What Are Adaptogenic Herbs and Mushrooms?

Stress can feel like your constant companion, inspiring many to pursue new avenues toward overall wellness. In terms of natural remedies, adaptogenic herbs mushrooms are nontoxic ways to bolster your body’s resilience and combat the negative impact of anxiety.

Adaptogens refer to a class of herbs and mushrooms that help your body adapt to stressors. They can modulate your body’s response and reduce stress, helping you reach a balanced state of homeostasis. These botanicals may have skyrocketed to fame overnight, but their usage goes back centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, Indigenous healing practices, and Ayurveda.

As modern people seek more holistic approaches, they’re discovering the benefits of natural remedies that are more effective and gentler on the body. Many people prefer to take a medicinal mushroom rather than a medication with questionable chemical composition.

In 1998, the FDA defined adaptogens as metabolic regulators that prevent external harm and help with environmental adaptation. While the FDA doesn’t regulate adaptogenic mushroom supplements, research has found them safe, citing potential health benefits when taken daily.

Understanding Adaptogens: Nature’s Balancers

It’s true that stimulants can help you combat stress, but they typically deliver a temporary energy boost that results in a crash that can throw off your internal balance and take some time to get past. 

Taking adaptogens, on the other hand, provides a more subtle improvement to your body’s natural state without causing jitters or an exciting high followed by a resounding low. Think like Goldilocks and realize adaptogens hit the “just right” mark on how balanced you want to feel. There are three categories of adaptogens: stimulating, balancing, and calming, and you can customize blends to suit your lifestyle and needs.

Along with the balance and lack of stress thanks to adaptogens, another of its noticeable effects is an improved mood. Adaptogens support your nervous system to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. You’ll appreciate the benefits of stabilized neurotransmitter levels that improve your well-being.

Another of the adaptogenic properties is increased energy thanks to improved oxygen flow. It reduces fatigue, naturally boosting your physical performance. You’ll feel at the top of your game because of the adaptogens’ immunomodulatory properties that regulate your immune system. Benefits include feeling stronger physically while also being resilient against infections and illnesses.

While all adaptogens help to modulate stress and increase your resiliency, they fall on a spectrum- some are more stimulating while others are more calming. Stimulating or energizing adaptogens are the greatest source of physical and mental energy. Consider them when you feel depleted. Calming adaptogens provide peaceful, focused energy and anxiety relief on days when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a long to-do list. There’s also a grouping that is considered balancing adaptogens. They can simultaneously calm and energize, depending on what your body needs.

Aren’t herbs so smart?!

The Power of Adaptogenic Herbs

At Miss Anne’s Maypop Herb Shop, we offer many natural ingredients for skincare, tinctures, salves, and more. While certain plants demand the spotlight, we have a variety of popular and lesser-known adaptogenic herbs to integrate into your daily routine. You can brew them into teas, incorporate them into your favorite recipes, or take them as supplements.

Experiment with different adaptogens and preparations to see the benefits on your body and help you achieve your health goals. Whether you’re seeking support in stressful situations, wanting to improve your immune function, or striving to reach your peak vitality, adaptogenic herbs can help. Here are a few of the common adaptogens we offer:

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha, also called “Indian ginseng,” can combat stress by regulating cortisol levels while enhancing energy. In addition to calming anxiety and PTSD, it works well as a sleep aid. While decreasing inflammation, it strengthens your nervous, adrenal, thyroid, and immune functions.

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

If Ashwagandha is Indian ginseng, it only seems fitting to highlight Eleuthero or Siberian ginseng. This is a stimulating adaptogen that boosts your energy levels and cognitive function. You can enjoy physical and mental benefits without the crash typically associated with caffeine.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

Gotu Kola is a calming adaptogen that supports cognitive function and memory support. However, the effect is fairly subtle, so you may want to combine it with others for a more noticeable effect.

Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Holy Basil promotes relaxation and resilience. This adaptogen increases calm energy as it balances cortisol and blood sugar levels.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Licorice regulates your cortisol levels and reduces inflammation while helping you feel calm. Since it helps you manage stress so well, you’ll appreciate how it promotes balance in the adrenal glands. It’s a secondary adaptogen, so you can combine it with Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, or Holy Basil to enhance those effects.

