Science of Adaptogens: Herbs for Stress Reduction and Health Improvement
17 Apr, 2023
No matter what your environment is, stress seems to be an inescapable part of our daily lives. Whether it is the constant “breaking news” on television, the ever-worsening state of our environment, or even our own financial pressures, our daily stressors can be overwhelming. This makes you wonder, how do we handle this unavoidable stress? Even more importantly, how do we handle this stress in a healthy, natural way?
How the Body Naturally Reacts to Stress
While it is easy to update an iPhone to a new operating system, we humans cannot as easily update our biological systems that deal with stress. We have something called a “hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis”, (“HPA” for short) that helps our bodies react to stress. The HPA axis (comprised of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain and the adrenal glands on the kidneys) is an important body system that adjusts the level of hormones and the body’s response to stress. In moments of stress, the HPA system reacts by releasing hormones that impact the nervous system (and the reason why you might start sweating and feel an increased heart rate). The hormones released then travel through the bloodstream to the adrenal glands where cortisol (the “stress hormone”) is then produced and throws our bodies into “fight or flight” mode. The problem is that the HPA system is programmed to make us react to our stresses today in the same way we reacted to very different stresses thousands of years ago. When we are faced with a stressful situation, our bodies still react as if we are being chased by wolves or warring with other tribes. So how do we adapt the HPA for today’s stresses?
Adaptogens - A Healthy Solution
One natural, healthy and long-practiced answer is adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs, roots, and other plant substances like mushrooms that have been used for centuries to help people handle stress and improve general health. Scientists believe that adaptogens work by regulating HPA to stabilize cortisol levels. When we become stressed, our cortisol levels are elevated. Adaptagens help bring these hormones down to a more relaxed state, making us feel more calm.
One well known adaptogen is Rhodiola Rosea. Rhodiola Rosea is a perennial flowering plant that grows in wild arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Rhodiola Rosea has been used for centuries in Russia to decrease depression and improve work productivity. Another well known adaptogen is L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves. L-Theanine has been in the green tea consumed in Japan for centuries for its calming effects. Both L-Theanine and Rhodiola Rosea, two adaptogens used in Baloo, have shown to help resist the effects of stress, depression, and anxiety. And these amazing adaptogens are both actually used in Baloo!
How Adaptogens Are Used in Western Culture and What They Can Do For You
Recently, especially in this post-COVID era, you’ve probably seen adaptogens being used more frequently in western culture. Why is this? With stress surrounding our everyday lives, it is more important now than ever before to learn natural and healthy ways to regulate our stress. It is key to remember that every body is different, and therefore, some people will have a different reaction to adaptogens than others. Your personal reaction to adaptogens has to do with your general health, diet, and lifestyle. The good news is that adaptogens adapt to your personal health status, which is why they are able to work in such a targeted way. Some people feel the effects of adaptogens after a few days, while others need a month or two to reach the full results.
So, What’s Next?
If you’re looking for a healthy and natural solution to handle stress, consider adaptogens. Baloo Sparkling Water with Adaptogens contains Rhodiola Rosea and L-Theanine, two adaptogens known to help resist the effects of stress and anxiety. Adaptogens work by regulating the HPA system to stabilize cortisol levels, bringing your body to a more relaxed state. Try Baloo today and leave stress behind!