Adaptogens – what are they and why should you care?
Adaptogens are having a moment. It’s the buzzword that’s getting thrown around the wellness scene a lot of late. But what are they? And how can they bring about clearer, brighter and healthier skin?
They’re a frankly amazing group of foods and herbs that have been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries, but it seems us westerners are only just discovering their awesomeness. To be classed as an adaptogen, a substance must be non-toxic to the body’s physiological functions, offer widespread support to its systems and help bring the body back to equilibrium, by supporting the hormonal system.
They have a chameleon-like quality in that they have their own functions, but they adapt them to your body’s specific needs. You can enjoy adaptogens in your coffee, smoothie or combine them with food, given they come as pills, tinctures or powders.
Feel the burn
Summer might be a fun season, but your skin wouldn’t agree. More times outdoors means your skin takes a hit, and barbecues and booze don’t help either. You can probably guess what can help summer-battered skin: adaptogens.
So which adaptogens are best for adding a little oomph to your skin and how can you incorporate them into your daily routine?
This herbal boost is ideal for adding to a morning smoothie. As well as being designed to release your inner radiance, the blend also boasts brahmi; this Ayurvedic nootropic herb has been shown to boost both memory and cognition; especially ideal for a busy working life. Because it’s full of antioxidants and vitamins, it can also help the body’s capacity for adapting to hormone changes and help in the fight against stress and depression. I’d recommend starting with 1tsp and gradually increasing the dose each day.
Pearl has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. This nano-particle pearl powder boosts collagen production, evens skin tone, fights signs of aging, and contains calcium, 30 trace minerals and essential amino acids. It comes in powdered form and dissolves in any drink. You can also apply it directly onto skin by mixing with a little warm water.
This powerful root’s alkaloids help to ease pressures on the hormonal and nervous systems and work to relieve anxiety, promoting a sense of wellbeing and calm. As ashwagandha encourages the body to produce melatonin, it can prove a useful sleep aid, too. Take these capsules daily.