Adaptogens 101 : Why we can't stop raving about them
Chances are if you are familiar with Mom and Pop, then you are familiar with adaptogens. We love to talk about them, ingesting them, and invent new ways to incorporate them into our daily routine and we want you to be just as jazzed about them as we are !
Exactly what are adaptogens?
Herbs or substances that aid in the body’s ability to combat stress and overcome health problems. Adaptogenic herbs go where they’re needed, and self-adjust accordingly. With so many to choose from, we have compiled a glossary to get you where you need to be!
When harvested, Ashitaba can grow all of its leaves back within 24 hours. With those kind of superpowers, it’s no wonder this plant is renowned for its health giving abilities. Rich in vitamin B6, B12 and Nerve Growth Hormone, this powerful and beautifying adaptogen is known to speed wound healing, improve digestion, and improve concentration and memory. With a high B-vitamin content, this a perfect addition to a vegan diet. We suggest to try it in a smoothie, tea, by itself, or even in a nut milk.
A popular Ayruvedic herb, Ashwagandha supports hormone balance, emotional balance, and brain function. This herb is particularly useful for stress relief and an overall sense of well-being. Enjoy it in a tonic or tea after a long day. Our favorite way to ingest is with cacao right before bed. You can find it here.
A plant in the Leguminosae (beans or legumes) a family that has been used for thousands of years as an adaptogen in traditional Chinese medicine. Known as the great protector, Astragalus is an incredible immune builder. It strengthens and protects many of the body's systems and functions, including skin health, metabolism/digestion , and immune system and energy levels. Try it straight or in Moon Juice's Spirit Dust.
The King of Medicinal Mushrooms, Chaga floods the system with over 215 phytonutrients, superoxide dismutase and beta-glucans to nourish the body, stimulate the immune system and fight inflammation. This King Healer has been used for centuries in Siberia, Russia and parts of Asia. High levels of B-Vitamins, Flavonoids, Enzymes, Minerals, Phenols and Antioxidants makes this mushroom one of the most nutrient dense and bioactive foods on the planet. We suggest trying it in coffee, tea, smoothies, or paired with cacao.
Grown on the back of caterpillars and harvested from mountain regions, Cordyceps were considered extremely rare until fairly recently. This powerful fungus has been shown to combat aging, reduce fatigue and stress, increase libido and improve cardiovascular health. Mixed in warm water or tea, this tonic will heighten your energy levels and increase your fertility. Find it here or if you are on a plant based diet find it in this protein.
A favorite to athletes and the elderly, Eucommia Bark is a traditional Chinese herb known for its ability to increase energy levels and to strengthen bones, tendons and ligaments. It tonifies both the kidney and liver, which makes it extremely effective in maintaining the integrity of the skeletal system. Eucommia Bark comes from a small tree in China known as the “Chinese Rubber Tree”. Bark from this tree has been used for centuries to make tea because of its stabilizing effects.
Legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived over 200 years as a result of taking Gotu Kola. Often called “The Fountain of Life”, the leaves and stems of this plant have been used for for thousands of years to heal wounds. Taken internally, Gotu Kola is used to treat respiratory infections and improve mental clarity. In some areas of the Himalayas it is even used by yogis to improve meditation. Try it in Moondeli"s meditation tonic.
This pleasant tasting (almost vanilla-like) root has a wide reputation for its hormone balancing properties. Super rich in nutrients, Maca contains more calcium than milk and is packed with protein, fiber and magnesium. Commonly used for increasing fertility, and to treat symptoms of menopause, this herbal medicine has been harvested from the Andes mountains for more than 3,000 years. Find it here.
The Latin name for a creeping vine that grows all over India, Mucuna Pruriens contains a dopamine precursor called l-dopa, making it the perfect mood elevator and de-stresser. L-dopa is an amino acid that translates to dopamine, a neurotransmitter which regulates the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Elevated amounts of dopamine may help with better sleep quality and an overall sense of well-being. Try it straight, or in Anandamide.
Packed with 22 amino acids and 8 essential ones, Pine Pollen is the perfect bio-available brain food that when taken over time offers hormonal support, increases immunity and enhances whole-body function. An aphrodisiac and longevity food that’s been favored by ancient cultures for centuries, Pine Pollen is collected from the tiny grains of pollen found on the male cones of Pine Trees. When not harvested, the pollen is blown from the trees and becomes a natural part of the ecosystem, falling on food sources and encouraging the springtime reproductive patterns of wild animals. Try it straight, or with coconut water, matcha, smoothies!
Known as the Queen Healer Mushroom, Reishi is the most studied plant on earth. It’s prized for its ability to stabilize the body, helping it overcome any health challenges it may encounter, while improving its ability to resist stress and promote calmness. One of the main components found in Reishi is ganoderic acid. These acids help alleviate common allergies by inhibiting histamine release while improving oxygen utilization and liver function (it’s also what gives Reishi its bitter taste!) Find it here .