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Adaptogens 101 : Why we can't stop raving about them

Adaptogens 101 : Why we can't stop raving about them

Adaptogens 101: 

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! 

 Ashitaba 

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. 

Ashwagandha 

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. 

Astragalus 

 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.  

Chaga 

 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

Cordyceps 

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

Eucommia Bark

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. 

Gotu Kola 

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. 

He Shou Wu

He Shou Wu has been used for centuries as an anti-aging, blood building and beautifying food. In Chinese Medicine, it’s prized for its circulation increasing, stamina boosting and aphrodisiac powers. Try it in Moon Dust or find it here

Maca 

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

Mucuna Pruriens 

 

 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.

Pine Pollen  

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! 

Reishi 

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 .

Sadie McDonald
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7 Benefits of Maca

7 Benefits of Maca

7 Health Benefits of

 

An ancient Peruvian root crop, maca is gaining popularity as a supplement and superfood. Maca root belongs to the radish family, and is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.”

There are no serious known side effects of maca root powder, but like any other superfood or supplement, it should not be taken in large amounts. When you first start using maca root, it’s best to begin by taking smaller amounts and building up; as little as 1/2 teaspoon is a good place to start and work your way up from there. Rotating a few days on and a few days off is often recommended.

1. Great source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients

Maca is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids (20 different kinds — that’s just about all of them!), and antioxidants. Glucosinates are just one of those antioxidants — the same substances that make broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables so good for you.

2. Boosts sexual function, libido, and fertility

Maca has long been used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It’s thought to boost libido and increase endurance. It has also been used to balance the hormones and increase fertility. Note the these benefits are anecdotal, though one of the more studied aspects of maca is its role in male fertility.

3. Aids in menstrual issues and menopause

Maca has been used to relieve menstrual issues and the side effects of going through menopause. Some women have used it to alleviate cramps and hot flashes, much as it has been used by indigenous South American cultures for millennia. Outcomes in this area are largely anecdotal, and shouldn’t be used in place of consulting with a practitioner.

4. Increases physical and mental energy

Many regular users of maca experience an increase in energy level within days of beginning its use. It’s also known for increasing stamina and endurance, which is why some athletes take maca for peak performance. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime, supplementing with maca may help to preserve muscle mass. Maca is also used by those seeking to sharpen and expand mental activity and memory.

Maca has been used as a remedy for ongoing fatigue. If you find yourself tired much of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost! An increase in mental energy and focus has been reported as well.


5. Increase in general health and disease prevention 

As an adaptogen and tonic, maca may boost your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids in avoiding anemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca is also believed to promote prostate health. The nutrients in maca have long been valued for keeping bones and teeth healthy and help heal wounds more quickly. Bear in mind that most of these claims, while certainly not unfounded, have not been sufficiently studied.

Be very cautious if you have a cancer related to hormones, like testicular and ovarian, among others. If you have these cancers, liver issues, or high blood pressure, you should consult with a professional before taking maca.


6. Promotes radiate skin 

Maca has been used for skin issues. For some users, it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit that some users have experienced is that it decreases skin sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help skin withstand extreme temperatures.

7. 

Mood and hormone balance

For those struggling with anxiety, stress, depression, or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms, though the evidence for this is anecdotal and its use shouldn’t replace professional treatment.

Hormone balance is key to regulating sexual function, mood regulation, disease prevention, and much more. Maca’s ability to balance hormones is often credited to its stimulation of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. It may be the phytonutrients contained in maca that work to balance the endocrine system.


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Sadie McDonald
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Mom + Pops Guide to Wellness

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Sadie McDonald
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