ADAPTOGENS, what are they?
With its origins only dating back to 1947, the idea of adaptogens is relatively new. Scientist Nikolai Lazarev’s research was in response to the simple addictive stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine used by WWII militaries. He wanted to find a substance that would improve human health and performance without negative side effects or substance dependence.
What is an adaptogen? It is officially defined as something that causes an increase in resistance to several stress factors, including physical, chemical, biological, and psychological. They work by adapting your body to what is needed (whether it be energy, internal balance, etc) without taxing it. Homeostasis to the body is restored better than medicine because their target is to strengthen the whole body.
Hundreds of herbs and formulas were studied. The results showed traditional Asian herbs and formulas were the most effective. Several well-known Asian adaptations include ginseng, licorice, cinnamon, Dang shen, Ling zh with Panax Ginseng (Ren Shen) on the top of the list. These herbs are often combined with others to create tonics which also help to restore deficiencies of qi, blood, yin, yang, jing, or shen (spirit or mind). This can result in harmonizing the functions of the liver, kidney, digestive system, and heart.
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