With the current trends out there and so much misinformation, it is easy to get lost in the maze of Adaptogens, and hard to know what to do.
Adaptogens are by far my favourite herbal category. They help with stress, anxiety, sleep, increase stamina, support endurance overdrive/burnout, infection and immune system support, just to name a few. But some of the information and blends on the market have me a little worried! Adaptogens, when used correctly, can be one of the most incredible things you can use to improve your health.
When looking at products on the market, you need to ask yourself 2 things: have they been created synergistically (so the herbs work together, not against each other), and does the creator truly understand herbal medicine.
Adaptogens are herbs that allow your body to adapt to stress (learn more about the Stress Response and Adrenal Dysfunction HERE), and this covers all types of stress. When we are in Adrenal Imbalance (stress response system imbalance), we can have a whole host of issues that go with that.
Adaptogens are here to help you through this. There are different types of adaptogens – ones for repairing and restoring, ones for uplifting and stimulation. So choosing the right ones are crucial for improving your health. Understanding where you are at, so you know which adaptogens are going to support your healing.
For example, if you are in complete burnout and you start by using stimulating herbs, you may end up upsetting your stress response system even more.
With so much information and so many blends on the market, where do you start?
I created the 3 Phase Adrenal Blends after treating adrenal dysfunction in clinic for years and going through it myself a number of times (I have tried so many herbal blends!!)
I wanted to create a range that treated you at the level of fatigue you are at, and use herb cycling to really help heal your adrenals. Using the right herbs to soothe, nourish or uplift. To restore and heal.
Adrenal Fatigue (dysfunction) can be put into 3 phases (READ MORE HERE) – Mild, Moderate and Severe. Different people have different terms for these phases, but this is the simplest way of looking at it.
True adaptogenic blends take into consideration the synergy of all of the herbs and how they work with each other. Can you imagine taking a product where 2 of the ingredients actually work against each other? Trust me, I have seen it.
And these blends have been created by a Naturopath/Herbalist (aka me!) after years of research into adrenal dysfunction and treating clients in clinic, not based on what is currently trending.
And by cycling your herbs, you avoid becoming intolerant, immune or resistant to their effectiveness. Even though adaptogens are considered ‘non-toxic’, meaning they can be used for long periods of time without causing issues in the body, cycling the herbs will allow for greater results.
HOW TO USE: adaptogens are amazing in that you may start to notice a difference within a few days of starting them. But over a period of a few weeks to months, you will notice an incredible change in your stress response. As mentioned in THIS article, it can take 6 months to 2 years to fully recover from Adrenal Fatigue, if you are treating it correctly. So long term use is best.
Start simply: add ½-1 tsp of your chosen ADRENAL POWDER to water, hot or cold plant milks, juice, smoothies, tea etc. Build up over the first week, until you are at your 1 tsp daily dose.
BEST TAKEN IN THE MORNING.
Stay on the blend you are on (based on if you are severe, moderate or mild) for 2-4months, and then move up to the next phase. If you are mild, I recommend doing 4 months on the Adreno-Lift, and then have 2-4 weeks off, before starting again.
Our goal with adaptogens is to regulate the adrenal response, the stress response system.
Adding something like a SLEEP or ANXIETY TEA at night can be beneficial to help support the stress system at night, and to ensure a good nights sleep for recovery and repair. Allowing your nervous system to relax will allow for a quicker recovery.
I hope that helps explain how Adaptogens can help your body recover from an overactive Stress Response System! However, they are not a miracle cure – if you don’t start to improve your stress levels, you will continue to face adrenal dysfunction. Working with a health care provider may also be required to help the healing process, to look at lifestyle and dietary factors that may improve overall outcomes.