Herbal adaptogens do what it says on the tin, so to speak: they assist the body in adapting to extreme circumstances and regulate the endocrine system so that all the functions governed by hormones are brought back into balance. They are also thought to help the body adapt to stress, intense exercise, lack of sleep, extreme temperatures and emotional shock. Adaptogens are our best friends when it comes to recovering, rebalancing and responding to life’s circumstances in a robust way.
Liquorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra, is native to Europe. Liquorice is an all-time favourite confectionary, but research also shows that Liquorice root is a powerful adaptogen, able to help the body to manage the stress hormone cortisol more efficiently. It is very nourishing for burned out adrenals and is best used during times of chronic fatigue and tiredness that can often result in frequent illness.
Rhodiola Rhosea, Golden root, is native to Siberia. Rhodiola helps to balance the stress hormone cortisol levels in the body. If cortisol levels are too high it can bring it down, and conversely if they are too low it can bring them up – this is the power of an adaptogen. Rhodiola repairs exhausted and burnt out adrenals, making it highly effective at combating stress, fatigue, anxiety and worry. It enhances wellbeing by supporting two neurotransmitters that are essential for mood and mental function: serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are crucial to sharp focus and memory and have a huge impact on the ability to stimulate feelings of happiness.
Both herbs can be taken as a tea or tincture, or the powder can be encapsulated or used in food and drink preparation.
About the author: Claire Kelly has a background in holistic therapies and co-founded Indigo Herbs in 2004. She has been researching and writing about herbs and superfoods ever since and is the editor of the Indigo herbs blog and Natural Health Guide. For more information, see: www.indigo-herbs.co.uk.