Adaptogens are in the lime light lately and rightly so. These botanicals help the body adapt to stress and fight inflammatory insults. Building up the beneficial compounds in our systems from these herbal allies help our bodies find physiological balance again. Studies have shown that adaptogens can have anti-fatigue, anti-depressive, anxiety relieving, hormone regulating, immunity building, and nervous system calming effects! Sounds all-encompassing right? It’s why they’re called adaptogens – they assist your system in adapting to stressors and normalizing the physiological processes that may be thrown off. Essentially, an adaptogen enables a wide range of actions that regulate our body’s homeostasis. What a symbiotic relationship with nature! The following 3 adaptogens are particularly impressive for immunity and often found in my feel-well rotation:
- Technically a fungus, Reishi is an incredible ally for both stress + immunity! Reishi builds the immune system by acting on white blood cells – specifically natural killer cells, which fight infections. There have also been studies that show potential anti-cancer effects from reishi extract. As many adaptogens, reishi can also help regulate our nervous system to find balance and increase overall energy. A potent feel-well friend!
- This is a root from India also known as gooseberry or Indian ginseng. It has been used for thousands of years for management of inflammation. Recent studies show that regular use of ashwagandha extract can help reduce cortisol levels in individuals with chronic stress. This can translate with improved insulin management, better sleep, and decreasing feelings of fatigue. It also helps to modulate our immune system – making us more resilient to common colds or calming an over-active immune system. A great way to stay grounded!
- AKA Holy Basil, this is another powerful herb from India that has great immunity enhancing effects. In fact, it is known as the “Queen of All Herbs.” It is a potent anti-microbial and anti-viral while having analgesic effects to quell pain. With a high anti-oxidant content, holy basil is great for reducing oxidative stress in the body. It also works on our nervous systems for feelings of balance and calm. A true one-stop shop for wellness!