What are Adaptogen Herbs and their Benefits for Health?

Jiaogulan, the immortality herb.
Jiaogulan, the immortality herb for health and wellness.

Many consumers are familiar with herbs but some may not know the difference in what the different herbs can do for your health. I hope in this post that I can make you more aware of the differences so you choose the best herbs or formulas for your health concerns.

Herbs and herbal formulas  are different in what herbs are contained in the formula and how they effect your health. Herbs are combined in formulations for their synergistic  and complementary effects.  One herb for bowel cleansing might cause cramping but when combined with a bowel soothing herb, does not.  So some herbs sooth the effects of another herb in the formula.

Herbal formulas and the herbs they contain may act on a specific organ or system such as hawthorn on the cardiovascular system and heart.   Certain formulas may address the function of your immune system or may help with inflammation.  These herbs are either a tonic for a certain organ or system or they directly impact how the organ or system works.  So many herbs and formulations have influence specifically on one area or specific areas of your body such as the urinary tract.  Formulas may also have a cleansing effect on the bowel or blood system.  These herbs are found in detoxifying formulas.  Your body has many different organ systems and each system is different in what it needs to be healthy.  It is important to do your research so you know what you are taking and for what purpose.  The clerk in the health food store is not allowed to give you health advice. They will lose their job.  They can give you some general advice or direct you to books but they can’t give you real individual advice.  It is up to you to do your own research. Some herb bottles generally tell you what kinds of health problems they might help.  You may find a bottle whose name is cardio support or bowel support. The FDA gives them many pages of rules on what they can and cannot put on their bottle. If they state on their bottle that the herb is good to prevent heart problems, they will have the FDA down on their company giving them fines or shutting down their company for selling a drug. If the company states anything more than a general statement like hawthorn supports heart health or healthy blood pressure, they are in legal trouble.

buy organic ashwaganda
buy organic ashwaganda

Herbs are potent and do effect how your body works.  This is why you need a doctor to monitor your health while moving from prescription drugs to herbs.  Taking herbs and drugs at the same time is dangerous especially drugs for heart conditions, depression, blood pressure and blood sugar. Herbs with drugs can reduce your blood pressure to a dangerous point.  Herbs can either make a drug and its effects more potent or less potent.  They can interact with each other to cause more side effects as well.  Never stop taking a drug cold turkey without supervision from your doctor.  If you are transitioning from drugs to herbs, do it under doctors care.  Drugs can stay in your system for days, sometimes even a month before they are completely out of your system.  The side effects from going off pain medication or depression drug can be debilitating and go on for weeks or months.

What is the difference between Adaptogen herbs and other herbs? What are Adaptogen Herbs and their Benefits for Health?

Adaptogen herbs are tonic herbs that affect the whole body so that your body, your organs and organ systems work more effectively and efficiently.  They have a normalizing effect such as in blood pressure or blood sugar.  They feed and support the systems so they can work as God intended them too. You must still be monitored by a doctor when taking Adaptogen herbs because after taking the herbs for a few weeks, they help the organ system to work better such as normalizing blood pressure so your medicine may need to be reduced by your doctor.

Which herbs are considered to be Adaptogen herbs? Many of them such as Ashwagandha are native to India and some to Asia . There are fewer Adaptogen herbs that grow in the US. American Ginseng is one of them  and was used by the American Indians. If you were a native in those countries, you would be using these herbs daily in your meals and lifestyle.

Ginseng, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Dang Shen, Siberian Ginseng or Eleuthero, Reishi, Rhodiola, Schisandra, Ashwagandha and Jiaogulan, are some of the better known ones. Turmeric should be included because it is used to help so many different health issues. Turmeric is used daily in India in many of their dishes. It is one of the main ingredients in Golden Milk. This is one of the herbs we use daily for our health. I will be discussing all of these in future blogs.

I hope this blog helps you to understand about herbs and adaptogen herbs.

Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin