The human physical body was not designed to endure long durations of intense stress. If we were, then stress would not be noted as a major contributor to a vast array of chronic health issues. Since stress has become an integral part of our modern existence, it is imperative that we find ways to not only counter it, but to also build stress resilience that allows us to both handle and recover from stressful situations. Periods of high stress deplete our energy, which causes the nervous system to rely on the fight-or-flight response as a coping mechanism. This in turn inevitably leads to adrenal burn out, as our frazzled energy can no longer respond from a place of calm. True energy that is consistent and abundant is born from the depths of a calm nervous system. The gift of calm energy brings more focus, presence, productivity, vitality and fulfillment into our daily lives.

Unlike pharmaceutical drugs that are known to have effective, short-term results, but also harmful long-term effects, true adaptogens are safe and non-toxic with excellent results from consistent use. Adaptogens not only assist the body in building stress resilience, but also protect, regenerate and repair stress-induced damage. Further, they remarkably work uniquely on each person to restore a normal, healthy state. While adaptogens were first studied and researched in Russia back in the 1940s, the knowledge and use of these miraculous plants have been with us for thousands of years, notably within Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines as well as Indigenous lore. The lack of current research and study of these healing plants in their entirety reflects not only the lost wisdom of plant intelligence, but also the controlled, corporate domination of what is considered to be real medicine.

Despite all of our modern achievements, all life upon this planet, including the planet herself, are experiencing an abundance of toxic stress. We are being bombarded daily by physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stress along with hidden environmental, biological and chemical toxic stressors. All these forms of stress impact us in negative ways, and ultimately weaken our body’s capacity to both manage and recover from such high stress levels. If there is one thing that adaptogens do very well, it is their ability to restore a calm nervous system and thereby build stress resilience. Plant adaptogens can repair, restore, regenerate and protect due to their rich, abundant chemical compounds known to promote healing and well being.

Adaptogen plants contain terpenes, triterpenes, triterpenoid saponins, polyphenols, polysaccharides and beta glucan.

While all plants contain terpenes, they are distinguishable by their strong aromas and flavors that in the natural world serve to either resist predators or attract pollinators. As a derivative of terpenes, triterpenes include saponins, found in the skin of plants, and are thus called triterpenoid saponins, which possess anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-tumor attributes as well as increasing the absorption of nutrients. Polyphenols are essentially anti-oxidants found in the micronutrients of plants, and form a distinct class of plant-based chemicals known as phytochemicals.

Polysaccharides are the complex carbohydrates found in plant foods that are responsible for energy storage and cellular communication in the body. Adaptogens that are rich in polysaccharides have high nutritional value and beneficial effects on the immune, digestive and detoxification systems. Beta glucan is a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of plants, algae, bacteria and fungi, and its immune properties are anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer.

True adaptogens that have high triterpenoid saponins are American and Asian ginsengs, astragulus, eleuthero, dang shen, holy basil and reishi; and secondary adaptogens are calendula, chaga, Indian frankincense, ginger, turmeric and rosemary. Adaptogens high in polysaccharides are reishi, turkey tail, lions mane, chaga, cordyceps, eleuthero, astragalus, American and Asian ginsengs.

A daily infusion of eleuthero, astragulus, chaga, reishi and cordyceps, along with more ginger and turmeric added to your diet, will do wonders to boost immune function. A frequent infusion of holy basil, lions mane, ashwaganda and rhodiola, along with more fresh rosemary and fresh nutmeg in your diet, will gently calm your nerves. A daily infusion of hawthorn and rose will keep your heart smiling and eleuthero, rhodiola and ginseng will boost your energy.

The planetary mother has infused nature with the alchemy of adaptogen plants for our healing. Stress is not our friend. We must do our best to build calm energy and stress resilience in order to mitigate stress-induced damage before it has taken its toll on our health.