There’s been a lot of fuss surrounding adaptogens over the past years. While proponents claim that they offer extraordinary benefits, some experts are skeptical towards this idea. There are reasons why so many people are using them to improve their health, but what is the evidence behind the claims?
Many experts have been studying adaptogens for decades to see if there are true benefits. Some of them revealed many positive results, while there are still some aspects of these herbs that require more research.
To understand why adaptogens have caused so much noise and learn if adaptogens real, you need to understand exactly what they are. After providing some insight into these plants, we’ll go over the debate of whether there is evidence of noticeable results.
What are Adaptogens?
The term adaptogen is used to describe a number of plants that are believed to have important medicinal value. Most of these plants have been around for thousands of years, with a long tradition of use in treating various medical conditions.
The main reason why skeptics don’t believe in their abilities is the fact that most of them are associated with ancient religions. Medicinal systems of the Greek, Roman, and Ayurvedic vintage are considered alternative today, which is why not enough attention is paid to them.
Despite this, there are many studies that explored the true potential of adaptogens. Some of them yielded great results, while others failed to do so. For that reason, there’s a debate within the scientific community about whether these plants have true medicinal effects.
Nevertheless, today we have concrete proof that adaptogens can bring many positive changes into the lives of those who use them. From protecting mental and physical health, to increasing many bodily functions, these herbs serve many purposes.
What Adaptogens Do
To give you an idea of everything that they can do, let’s go over some of the best-known proven benefits of adaptogens.
Immune System Boost
An important part of our immune system is located in our gut. As its health deteriorates, so does our immune system. There are many studies that found adaptogens to have a positive effect on the immune system.
For those who face different kinds of physical stress, adaptogens were found to reduce oxidative damage and improve their immune system and physical performance.
Probably the thing that adaptogens are best known for is their powerful antioxidant properties. All of these herbs are full of antioxidants, which on its own bring a wide variety of benefits. The reason for this is that antioxidants neutralize the effects that free radicals have on our body.
This results in prevention of many diseases and easier recovery for those who fell ill. For example, a study showed that adaptogens could help prevent and battle various types of cancer.
Mental health protection
Among the many effects of adaptogens, their positive effects on mental health are among the most documented.
A study found that adaptogens can help the body develop better defense against stress and help the body recover from it faster. It also helps lower the levels of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone, which is very important in managing stress and preventing anxiety disorders.
An important part of their effect on stress is that they don’t have the sedative properties of the most popular antianxiety pharmaceuticals. On the contrary, adaptogens are able to reduce stress and increase energy levels, thereby overcoming fatigue as well.
Nootropics are supplements that help enhance your brain function. They can be found in various forms, including plants, liquids, and medication. Some adaptogens are proven to have the properties of nootropics, and thus can help improve various cognitive functions.
For example, a study found that Ashwagandha, one of the most popular adaptogens, has great nootropic potential. It helps protect your brain from environmental neurotoxins, improves memory, and prevents various neurological disorders.
Overall health improvement
Adaptogens are proven to improve the quality of life through numerous health improvements. A major study explored the effects that they had on mental and physical health and discovered some important effects.
Among them, the most important effects are protection form cardiovascular diseases, increased energy and endurance, and faster recovery from various diseases and injuries. A wide variety of healthy compounds found in these herbs help the body maintain great health over time.
As you can see, there’s evidence that adaptogens can bring many benefits. The proofs mentioned here are only a small portion of all research studies that support this claim.
New studies are being conducted continuously to explore the true potential of these herbs. Some of their effects are confirmed, some more or less confirmed, and there are many more that researchers are looking into. Overall, adaptogens can be an important part of maintaining optimal health, and ensuring your body and brain are performing at their best.