We live in an age in which the capacity of adaptability of our body is in constant demand due to the different kinds of stress we face. In principle, stress helps us to overcome the problems and risks. It is the response of the organism to adapt to any application environment. This is a physiological process which involved the sympathetic nervous system and the endocrine system. The problem arises when stress becomes chronic, leading to wear of these systems and then, over time, as the immune system.

Adaptogenic plants, as their name suggests, help us to adapt to the environment. They allow a good recovery of the body without the latter is forced to draw on its reserves, both by enhancing the vitality and providing a sense of well-being. The concept of "adaptogenic herbs" is awarded to the Russien scientist Nicolai Lazarev which, in 1947, seeking a definition for a group of plants whose action can increase the physical and mental abilities, reduce fatigue, improve defenses and promote the extension of life expectancy. Despite thousands of years of use in China, Japan, Korea, Russia and the rest of Europe, the beneficial effects of these plants had never been studied scientifically. In 1948, Lazarev and one of his collaborators, Dr. Israel Brekhman, challenge to research on the effectiveness and usefulness of this group of plants, defined as adaptogens.

Eleutherococcus One of the best known is the ginseng (Panax ginseng), whose root was in use there are thousands of years in East. Due to its rich composition (15 different ginsenosides, pectin, B vitamins, flavonoids and germanium) is an excellent general revitalizing (especially in the elderly), stimulating the immune system, adrenal glands and nervous system. In the list of eastern adaptogenic herbs we find ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome which has powerful anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cleansing, revitalizing muscle, immune stimulant, male gonads stimulant, as well as the digestive system. The Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) completes the trio of roots adaptogens. This is a great general revitalizing and a effective stimulant of the immune, nervous and endocrine systems (primarily the adrenal glands and female gonads).

Across the Atlantic, we find the lapacho or Pau d'Arco (Tecoma adenophylla), which used the inner bark by its stimulating effect in the immune, endocrine and nervous systems, as well as for its revitalizing action, antispasmodic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Numerous scientific studies confirm the wondrous virtues of another American plant, cat's claw from Peru (Uncaria tormentosa), whose powerful immunostimulant action is of great use to accompany treatments such as chemotherapy.

Garlic In Europe we also have excellent adaptogenic herbs. Among them, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), whose leaves and flowering tops have, in addition to their known liver tropism, revitalizing properties, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and stimulating the adrenal glands, is also a tonic for the nervous system very interesting in geriatrics. St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), a magical and sacred herb among the Celts, is a good remedy for depression and anxiety, thanks to one of its main active ingredients, hypericin. This herb also has a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antispasmodic and revitalizing. If the campaign is far enough to go pick (consciously) these wonderful herbs, just look in the kitchen a little garlic (Allium sativum) and take advantage of its many properties: general revitalizing, stimulating the immune and hormonal systems (especially the male gonads), antioxidant, antiseptic general, antiviral, antifungal, anthelmintic and vascular protective, to name only some.

Nature offers us many more adaptogenic herbs: noni (Morinda citrifolia), muirapuama (Ptychopetalum olacoides), gomphrena (Gomphrena officinalis), acerola (Malpighia punicifolia), echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, E. purpurea), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), black currant (Ribes nigrum), buckthorn (Arbutus unedo), astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), oats (Avena sativa), ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), black cumin (Nigella sativa), shiitake (Lentinus eodes) Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), maitake (Grifola frondosa) and a large etcaetera.

 

LEARN MORE:

  • David Winston and Steven Maimes. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press, 2007.

 

 

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The advice and suggestions described in the various articles do not claim, under any circumstances, to diagnose, cure or substitute for any medical or pharmacological treatment whatsoever.