The battle for your health is on… Superfoods are facing some stiff competition from what are being called “super-herbs.” And there’s good reason for it.
Better known as “adaptogens” by researchers and dieticians, this select group of herbs and mushrooms has a seemingly magical ability to help our bodies handle stressors. They can “adapt” their functionality according of the specific needs of the body. These needs can be physical, chemical or even biological.
They can also aide your immune system and help with exercise warmup and recovery.
What’s particularly interesting is the fact that they can possess opposing qualities… and exert seemingly paradoxical effects.
For instance, ginseng (one of the more widely studied adaptogens) has been shown to lower blood pressure in some people while raising blood pressure in others… depending on the individual’s needs.
This is one of many examples of these “smart herbs” ability to “normalize” things in the body.
Adaptogens help your adrenal glands the same way exercise helps your muscles. They actually tweak hormone production and physiological responses to make sure the body is performing at optimal functionality.
When the body is dealing with stress, adaptogens help adrenal glands mount an immediate hormonal response by making and releasing more stress hormones. And when the stress stops, adaptogens also help adrenal glands shut down more quickly.
Below is a list of some of the most promising and popular adaptogens out there and how they help…
Amla (aka Indian Gooseberry): High in vitamin C and antioxidants, amla has shown to be effective against diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
Ashwagandha: This powerful herb is used by people in the Himalayas to improve resistance to oxygen deprivation. It also helps the nervous, endocrine and immune systems.
Dang Shen: This herb is said to improve the body’s ability to defend against high levels of stress, anxiety, trauma and fatigue. It has also been studied for its power to reduce colon inflammation.
Ginseng: As mentioned, ginseng’s powers are wide-reaching. This includes combating fatigue, being an anti-inflammatory, and being used in the fight against cancer and diabetes.
Holy Basil: This antimicrobial has been used for thousands of years to treat the circulatory, immune and nervous systems. It can also help with memory and concentration.
Licorice Root: Only to be used under a doctor’s supervision, licorice root has been shown to increase energy and endurance. It also protects the thymus gland from being damaged by cortisol, which is the stress hormone.
Maca: This “Peruvian ginseng” can increase strength, stamina and libido.
Reishi: These mushrooms can help treat fatigue, respiratory problems and liver damage.
Suma: Easily found as a capsule and a dried herb, it is commonly used to improve energy levels and prevent fatigue while boosting immunity.
The nine herbs above share three distinct qualities that make them worthy of your attention. They are all considered nontoxic and generally safe by the FDA. They share broad benefits to the immune system and to multiple organ systems. And they provide balance within the body.
The best part is, you don’t have to choose between superfoods and super-herbs to give your body the nutrients it needs to run optimally.