Adaptogens have been all the buzzy rage for the last few years. What was once known as “hippie”, is now in 2019 more mainstream than ever. I’m calling it now that this is not going to be a trend, but a shift of how our generation looks at wellness.
So, what is Adaptogenic health? It is the practice of treating our body’s immune, neurological, and endocrine systems from stressors with herbal pharmaceuticals. All in the form of plants, mushrooms, or minerals. Adaptogens work on a molecular level and change the way your body copes when stress is added.
Yes, the Gweneth Paltrows of the world swear by these potent herbals, but there is serious science behind them also. I first began my journey with adaptogens when my Rheumatologist suggested it. I have UCTD aka Latent Lupus, but have been semi-private about it on the blog. Maybe one day I will write a long form post on my diagnosis journey, but today I will keep it short.
In a nutshell, for the last decade I’ve seen multiple rheumatologists that immediately go for the big gun medications and steroids. I’ve had doctors look at me and annoyed with my questions say diet doesn’t matter. Then 10 seconds later write a prescription for a pill that can cause me to bleed internally if taken too long. I could write a book about how many assholes I’ve encountered.
I am not opposed to taking meds to treat my disease, and currently I do take some. However, I knew there was a way to make my body better without solely relying on big pharma. I researched for over a year until I found my current doctor. She has a medical degree in general medicine, a medical degree in rheumatology, and a degree from Georgetown in Eastern Medicine. I was intrigued to say the least.
Almost a year later her suggestions have changed my life. She started talking to me about what foods to go for, and ones to avoid. She went over different levels of medication treatment that was comprehensive and sensible. Lastly, she introduced me to adaptogens. She even sent me home with packets of info on them. I currently take 9 herbal supplements, 2-3 adaptogens, 60 mg of CBD, and 1 big pharma medication a day. It’s a lot, but I am able to completely function normally with a disease I qualify to take disability for. So I will take the extra 10 minutes a morning and evening no problem. Full disclosure I may have to take higher level meds in the future, and I am not suggesting these supplements will cure me. I simply feel a difference in my body when they are taken.
Adaptogenic health is not for people who are deemed chronically ill (geez I hate that phrase), but it’s for everyone. Proven to balance the immune system, ward off viral infections and the flu, plus help with lung and brain function. It is a no-brainer to at least give them a try. There are cosmetic aspects to them also. A lot of people claim they clear up acne and give them a better overall complexion.
So here are my top 4. To make the list they had to be somewhat affordable for the amount you get. They also had to be easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
I take this every evening before bed. It helps calm my nerves and mind. It also has brain function boosting abilities. Recommended by my doctor for its many healing and preventative properties. You can mix this in nighttime teas, tonics, or milk. If you can’t take the taste you can find it in pill form. I like this one.
Of all the people to get me on to Chaga coffee, it was my dad. He is into alternative health and will take a shot of wheat grass in the morning before saying good morning to his plants, then hopping into his infrared sauna. He brought this to my house one day after swearing by how much energy he had from taking it. He was right it does exactly that. You can read other medical benefits here. This can also pick this up at your local Whole Foods.
After seeing Moon Juice everywhere I decided to give this steep-priced Beauty Dust powder a try. I told myself if it did not work, no worries I wont order again. Well it has worked great. Also, it is in a very small jar, but a little bit goes a long way. The flavor though. My god is something to get used to. I put coffee, vanilla almond milk, Beauty Dust, tocos, and ice in the blender in the morning and drink it down.
Here is the Moon Juice statement on this adaptogenic blend:
“This formula contains ingredients that help the body to preserve collagen protein, enhance elasticity of the skin, and cope with stress* with a tart berry flavor. Moon Dusts are fresh and potent with intensely herbal flavors. You will feel the effects and your palate will evolve. Intensity has its benefits.”
Okay so this technically is not an adaptogen, but it pairs very well with them. Tocotrienols aka Tocos is basically a form of Vitamin E that is beyond great for your connective tissue and skin health. It has a creamy sweet taste that can sub as a coffee creamer, or can be sprinkled onto a acai bowl.
Bon Appetit recently wrote a piece on how it is the next big thing in food and skincare. The NIH recently wrapped up a study on tocos titled “Tocotrienols, the Vitamin E of the 21st Century: It’s Potential Against Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases”
I so enjoyed writing this piece. TBH it started out one way, and ended up more personal than I expected. I hope you enjoyed the read, and I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, or just a hello in the comments below.
Until next week.