An adaptogen is a plant or natural remedy that supports our body's ability to adapt to stress and normalize our systems. Some common adaptogens include ashwagandha and ginger.
Adaptogens are thought to support, maintain and restore the way the body and mind handle stress. Stress comes in many forms, from day-to-day events like rush hour traffic to life's big changes. Adaptogens can be enjoyed in many ways - in food, as a seasoning or even as an extract, oil or powder blended into a drink. Adaptogen is simply a modern word that's used to describe knowledge that's been employed for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines.
Scientific research on adaptogens is underway, and it looks promising. In fact, Dr. Brenda Powell, co-medical director of the Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, stated in a 2018 Time Magazine article that "...adaptogens help your body handle stress. They're meant to bring us back to the middle."
Research completed by the Swedish Herbal Institute, and published by the respected peer-reviewed, scientific platform MDPI, noted that "...a number of clinical trials demonstrate that adaptogens exert an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental work capacity against a background of stress and fatigue, particularly in tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention. Indeed, recent pharmacological studies of a number of adaptogens have provided a rationale for these effects also at the molecular level."
Indeed, more studies and research are needed to better understand adaptogens and to connect traditional wisdom with modern science. And, you should consult with your doctor before adding adaptogens to your health routine because some herbal supplements can interact negatively with prescription medications.