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Beginners Guide to Adaptogens

by | Mar 2, 2021 | Adaptogens, Health & Wellness, Stress

We’re all looking for ways to feel better in our everyday lives. How to be more productive, have a deeper, more restful sleep, and how to be more present and less stressed overall. Finding balance can be difficult and there’s no magic pill that will fix all of our problems, however, there are many things we can incorporate into our diets and our lives that can lead to better overall health. Adaptogens are one of those things you may want to try. Adaptogens are plant-based supplements that target many different aspects of our health: liver health, kidney health, skin health, mental health, ocular health, heart health, cardiovascular health and the list goes one. It takes listening to our bodies to understand what areas need targeting. We must troubleshoot our health and become more in tune with what makes us thrive and feel good!

The world of adaptogens can be overwhelming so we’ve started the research process for you. Below is our beginners guide to adaptogens that may help in your health and wellness journey.

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Woman doing yoga on a pink matt

What Exactly Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are plants or herbs that can help the body resist stressors, whether physical, biological or chemical. Studies show that adaptogens can help fight anxiety, depression, fatigue and strengthen the immune system, just to name a few. As their name states, they help your body to “adapt” to all forms of stress. They are handy because exposure to stressors long term can lead to serious health concerns later in life. Adaptogens can be a great way to improve your overall health and a beginners guide to adaptogens is a great place to start your journey!

Woman's hand sprinkling camomile flowers into a white dish with a bottle of Thrive Remedies Calm flavour in the background
woman's hand holding hibiscus tea above a white dish with a bottle of thrive remedies calm tea in the background

A Brief History of Adaptogens

Adaptogens have been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, but the term “adaptogens” is pretty new in comparison. The term started in the 1940s when a toxicologist named Nikolay Lazarev described adaptogens as being able to increase the “state of nonspecific resistance.” Adaptogens began growing in popularity during World War II when the Soviet Union started studying them. Scientists gave pills containing natural stimulants to pilots and submarine crews because they believed it could improve their mental and physical performance. During this time, the first studies on the effects of Schisandra were also being published in military journals. Hunters used the berries and seeds to improve night vision and increase resistance to hunger, thirst and fatigue. Over the years, the ideas and definitions of adaptogens have grown and changed. The term “adaptogens” is now commonly used in health conscious circles to describe any plant or herb with health benefits. Adaptogens are widely used as alternative medicine and very popular among athletes, nutritionists, health & wellness enthusiasts and health food and beverage companies. There are hundreds of promising clinical studies already existing on adaptogens and more studies being conducted to date.

How to Incorporate Adaptogens Into Your Lifestyle

You can easily add adaptogens to your daily routine by taking them in fresh, dried or extract forms. The extracts are found in capsule, tincture and powder forms, while dried adaptogens are available in infusions or tea. They can be added to recipes like smoothies, oatmeal, yoghurt and salad dressings for added nutrients or taken on their own. Always read and follow the labels. Not all adaptogens are compatible with one another and may counteract certain medications. Adaptogens can also be stimulating or calming, and the time of day should be taken into account when consuming. It is recommended to change the adaptogen you’re taking every 6-8 weeks, or take a break.

Examples of Adaptogens

  • Ashwagandha
  • Turmeric
  • Holy Basil
  • Milk Thistle
  • Camomile
  • Hibiscus
  • Rosehips
  • Nettle Leaf
  • Chicory
  • Dandelion
  • Calendula
  • Astragalus
  • Blue Cornflower
  • Lavender
  • Maca
  • Ashwagandha
  • Valerian Root
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Thrive Remedies Beginners Guide to Adaptogens

Elderberry

  • Immune boosting
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Good for Heart Health
  • Reduces Stress
  • Antibacterial
  • Antidepressant Properties

Elderberry is a shrubby tree that produces dark blue or purple berries. The trees can be planted in gardens and found in the wild. The berries are packed with antioxidants and full of nutrients. 

Most commonly, you can find elderberry in supplement form, either in capsule, tincture, syrup or powder. You can also use fresh ripe berries in food and beverages to make jams, pie, juices and tea. You can take elderberry at any time of the day and multiple times a day if needed depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Thrive Remedies Defence Tea has elderberry as one of the main ingredients, along with other immune boosting herbs. It is smooth and light bodied with a flavour similar to earl grey tea. Head over to Thrive Remedies website to learn more about Defense.

