maca lattes. But, don’t be fooled into thinking that you’ll get the same energetic boost from the sprinkling you get on a coffee as you would from mixing a couple of teaspoons of good quality powder into your morning juice. Maca is renowned for helping to supercharge energy levels and the root is also thought to help with fertility and libido concerns.  

The supplement: Organic Maca Root Extract by Viridian

Moringa  

Another great option for those who want an energy boosting pick-me-up, moringa is the healthy alternative to your mid-afternoon caffeine fix. It also helps your body deal with stress, and impressively contains more than 90 nutrients and over 40 different antioxidants. It’s no surprise that it’s also known as the miracle tree. Moringa powder has an earthy, peppery flavour, which makes it perfect for mixing in with soups and juices.     

The supplement: Moringa Green Superleaf Powder by Aduna

Astragalus

If you find that you’re always feeling under-the-weather with depleted energy levels, it is worth looking into astragalus. It’s renowned for its immune-boosting powers and helps to increase your interferon and white blood cell counts. Shabir recommends taking an astragalus supplement from autumn through spring to fight off any colds and infections.

The supplement: Astragalus Extract by Swanson

Ashwagandha 

This wonder herb helps support your HPA (brain-adrenal axis) and regulate your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. It’s also thought to help conditions such as arthritis thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits. Ashwagandha should be your go-to if you’re battling with stress and anxiety. While ashwagandha won’t give you the instant high that prescription drugs do, you will notice a difference in a week or so if you take it consistently.  

The supplement: KSM-66 Ashwagandha Plus by Wild Nutrition

Rhodiola 

Another good adaptogen for those who suffer from stress regularly is rhodiola as the herb helps your body deal with physiological and psychological stress. Small studies have shown that rhodiola can support your brain when you’re stressed and reduce mental fatigue. 

The supplement: Magnolia Rhodiola Complex by VH

Holy Basil

Also known as tulsi, holy basil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and helps to boost brain power. If you struggle to concentrate or regularly get a foggy brain, holy basil could help improve your cognitive function.

The supplement: Wholistic Holy Basil by Pukka

How To Boost Brain Power

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It is a scientific fact that people over time will lose a certain amount of brain power for several reasons, which is why many individuals seek to boost brain power in order to help improve memory and brain function. Suggestions in the loss of brain power include the ageing issue, not providing the brain with enough stimulation, problematic brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s and a lack of dopamine.

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical found in the brain and responsible for transmitting signals in between nerve cells within the brain. Read More…

Time for Plan Vitamin B

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B vitamins have been in the news for over a decade in connection with helping to prevent memory loss and possibly dementia. A friend asked me if they really work – the answer is ‘maybe’. The latest of several studies looked at 271 elderly people with mild memory problems, but not dementia, who took a daily high-dose vitamin B complex (with folic acid, B6 and B12) over 24 months. Those taking the supplement had on average 30 per cent slower brain shrinkage in areas associated with Alzheimer’s disease (one type of dementia) than those taking a placebo, probably because B vitamins are thought to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid also linked to heart disease. According to NHS UK’s Behind the Headlines report, there is no positive proof but the results are promising.

I take a vitamin B complex daily, as well as omega-3 fatty acid, and vitamin D, in common with many health professionals I know. Try Betrinac by Cobalz, £16.95 for 28 tablets, Power of Krill by LifeFlo, £24.95 for 60 softgels, or D Lux 1000 Spray by Better You, £7.15 for 1000iu (15ml). Read More…