I first heard the word ADAPTOGENIC when I started taking Moon Balance and learning about the herbs in it. But what are adaptogenic herbs? They are a group of nontoxic plant herbs including some mushrooms that help support the body’s natural ability to deal with stress. The body uses adaptogens to help protect against mental, physical and emotional stress. I love learning about all these herbs and trying supplements containing them. Most recently I tried Moon Balance that has Shatavari and Maca in it. My article what is Shatavari explains many details about the herb Shatavari and how Moon Balance has helped me.
In Wikipedia the definition is, Adaptogens or adaptogenic substances used in herbal medicine for the claimed stabilization of physiological processes and promotion of homeostasis. There are very few human studies done in the US on adaptogenic herbs.
History of Adaptogenics
Here’s a timeline of the history of adaptogenics:
- 3000 BCE started the beginnings of Ayurveda in India and Traditional Chinese Medicine in China
- 2700-2600 BCE Chinese emperors send exhibitions into Siberia. Rhodiola was brought back. Reishi is reserved for the Chinese royal family
- 200 BCE the first major written classic of Ayuverdic medicine identifies 350 plants as valuable medicines including Amla and Holy Basil by Charaka Samhita
Charaka Samhita is the most important ancient authoritative writings on Ayurveda
- 77 CE a Greek physician names Dioscorides writes the text De Materia Medicia explaining the medical application of 600 plants including Licorice and Rhodiola
- 220 CE about 262 more medicinal herbs are recorded and used in China to include Ginseng, Astragalus and Reishi named after Shennong Herbal, the legendary originator of Traditional Chinese medicine
- 495 CE monks use Reishi to enhance meditation
- 790-1100 CE Rhodiola is used among the Vikings to enhance their physical strength and endurance during conquests
- 1000-1100 CE Chaga tea is being drank by Siberian people to improve digestion and detox and used as a soap
- 1948 a Soviet scientist Nikolai Lazarev officially coins the term “adaptogen” while trying to perfect all natural tonic for the Soviet Union during the Cold War
- 1958 Eleuthero is discovered by Dr. Lazarev and Dr. Brekhman to be a great adaptogen paving the way for many clinical studies and trials
- 1976/1977 more than 3 million people in Russia are using Eleuthero extract regularly and used by Russian athletes to prepare for the Olympic games. Also used by the space program for cosmonauts and Rhodiola is used for motion sickness.
- 1994 Dr. Brekhman formulates Prime One to enhance physical and mental performance which includes Eluethero, Schisandra, Rhaponticum, Rhodiola, and Licorice. More than 150 American athletes use Prime One at the Olympic games in Atlanta
- 2000 Adaptogenic herbs are gaining popularity among wellness enthusiasts and new research continues
List of Adaptogenic Herbs and Uses
- Holy Basil(India)-Helps to lower stress levels
- Reishi Mushrooms(China)-Help to boost immunity
- Asian Ginseng(China)-Helps with long term stress and hormone imbalances, boosts immunity
- Bacopa(India)-Helps improve memory, anxiety, ADHD and Alzheimer’s symptoms
- Licorice(Greece/Turkey)-Helps ease upper respiratory symptoms, treat ulcers, aid in digestion and is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
- Shatavari(India)-Helps female reproductive system, relieve menopause and PMS symptoms
- Milk Thistle(Greece)-Helps treat liver problems such as hepatitis, jaundice and gallbladder disorders, minimally reduce cholesterol
- Tree of Life Leaves(Jamaica/Madagascar)-Helps treat coughs, asthma, intestinal parasites, headaches and colic
- Maca (Peru)-Helps enhance fertility, improve energy and stamina
- Rosemary(Asia)-Helps improve muscle pain, memory, promote hair growth and boost immune and circulatory system
- Aloe Vera(Arabian Peninsula)-Helps treat constipation, skin conditions such as acne, sunburn and psoriasis, reduce itchiness and inflammation
- Ashwagandha(India/North Africa)-Helps with long term stress and hormone imbalances
- Schisandra(China)-Helps mediate fight or flight stress responses, improves liver function and gastrointestinal problems
- Gotu Kola(China/Indonesia)-Helps boost brainpower, promote liver and kidney health and heal skin issues
- Codonopsis(China)-Helps treat HIV infection and protect cancer patients from side effects of radiation
- Rhodiola(Europe/Asia)-Helps mediate fight or flight stress responses, improves energy, physical performance and memory
- Eleuthero(China)-Helps increase nervous system function and memory, athletic performance and aid in diabetes
- Astragalus(China)-Helps with conditions of diarrhea, fatigue, anorexia, upper respiratory, fibromyalgia and heart disease
Limited research has been done
Available in teas, capsules, liquid and powder forms
Do Adaptogens Really Work?
Check out this great informative video and book on Adaptogens from Dr. Tieraona Low Dog to find out and get more detailed information.
I hope you have a clearer understanding now about what are adaptogenic herbs. I can confirm they have helped me on numerous occasions especially my most recent experience taking Moon Balance. Please share your experiences here in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.
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