Holy Basil

  • Reduces Physical and Mental Stress
  • Increases Endurance
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Immune System Boosting
  • Lowers Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
  • Improves Metabolism
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces symptoms of anxiety & depression

Holy Basil or Tulsi is an ancient herb that comes from a leafy plant native to Southeast Asia. Holy basil is known for its ability to reduce stress both physically and mentally. You can find Holy Basil in tea or supplement form. It is recommended to take it for up to 8 weeks, and you can take it at any time of the day.

Ashwagandha

  • Reduces Mental Stress
  • Increases Stamina
  • Improves Brain Function
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Improves Sexual Health
  • Improves Memory

Ashwagandha is a short shrub with green bell-shaped flowers on it that comes from certain parts of Asia. It has anti-stress properties and can increase stamina and mortality.

You can find Ashwagandha in dried herb, capsule, tincture and tea form, and take it at any time of the day. It can have a calming effect, so you can take it close to bedtime. It is recommended to take it for up to 6 weeks.

Thrive Remedies Stress Tea has Holy Basil and Ashwagandha as two of the main ingredients for their anti-stress effects. It has a slightly sweet smooth flavour with uplifting notes of lavender. It will bring a sense of calm confidence to your day. Head over to Thrive Remedies website to learn more about Stress.

Passionflower

  • Improves Sleep
  • Reduces Anxiety
  • Pain Relief
  • Soothes and Upset Stomach
  • Promotes Relaxation

Passion Flower is a climbing vine with beautifully coloured complex flowers on it. It comes from the southern United States, Central and South America. It is known for its ability to promote rest and relaxation. You can find passionflower in tea and supplement form. You can take it at any time of the day, but it is recommended to take it close to bedtime due to its calming effect. It is recommended to take it for up to 8 weeks.

Thrive Remedies Calm Tea has camomile and passionflower as two of the main ingredients. Calm has a full bodied flavour floral notes of rosehips, hibiscus and camomile. It will bring a sense of ease and relaxation to your day. Head over to the Thrive Remedies website to learn more about Calm.

Milk Thistle

  • Detoxifying
  • Liver Support
  • Good for Your Bones
  • Improves Skin Health
  • Allergy relief
  • Improved brain function
  • Boosts Immune system
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Aids in Weightloss

Milk Thistle is a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean. It is well known for its detoxifying effects and has traditionally been used to treat liver and gallbladder issues.

You can most commonly find milk thistle in tincture or capsule form, but it does come in tea form as well. It can be taken at any time of the day and multiple times a day, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. It is recommended that you can take it for up to 41 months.

Thrive Remedies Detox Tea has Milk Thistle, dandelion and Chicory as three of the main ingredients. Both are known for their detoxifying effects in the body. Detox is full bodied with flavour notes of lemon, vanilla and rooibos. If you’re looking for something cleansing and refreshing, this is the tea for you. Check out our website to learn more about Detox.

Nettle Leaf

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Allergy relief
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Pain relief
  • Treatment for UTI
  • Diaretic Properties

Nettle leaf is a plant originally found in Europe, Asia and Northern Africa and now in North America and New Zealand. You can find nettle leaf in supplement and tea form or grow and harvest the leaves yourself. You can take it at any time of the day and multiple times, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Thrive Remedies Recovery Tea has nettle leaf and turmeric as two of the main ingredients because of their anti-inflammatory and immunity effects. If you’re in need of some tough love and care, this is the tea for you! It is full of flavour notes from ginger, lemon and rooibos tea. Head over to Thrive Remedies website to learn more about Recovery.

Are There Any Risks to Taking Adaptogens?

It is always recommended that you talk with your doctor before incorporating adaptogens into your diet and lifestyle. They can have harmful interactions with some prescription medications and supplements. Make sure you are buying high quality adaptogens so you are getting the full health benefits. Some manufacturers will add fillers or additives to the adaptogens. At Thrive Remedies, we use only high quality adaptogens in each of our tea blends. Always read and follow labels; some should be taken at certain times of the day, on an empty stomach and vary in dosage.

*** Disclaimer: The content on this website (Thrive Remedies) is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended or suitable in place of advice from your health care practitioner or licensed physician. The information and products on this website should not be used for diagnosing, treating, curing or preventing a health problem, you should always consult a health care provider or licensed physician for advice. ***

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