Can Adaptogens Help you keep your New Year Resolution?
There are all kinds of theories, facts, and blame as to why we gain weight, retain water, or why we can’t lose excess weight.
We eat too much, we eat from stress, we eat the wrong foods, we’re addicted to food, no time to plan our food intake, no energy to exercise, or just plain “cravings” for that great dessert.
Then there is the theory that we eat too much because our body is out of “balance,” usually from stress. It’s not getting the cellular energy it needs when it needs it.
This is where adaptogens may help in that they have a favorable effect on many different cell types. Supporting the body’s own self-regulatory mechanism, they work on a cellular level, and help balance homeostasis.
If our body is out of balance because we are expending more energy than we have, we experiences stress and eventually burn out, or even a depleted immune system. If you are constantly catching colds and fatigue every afternoon, this may be the result of your body’s immune system being out of balance.
It’s only natural that we are going to reach for the first edible food group we come in contact with in an attempt to replenish our energy and to feel more in balance.
An Adaptogen is a soft acting plant with three criteria:
- Fast Acting
- Non Toxic
- Normalizes body functions
The FIVE adaptogens I want to share with you today are:
- Rhodiola rosea
- Schizandra chinensis
- Acanthopanax senticosus
- Whitania somnifera or Ashwaganda
- Andrographis paniculata
Rhodiola rosea re-energizes our cells, raising mental capacity and stamina to peak performance. When our cells are re-energized, there is no need to overdose on carbs, sugar, or caffeine.
Taken on a daily basis and a half hour before exercise, this herb can increase your overall ability to adapt to physical and mental stress. Dr. Patricia L Gerbarg, co-author of the Rhodiola Revolution, tells us that this herb helped when she had Lyme disease.[i]
Schizandra chinensis and Acanthopanax senticosus, combined with Rhodiola rosea, gives you the benefit of 3 adaptogens. The combination of these three can help cleanse your liver, fight free radicals, reduce your cravings, and increase the oxygen supply in the body, particularly in the endocrine glands, heart, circulatory system, and liver. Free radicals are the metabolic toxins & poisons produced by your body as a reaction to stress. Retaining water; dark circles under your eyes; constant cravings for soda, coffee, and desserts could be the result of the liver not being in balance.
Whitania somnifera or Ashwaganda seems to help with stress and also can balance your sleep patterns. The best way to replenish your energy is to get the proper amount of sleep. Our body repairs itself when we sleep; the more rest, the less stress.
Finally, Andrographis paniculata helps build your immune system and we all know that when our immune system is depleted we are more prone to colds, flu, and other health problems. Clinical studies show that Andrographis paniculata with 300 mg and 4 percent andrographolides assists the immune system and can be used to treat cold and flu symptoms, and provide sinus and allergy relief.[ii]
Stress affects our immune system, interrupts sleeping patterns, reduces our energy, and even affects our thinking. When we eat from stress, we tend to take too much salt, sugar, or alcohol, and future stress on our liver.
It seems from what I’ve read and what others have told me that adaptogens can have a positive effect on helping us with weight loss.
I have used adaptogens on a daily basis and no longer experience the craving I had for that chocolate cookie every afternoon. I sleep sounder and wake up more energized, my doctor can’t believe how low my cholesterol is, and I have not caught a full-blown cold in 3 years. However, most important to me, with my busy schedule of husband, father, grandfather, and businessman, my energy is higher and I feel more in-balance. I was able to lose 2 inches off my waist over a 12 month period.
I hope I’ve given you some food for thought or should I say some adaptogens for thought. “Take care of yourself and take care of each other, cause that’s why we’re put here”
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Richard DeSoto is president of Kare-N-Herbs, a manufacturer and distributor of adaptogen herbal supplements. He is also the producer of The Health Seminar radio program. His philosophy is, “we were put here to help each other.”
[i] Brown RP, Gerbarg PL. The Rhodiola Revolution. Emmaus, PA. Rodale Publishing; 2004.