Adaptogens have been all the rage lately in the wellness world, popping up in products, trendy smoothie bars, and wellness blogs. There are even adaptogens in our products. But before we get into that, let’s answer the question What exactly are adaptogenic herbs?
The term “adaptogens” originated in 1947, but this group of herbs and mushrooms have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions. Theoretically, adaptogens support the body’s natural ability to “adapt” or handle stress. The FDA has defined an adaptogen as a metabolic regulator that has been proven to help in environmental adaptation and to prevent external harms. Think of them like a thermostat, moderating the body’s stress response as a thermostat controls temperature.
Adaptogens are being researched to better understand their properties related to anti-inﬂammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immune system, rejuvenation, and metabolism support, to name a few. Each adaptogen has a slightly different function, so determining the best one for you depends on the specifics you’re dealing with. Some can be eaten as part of a meal, and some are consumed as supplements or brewed into teas.
At Shaklee, we use several different adaptogens in our nutrition and skin care lines for different reasons. Here are a few.
Ashwagandha is well known for its ability to help our bodies adapt to the type of stressors that seem to be ever present—the everyday life kind of stress. It can be found listed in the ingredients for our Stress Relief Complex*.
Bilberry, another very interesting herb, can be found in Mental Acuity Plus®. Bilberry is rich in anthocyanins, a hyperpotent anti-inflammatory molecule.
Eleutherococcus senticosus, otherwise known as Siberian ginseng, is not the same plant as your standard ginseng. Siberian ginseng is a spiny-stemmed shrub grown in Asia. It is an ingredient in MoodLift Complex*.
Panax ginseng is an ancient herb. Ginseng was actually mentioned in the Shen-Nung Pharmacopoeia, written in 196 AD. Panax, meaning “all-healing,” is an adaptogen with many benefits, including immune support and energy and metabolism boosting.* It is a nutrient in our Triple Defense Boost and in CorEnergy®.
Licorice root is a powerful GI soother and is one of the critical catalysts in the Herb-Lax® supplement.
Milk thistle is an ingredient in Liver DTX® Complex.
Reishi mushroom, also in Triple Defense Boost and Liver DTX® Complex, is a woody fungus with very interesting properties.
Schisandra (Schizandra) extract: Ripe Schizandra berries are dried and the components are extracted from the dried fruit. In the Shaklee nutrition line, it is a key nutrient in Liver DTX® Complex. Additionally, in the Shaklee skin care line, it is just one of the nutrients fueling your skin in the YOUTH® Complex.
Turmeric, an herb in the ginger family, is a delicious and nutritious colorful spice that is used in many different cuisines around the world. My favorite things about turmeric are its highly pigmented yellow color and its high concentration of a critical nutrient called curcumin. This bright spice is prized for its link to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can be found in Turmeric Boost.
We’re excited to use these nutrients that do so much to boost, supplement, and enhance our bodies’ ability to manage what life throws at us.