Just hearing the word Adaptogen… gives me all the feels.
I have such a love affair with adaptogens. This all started, really, when I stumbled into Moon Juice, a Los Angeles based mecca for all things adaptogens.
The truth is I had learned of adaptogens years before thanks to conversations with different food revolutionaries, authors, and gurus.. and didn’t really understand their power.
And even before that, about 10 years prior, in meeting rooms and manufacturing facilities with vitamin manufacturers where there were actual literal vats of adaptogens being utilized in formulations… nope didn’t click.
On an auspicious sunny afternoon in the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, walking into a little coffee and tea shop I fell in full on, head-over-heels love with adaptogens. It suddenly all clicked for me why I had been drawn to these power houses off and on over the years. More about this to come!
My nervous system was fried after an extended period of immense stress, and as a remedy I kept feeling pulled to ashwagandha. I had an amazing conversation with the staff there and confirmed this would be a good reset facilitator.
That began my nightly Ashwagandha and almond milk “tea” remedy aka. Nightly Calm Tea. Within only a few weeks my demeanor and overall health were night-and-day difference. I had been so over-stressed and wound up for so long my system wasn’t calming down. This tea was a life changer…game changer…and full-on love affair. Along with my regular meditation, breathing, and yoga practice, I was a new woman!
Nightly Calm Tea:
1 Heaping Tablespoon Ashwaghanda Hot Water Almond Milk- optional* Cinnamon or Chai to taste- optional*
Add your Ashwaghanda and Cinnamon or Chai to a mug of your choice. Pour hot water and almond milk over the dry ingredients. Mix well. Deep breath in, and exhale…and enjoy!
Now days adaptogens are always at the tip of my tongue for people needing recommendations in their lives.
What are adaptogens you ask? Just your new best friends.
Adaptogens are non-toxic plants and herbs known in Chinese and Japanese medicine, and Ayurvedic healing to help the body heal and fight stress. As we know stress is the root cause of the majority of our modern illnesses…so it makes sense that by helping support our bodies from the root we grow, thrive, and heal. You can add them to your diet, take them as supplements, or as drinks (tea, smoothie, coffee, etc.). Adaptogens are meant to bring our bodies and systems into balance. A topic we really like here at Chaos & Calm.
Here is a small list of a few of our personal favorites! They are certainly worth a deeper dive.
A potent superfood traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine. This corrective super-herb is known to protect the body from stress, enhance focus and stamina, and fight anxiety and depression due to its dense concentration of withanolides.
The ultimate cortisol balancer, this helps to support your brain-adrenal (HPA) axis. This herb is also powerful when it comes to thyroid support. A Chaos & Calm favorite for its restorative qualities. I noticed a huge difference in my nervous system after incorporating ashwagandha into my regular routine.
Chaga is a superfood mushroom loaded with antioxidants that help fight free radicals to keep skin youthful. Known to reduce fatigue and increase mental sharpness. High in antioxidants and beta-glucans. Cancer preventing and fighting, lowers cholesterol, combats inflammation and boosts overall health and immune system. Taking Chaga with warm or cold water is said to release its medicinal features. A warm earthy flavor, this adaptogen is my favorite in hot water as a tea.
Known in Chinese and Japanese medicine for over 2,000 years as a health staple, it helps the body handle stress and support healthy immune system function.Loaded with polysaccharides, antioxidant properties, and beta-glucans that help your immune system win. It is a grounding mushroom, so it makes sense that you feel more grounded and able to handle what life throws at you. A yummy tea or great added into nutty warm recipes!
Actually a parasitic fungi known in Chinese medicine for centuries to offer support for fatigue, kidney disease, and low sex drive. It is the ultimate anti-aging adaptogen. Cordyceps is known to increase antioxidants, and decrease the pro-inflammatory monoamine oxidase and lipid per oxidation activity at the root of aging. Healthy immune and vascular system support, normalized sexual functions, and sustained energy levels are a few other great attributes of this adaptogen.
This adaptogen of the sea is a natural collagen booster and contains amino acids, minerals, and high levels of calcium. Beauty friend helping even out skin tone, strengthen hair, skin and nails. You can even make a paste from Pearl to help whiten teeth or use it as a facial scrub!
Maca is a powdered root superfood from the Andes, known as a peruvian ginseng. Packed with vitamin C, this is a perfect energy, endurance, and immune booster! It’s also a natural antibiotic, but its key support features are balancing hormones, the endocrine system and thyroid, supporting mental well-being and depression, reducing blood pressure. Oh yeah, did I mention it also is great at fighting free radicals?! I am a maca nut (pun intended as it has a pretty nutty flavor). It’s perfect in smoothies, healthy pancakes (more to come on this gem), just water…but my favorite is adding it to coffee!
A mushroom that contains bioactive ingredients that support the brain, heart, and gut especially.
Lion’s Mane is a natural “brain-fog” lifter and helps aid in nervous system repair, fight against depression and dementia, reduces heart risk, reduces inflammation, and is an immune system booster. Some studies have shown Lion’s mane to be helpful in depression, and in brain protection and regeneration. What we will say is that we have a lot fewer “foggy” days since adding this adaptogen into our regime!
A Harmonizing berry is known as a “King” in Chinese medicine because of its balancing elements. This adaptogen is a powerful antioxidant protector that helps with cellular damage, promote overall health and well-being, resistance to stress, and balancing the systems. Schisandra stabilizes your adrenals and can help fight adrenal fatigue and healthy liver function, which also offers support for stress and inflammation. We love the taste and love to make cold drinks with this bitter sweet earthy fruit adaptogen!