How Adaptogens Work
According to research, adaptogens are unique from other substances in that they have the ability to balance the immune system and the endocrine system while helping the body to maintain optimal homeostasis. Adaptogens work at the cellular level to improve the function and vitality of every cell in the body, thereby increasing the health of the entire organism.
By definition, adaptogens are natural substances that:
- Are entirely safe and have no negative side effects;
- Stimulate the body’s own self-regulation process and they increase the body’s non-specific resistance (ability to cope with external and internal stress);
- Normalize functions of the bodily systems, improving a wide variety of conditions and aggravating none.
For centuries adaptogens have been used to combat stress, mental and physical fatigue, to minimize tissue damage resulting from free-radicals that our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis. Adaptogens are noted for having the most broad spectrum healing properties. They are protective and increase an individual’s resistance to chemical, physical, and biological stresses.
A few of the main effects of adaptogens include:
- Antioxidant effects that inhibit free radicals from adversely affecting cell membranes
- Ability to facilitate formation of proteins
- Ability to help the body rebuild damaged muscle tissue
- Increased endurance
- Increased availability of energy throughout the day
- Reduction of stress feelings
- Deep and restful sleep
- Greater mental alertness
- Significantly elevate recovery process after physical activity and illness
Brief History of Adaptogens
In 1947, the top scientist, Dr. N.V. Lazarev and his team of Russian scientists discovered the first adaptogen. The term “adaptogen” was created to classify these specific substances or herbs that helped to increase health and the body’s natural resistance. Further research was conducted over the next 45 years by one of Lazarev’s students, Dr. Israel Brekhman.
Brekhman recognized that these rare botanical herbs with adaptogenic characteristics lived through the ice ages by flourishing and adapting in even the most severe living conditions. Based on this principle, Brekhman believed that these herbs might possess qualities that could help our bodies adapt to the changes and stresses of modern-day life.
With a team of 1200 biologists and physicians, Dr. Brekhman investigated and analyzed adaptogens and paved the way for over 3000 different types of experimental studies and clinical trials. These studies, primarily performed in Germany and the former Soviet Union, revealed the extraordinary immunity-building and stress-protective capacity of adaptogens. Their research showed that adaptogens are non-toxic to cells, aid cells to a healthy state, help the body adapt to stress and improve physical performance.
The Powerful Effects of 6 of the most Important Adaptogenic Herbs Used in JBK Wellness Labs Formulas
According to research:
Ginseng (Ren Shen) is known to:
- Have immune-enhancing effects
- Improve ability to withstand stress
- Increase work performance and quality
- Enhance mental function
- Extract inhibited radical formation (anti-oxidant effect)
- Decrease fasting blood sugar and body weight
- Increase RNA and protein content in muscle and liver tissue
- Saponins in Ginseng lower cholesterol and protect against atherosclerosis
- Influence endocrine system (increases release of ACTH, which stimulates adrenal glands and their activities)
- Increase circulation
- Augment Chi
Astragulus (Huang Qi) is known to:
- Increase circulation and boost vitality
- Enhance immune function by increasing natural killer cell activity and enhancing macrophage activity
- Enhance recovery after illness, disease, or prolonged stress
- Increase basal metabolic rate
Schisandrae Chinensis (Wu Wei Zi) is known to:
- Counter the effects of stress and fatigue
- Have normalizing effects in cases of insomnia and neurasthenia
- Improve mental coordination and alertness
- Improve work efficiency, physical endurance, and quickens reflexes
- Stimulate non-specific immunity
- Have an antibiotic effect
- Benefit the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and reproductive systems
Licorice Root (Gan Cao) is known to:
- Have anti-inflammatory effects due to its high concentration of saponins
- Enhance immune function
- Exhibit estrogenic activity and mineralocorticoid effects
- Have a stimulating effect on the adrenal cortex
- Have an antibiotic effect
- Have anti-allergic, anti-toxin, and anti-neoplastic effects
- Have anti-spasmodic and analgesic effects
- Strengthens Chi and benefits all 12 energy meridians
Radix Polygoni Multiflori (He Shou Wu) is known to:
- Increase circulation and boosts vitality
- Have a cholesterol-lowering effect
- Eliminate toxins
- Have anti-aging effects (studies show that He Shou Wu retards the aging process)
- Have an effect on endocrine, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular systems
- Prevent premature graying of hair
Fructus Lycii (Gou Qi Zi) is known to:
- Increase circulation
- Have an immuno-stimulating and anti-neoplastic effect
- Have an effect on cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems
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Chang, M. & But, P, Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica. Hong Kong: World Scientific, 1986.
Chen, J. & Chen, T. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. CA: Art of Medicine Press, 2004.
Saleeby, J.P. Wonder Herbs: A Guide to Three Adaptogens. Xlibris, 2006.
Winston, D. & Maimes, S. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press, 2007.