Get More Energy and Rejuvenation with Adaptogens
Does this picture look familiar? In today's world there are so many people with fatigue and exhaustion! There is so much expected of us. Our attention is constantly being demanded, especially through technology.
Many people turn to coffee, energy drinks, tea, and sugary foods to give them ‘energy’. But this will only work for a short time. Many people will experience a crash hours later and over time this strategy leads to burn out. When people hit that stage, the things that used to give a boost don’t work anymore because the body doesn’t have anything more to give. Sounding familiar?
Taking adrenal adaptogens help our bodies be able to cope with this stress but is that the best thing for us? Are we just medicating ourselves because we aren’t willing to change our lifestyles? What are the long term effects of taking a medicine now to get more energy today? Should we be taking adrenal adaptogens all the time? All questions I recommend exploring.
What are adrenal adaptogens?
The term adaptogen was first coined by a Russian scientist, Dr. Nicolai Lazarev. He noticed substances that helped cells and the body adapt to the environment. They do this by either boosting an under functioning system or quieting an overactive system.
There are different adaptogens for different organs. For instance lung, kidney, adrenal, nervous system, all have adaptogenic plants that support them. Some of these plants support multiple systems. That’s the beautiful thing about whole plant medicines, they support the whole body, not just one process!
Adrenal adaptogens were first used with the working class. To endure tough conditions, with less rest and greater ability to trudge forward. Ask yourself what situation are you in that doesn’t feed you, that’s draining you?
What can we do?
Adrenal adaptogens help us deal with stress. These are generally used during times when a person has a lot of stress, or is recovering from a time with a lot of stress. This can be psychological and emotional stress (often work or school stress fits here) or physical stress (pregnancy and nursing, having an infant or young kids, surgery, an injury, lack of sleep, and intense exercise fit here), but rarely do we just have one kind of stress! Where is your stress coming from?
A person might be reacting to their stress by being anxious and but low energy, or what I like to call ‘wired and tired’, or be more depressed and have a lack of energy all together.
As women we are really, really good at ignoring the signs our bodies give us and have an incredible ability to push through. This makes sense evolutionary, mothers needing to care for their children for survival of the species. But is this strategy necessary today? Can we ask for help, or say no to things?
Let’s shift our mindset, and try to support each other in resting, relaxing, putting technology away, and not taking on so many things. How can we create more space for ourselves? I suggest you find some time every day for yourself, to be quite or creative, to take a nap or a walk if you need to or get to bed earlier. If you are feeling overwhelmed ask for help and set some boundaries.
Additional strategies to combat the stress and fatigue depends on the individual circumstances, but some general recommendations are to make sure you are getting enough sleep (minimum of 8 hours during times of stress), eating a diet that is right for you, correcting nutritional deficiencies, exercising everyday, and doing things that bring you joy throughout the day.
Some of my favorite adrenal adaptogens*:
- Rhodiola rosea, rhodiola
- Eleutherococcus senticosus, Siberian ginseng
- Oplopanax horridus, devils club
- Withania somniferum, ashawganda
* Not all herbal medicines are safe for everyone. Please seek the advise of a professional who has extensive knowledge of herbal medicines to see if these are appropriate for you.