Adaptogens – Protecting and Reversing Stress On Your Body and Mind
We all deal with stress every day, and every day our bodies strive to adapt and stay balanced and healthy. Stress is normal, a little bit is good and necessary, but too much can be harmful. When your body is under stress, it uses more energy, and as your energy supply depletes, your body converts precious nutrients to energy that you then use to fight stress. If this process goes on long enough, your body becomes fatigued, your immunity weakens and aging accelerates, as chronic stress leads to many serious health conditions.
While stress often leads to “fight-or-flight” reactions, a special class of powerful herbs known as adaptogens actually helps your body defend against those feelings by adapting its “stress response.” Adaptogens allow your body to sustain a normalizing adaptive response that softens acute stress and minimizes some of the damage of prolonged or chronic stress. These rejuvenating herbs enhance your body’s ability to resist a wide range of stressors, increase stamina and counter the normal effects of aging, all while lessening chronic fatigue and relieving other stress-related disorders.
Where Science Meets Health + Beauty
Adaptogens help your body adapt to stress by interacting with your HPA axis, which regulates your hormonal balance like cortisol, estrogen and progesterone. They are unique in their ability to restore normal physiologic function that has been altered by stress. This means that if the immune system is overactive – for instance with allergies – adaptogens help re-regulate the immune response, decreasing activity, which essentially returns your body to optimal homeostasis.
According to Hans Seyle’s general adaptation syndrome, your body’s adaptive response to stress has three stages including:
Alarm – immediate adaptive fight-or-fight reaction to stress that can be characterized by increased metabolism and energy, elevated blood pressure and heart rate and excess cortisol production, all of which are normal but also associated with serious health conditions.
Resistance – adaptation of your stress response to cope with prolonged stress is marked by a heightened state that may harm internal organs and leave your body vulnerable to disease. When healthy, you can usually handle some resistance until stress upsets this balance and exhausts your adaptive energy.
Exhaustion – loss of ability to adapt due to chronic stress at which point the adaptation process is over, your resistance becomes overwhelmed and stress adversely affects your body.
Adaptogens reduce stress reactions in the alarm phase, increase stress response in the resistance stage and work to prevent the exhaustion stage altogether.
Their natural ability to enhance the overall resistance of stress on your skin, body and mind holistically is the key to their health + beauty promoting qualities. When used alongside other beauty rituals, mindfulness practices, daily movement, exercise and quality sleep, adaptogens are powerful sources of stress-reduction that work to preserve energy and protect against fatigue.
How We Nourish With Adaptogens
Potency – adaptogens seem to be everywhere nowadays promising all kinds of benefits to improve your health, but are they as good as we’re led to believe? For adaptogens to be effective, you must consume medicinal amounts of these special herbs before you can truly feel their powerful potent effects. In Canada, the use of adaptogens within supplements is closely regulated by Health Canada and thus includes the proper medicinal amounts, unlike our food and beverage industry. In contrast, supplements in the US are largely unregulated which can lead to cases where the potency is so low that they have little or no effect at all.
Radiance (Schisandra Berry) – It’s okay not to be okay, especially with all of the uncertainty and stress that you’re facing right now. However, those feeling can severely affect the health + beauty of your mind and your skin – showing up as psoriasis, eczema flare-ups and even acne. With stress at an all time high for many of us, our Radiance beauty powder is specially formulated with the adaptogen schisandra berry to help heal your stressed-out skin from within, as an essential part of your skin routine.
As one of the few adaptogens that is not a mushroom or a root, schisandra is powerful berry that lowers your stress while it nourishes the healthy + beauty of your skin. Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and E, schisandra not only protects and improves your skin health, but preserves youthfulness for a healthy, radiant glow.
Resilience (Holy Basil) – While skin conditions are an obvious sign of stress, it can also cause long-term changes within your body that can seriously affect healthy aging, overall wellness and longevity. As your all-in-one daily health + beauty ritual, our Resilience beauty powder is specially formulated with the adaptogen holy basil as the ultimate beauty detox by both protecting against and reversing the effects of stress on your mind and your body.
With its powerful therapeutic effects that help you adapt to stresses of all kinds, holy basil also normalizes your body and returns it to a state of balance. Among its many benefits, holy basil’s strong medicinal and healing properties detoxify your body, which is especially important for bolstering immunity at times of high stress when you’re at your most vulnerable.