By EM Nutrición

I adapt... what? what are adaptogens?

Surely you had already consumed them but you did NOT know that they belonged to the group called adaptogens, but what are they?

Adaptogens are herbs that possess specific qualities that help your body. It's common to confuse them with superfoods, but they're actually herbs that can easily be added to your drinks (look for their powdered version) or taken as capsule supplements.

The original definition of the term adaptogen is based on a large number of clinical studies on how various factors of stress affect us and how certain Natural substances can help restore balance.​​​​​​​

This term was originally established by NV Lazarev (1947) and the general characteristics of an adaptogenic substance were defined by Brekhman and Dardymov (1969) and can be specified as follows:

  1. The effect must be general and broad, it tends to be non-specific in its properties and acts by increasing the resistance of the organism to a broad spectrum of adverse biological, chemical and physical factors.
  2. An adaptogen tends to be a regulator that has a normalizing effect on the various systems of the recipient organism, ie it will have a restorative effect on function.
  3. An adaptogen must be safe. It must be non-toxic to the recipient and will act with little or no disruption to normal biological processes.

Currently, the term adaptogen has been used to describe a series of natural substances that have the ability to normalize body functions and strengthen systems compromised by stress . In other words, they are substances that activate the defense system and help the body to adapt to stressful situations, minimizing their impact.

Range of Action of Adaptogens

Several pharmacological and clinical studies carried out with adaptogenic substances have shown that adaptogens can have the following effects on the affected organism:

  • Restore and improve physical and mental energy.
  • Improve physical and mental endurance.
  • Compensate for the effects of sleep deprivation.
  • Protect the brain and nervous system, which, among other things, improves memory and perception.
  • Relieve anxiety and mild depression.
  • Protect against certain types of free radicals, that is, act as an antioxidant.

Some of the adaptogenic herbs par excellence are the following:

  • Ashawandha
  • Ginseng
  • Ginger
  • bruise
  • reishi mushroom
  • Rhodiola rosea