By Ezra Rufino

What are adaptogens?

If you're asking this question, you've probably seen a new product on the shelf or an on instagram touting the incredible benefits of adaptogens. Maybe you read an article talking about adaptogens with no explanation of what they even are. 

I often talk to my friends about adaptogens, and most of the time they have no idea what they are. So this article is for you, my friend, or just a random person from the internet trying to learn about adaptogens. 

And if you're looking for a round of up of some of our favorite adaptogen tea products you can read that too. 

What are adaptogens?

You'll see adaptogens used in everything from skin care products to the hippest new oat-milk-ultra-cold-brew-coffee-with-macadamia-nuts-and-ashwagandha in your local health food store. 

So, if you're trying to decide if it's worth giving adaptogens a try, here's your adaptogens 101. 

Although they have been gaining popularity in recent years, adaptogens have actually been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and more recently their effectiveness is being corroborated by modern research techniques. 

A simple way to think of an adaptogen is that they are plants, herbs, and mushrooms that help your body adapt to stress in any way that your body needs. They don't have a specific effect on the body, they are able to adapt to what your body needs. 

These are three hallmarks of adaptogens:

  • They are safe for long-term use and are not habit forming (although they do have an impact on your body, so it's always recommended to speak to a physician)
  • They don't have a specific impact on your body. As mentioned above, they help with a variety of your bodies needs and can adapt to what your body needs in that moment. 
  • They help normalize your bodies system functions and maintain what is known as homeostasis in the body -- a state of overall balance. 

Benefits of adaptogens

It's probably pretty clear from above what some of the key benefits of adaptogens are. But, what are they used for primarily? 

Here are the key benefits:

  • Minimize fatigue and increase energy [*]
  • Reduced stress [*]
  • Improved cognitive function and focus (like from lion's mane mushroom)
  • Deeper sleep
  • Better mood
  • Improved immunity [*]
  • And more!

The ability for adaptogens to do all of this in the ability is still being understood. However, one of the ways that researches believe adaptogens work is through increasing a particular protein in the body, Hsp70. Hsp70 is responsible for defending the body against stress (both emotional / mental and physical) while also increasing your bodies tolerance for stress.

What are some of the most common adaptogens? 

Here are some of the most common adaptogens that you'll see out there:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Ginseng
  • Reishi Mushroom
  • Rhodiola
  • Maca
  • Cordyceps

Each has it's unique purpose and we'd certainly recommend experimenting with what works best for your body. One of the most highly studied and loved adaptogens is definitely ashwagandha. 

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) herb, and the root of the plant is most commonly used. It is used for reducing stress and low-grade anxiety, as well as reducing fatigue. That's why it's used in products like Wonder Matcha

Should I try adaptogens?

Making adaptogens a part of your routine is one way to transition from more western types of medicine to a more plant based medicine approach.

Adaptogens are less heavy handed and are there just to help your body get to it's most natural state. 

We highly recommend experimenting with adaptogens. But, in particular if your are pregnant or are taking medication we recommend speaking with your physician before introducing adaptogens into your routine. 

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Some of our favorite adaptogen drinks

These are two of our favorite adaptogen drinks that we'd recommend. Especially if you are a matcha lover, this is a great way to add adaptogens to your daily routine! 

  • Wonder Matcha --> an matcha and adaptogen tea blend that's meant to increase your energy and focus while decreasing stress.
  • Turmeric Wonder Matcha --> a similar blend to Wonder Matcha but with the added benefit of turmeric which is used to decrease inflammation in the body. This blend contains less caffeine. 

 Have questions? Drop a comment and let us know! We'd love to hear from you. 


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