Coined in 1947, the term adaptogen refers to substances that theoretically “adapt” to what your body needs and help protect against various stressors. ¹
Adaptogens were initially defined as substances that enhance the “state of non-specific resistance” in stress, a physiological condition that is linked with various disorders of the neuroendocrine-immune system. Studies on animals and isolated neuronal cells have revealed that adaptogens exhibit neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, antidepressive, anxiolytic, nootropic and CNS stimulating activity. In addition, several clinical trials demonstrate that adaptogens exert an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental work capacity against a background of stress and fatigue, particularly in tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention. Indeed, recent pharmacological studies of several adaptogens have provided a rationale for these effects also at the molecular level. It was discovered that the stress—protective activity of adaptogens was associated with regulation of homeostasis via several mechanisms of action, which was linked with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the regulation of key mediators of stress response. ²
With adaptogens currently occupying such a high trend factor, it would be easy to believe these herbal wonders are new to the health and wellness scene. Much like chia seeds, quinoa, and green tea, adaptogens have been in use for centuries. Eastern medicine and Ayurvedic tradition, especially, have a rich history of incorporating adaptogenic herbs in their healing customs.
With 90% of all doctors’ visits now linked to stress-induced ailments and chronically high cortisol levels being associated with depression, fatigue, and impaired cognitive function, adaptogens provide a natural means of treating the cause of these symptoms. ³
Unlike popular pharmaceuticals that treat each symptom separately (insomnia, low-immune function, or digestive issues to name a few stress-induced illnesses), adaptogens treat the root of the problem.
Adaptogenic Solutions for Modern Life
Adaptogens have multi-faceted and wide-ranging effects on physical and mental wellness, promoting a sense of calm while also enhancing cognitive function – making them a promising natural solution to the stressors of daily life. Instead of treating a specific condition, adaptogens aim to boost overall wellbeing by supporting bodily mechanisms and enhancing an individual’s ability to adapt to different situations. While some – such as rhodiola and Siberian ginseng – have a primarily stimulating function meant to enhance mental performance and physical endurance, others – like ashwagandha – help relax the body by soothing the adrenal glands and nervous system. Whether it is combating mental exhaustion, increasing attention span, boosting mood, or reducing anxiety levels, there seems to be a potential adaptogenic solution. ⁴
Does Chaga mushroom have an adaptogenic qualities?
Chaga is highly regarded as an effective herbal adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbal components that control the adrenal system of the body. They manage how the bodily hormones react to anxiety and stressful situations. They help the body to adapt or cope with anxiety by fighting fatigue caused by stress. Although the results might not be instant, adaptogens are ideal stress relievers because of their natural attributes.
Chaga as an adaptogen is so efficient and effective in the sense that whenever your moods are low it can boost your energy and give you the necessary impetus. At the same time, whenever you are feeling anxious or you are in stressful situations, it can calm you down to complete subtleness.
Adaptogens and Mental Health?
Adaptogens play an important role in maintaining mental stability. Anxiety and stress can have a harmful impact on anyone’s life, especially if left untreated. Most individuals suffering from uncontrollable stress often tend to expect the worst. They cannot stop thinking negatively about their close family members, health condition, work, or social status. This unwarranted cause of concern is often blown out of proportion and unrealistic, but anxiety sufferers never realize this. The good thing is that Chaga as an adaptogen is effective in relieving this unwarranted stress. Moreover, Chaga contains minerals that boost mental health, and this goes a long way in alleviating mental stress. ⁵
Chaga mushroom helps to fight fatigue and reduce inflammation, bringing your body back to its natural, healthy state. Also great for anxiety, they produce a calming effect due to their adaptogenic qualities that help keep the body’s stress response at its best.
THE BENEFITS OF USING ADAPTOGENS ON A REGULAR BASIS:
- Improved quality and quantity of sleep
- Boosted energy (without the crash you get from caffeine)
- Improved emotional well-being and resiliency
- Increased concentration and cognitive function
- Balanced stress and sex hormones
- Normalized digestive functioning
- Strengthened immune system
- Increased detoxification and liver health
- Stronger resistance to stress