Ashwagandha, Schisandra, Maca, Suma and Rhodiola - Here's all you need to learn about adaptogens.
Adaptogens have been used for thousands of years in Ancient Herbal Healing Practices. They are non-toxic plants that are helpful in building the body's resilience in dealing with physical and emotional stress. Adaptogens are also believed to have anti-aging properties. There are many different types of adaptogens. Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Schisandra, Maca, Suma, Ginseng and Liquorice root are considered among the popular ones.
Let us take a look at adaptogens and their various health benefits.
- Maca: Traditionally, maca root has been used to improve fertility and sex drive. It also improves energy and stamina. The root powder of maca is very nutritious and a great source of vitamins and minerals.
- Rhodiola rosea: This herb helps to make you less prone to physical and emotional stress. Supplements of Rhodiola are used for treatment of depression, fatigue and improved exercise performance.
- Schisandra: Schisandra is a herb that helps to boost energy, increase resistance to disease and stress, and to build physical performance and endurance. Schisandra also prevents early aging, normalising blood sugar and blood pressure, and aids in speedy recovery after surgery.
- Ashwagandha: Being a popular adaptogen, Ashwagandha is consumed for general wellness. It helps boost energy and reduce anxiety and stress. Besides the many other health benefits such as increasing muscle mass and strength, fighting symptoms of depression and reducing cortisol levels, Ashwagandha is also used for boosting male testosterone and promoting male fertility.
- Suma: Suma is a plant adaptogen that helps to boost the body's ability to resist ""stressors"" such as bacteria, toxins, or mental stress. Suma is also considered for diabetes, male sexual performance problems, and other conditions.
How to consume adaptogens?
As adaptogenic herbs are bitter to be enjoyed as food, they are generally used in powder form and can be added to smoothies, teas or herbal drinks. They also come as supplements in the form of pills and a capsule.
The dosage for the adaptogens depends on the condition you wish to treat and the advice of your health practitioner. If you are selecting an Adaptogen, do make sure to select an herbal supplement that is organic, all-natural, and ethically wild-harvested.
Forest Raga's Ashwagandha ticks all these parameters as they are curated using the purest forest grown Ashwagandha root with minimal processing. Know more.
How safe are adaptogens?
While it may be safe to take adaptogens, one must also continue eating a healthy diet and maintaining regular exercise. As adaptogens don't eliminate stress from a person's life, they just help the body to adapt to stress in a manner that promotes a healthy aging.
Having said that, it's important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking adaptogens as they may interact with other medicines and supplements if you are taking them.
While some adaptogens are said to have health-promoting abilities, some may produce side effects. However, there are very few studies that have examined the safety of taking specific adaptogens over time.
Can two different adaptogens be taken together?
As many of the adaptogens show similar qualities, it is best to first use one and experience the benefits and possible side effects and then try another one. For instance, taking Rhodiola and Ashwagandha together may not be beneficial as Rhodiola induces dizziness and Ashwagandha is a sedative.
The long and short of it!
If you feel that you are struggling to pick the right adaptogen supplement, do make time to test their efficacy with your Ayurvedic health practitioner before making a decision.