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)

Schisandra is a potent adaptogenic herb that enhances energy levels and reduces stress. Its unique combination of stimulating and calming effects makes it ideal for hormone balance, including usage for PMS and low libido!

Exploring Adaptogenic Mushrooms

Though many people are just now learning about adaptogenic mushrooms, they’ve been used for centuries due to their healing properties and how they promote good health overall. Modern research shows how beneficial these mushrooms may be for the body.

Adaptogenic mushrooms contain bioactive compounds such as beta-glucans, polysaccharides, and triterpenoids that help regulate the immune system. These compounds enhance the system’s ability to defend against pathogens and maintain optimal function.

Certain adaptogenic mushrooms support brain health and cognitive function by stimulating nerve growth factor (NGF) production, protecting against age-related mental decline. You can find an adaptogenic mushroom rich in antioxidants, which helps neutralize free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and protect cells from damage.

Here’s a sampling of the medicinal mushrooms we sell and their potential benefits, but there are many more in the shop:

Cordyceps Powder (Cordyceps sinensis)

This powerhouse fungus has the remarkable ability to boost stamina, enhance endurance, and optimize oxygen utilization. Cordyceps is an adaptogenic mushroom that you need in your quest for vitality with its immune-modulating properties provide a shield against fatigue and stress, keeping you strong and resilient.

Lion’s Mane Powder (Hericium erinaceus)

The Lion’s Mane mushroom has beneficial cognitive effects, including promoting brain health and memory and sharpening focus and clarity. It safeguards against age-related cognitive decline while soothing inflammation and balancing mood. It also supports NGF production and enhances neuroplasticity.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

Reishi mushrooms are known as the “mushrooms of immortality” for their potent immune-modulating and longevity-promoting properties. This adaptogenic mushroom supports the immune system, reduces inflammation, promotes relaxation, and enhances overall well-being. It is also prized for its adaptogenic effects, which help the body lower stress levels and maintain its natural balance.

Shitake (Lentinula edodes)

Shiitake mushrooms are valued for their immune-boosting health benefits, thanks to their high content of beta-glucans and other bioactive compounds. Regular consumption will improve immune function and promote cardiovascular health, while supporting liver health and aiding in detoxification.

Incorporating Adaptogenic Herbs and Mushrooms into Your Routine

Adding adaptogens to your wellness routine can be a simple and effective way to reap the potential benefits. These botanicals are available in various forms, including capsules, powders, tinctures, and teas, making them easy to incorporate into your diet. While synthetic adaptogens are available, it’s best to use natural options for the best results.

Consider brewing tea prepared according to the best practices for each plant or mushroom. You can also use them as seasoning for your favorite food or add them to soups and stews. When blending a smoothie, consider adding adaptogenic herbs with your fruits, vegetables, and superfoods to give yourself an extra boost!

You don’t have to incorporate herbs into teas or meals; you can get the health benefits when you take them as a supplement. To harness the power of herbal medicine, make capsules, brew a tincture, or easily consume the powder as a dose.

Integrating adaptogenic mushrooms into your life is simple and versatile. You can add a medicinal mushroom powder to a smoothie, tea, or food, just like herbs. You can also enjoy mushroom-infused honey as a natural sweetener added to desserts and drinks.

After finding the right adaptogens in Miss Anne’s Maypop Herb Shop, start slowly, using one herb or mushroom at a time in the early stages to gauge your body’s response. Once you’ve consumed a specific adaptogen, you can add another or try something different as needed.

You can find blends cultivated for purity and potency, which are sure to deliver the desired results. For example, the 14 Mushroom Blend Powder available in our shop is a supplement that includes Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, Reishi, Cordyceps, and more.

While that option comes already blended, you can mix and match from our selection and create a custom formula to find what works best for you. The biggest thing to remember is that you should be consistent with your adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms usage, just as you are with other wellness practices. Start using the supplement daily and give yourself time to adjust and respond.

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