Health Kick: Adaptogens

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Green smoothies, acai bowls and bee pollen shots have all had their moments in the sun. Move over and make room at the juice bar guys, because the latest trend to take over the health and wellness is community is the adaptogen.

Adaptogens are super-herbs that help the body fight the back against the stressors in our lives. They help us come back from intense workouts that over tax our bodies, and shake off the negative effects of the L -train shutdown at rush hour. They also are proven to help us sleep better, improve our sex lives and increase our attention span.

Living up to their name, adaptogens have the ability to adapt their functions to the body’s specific needs, while providing support to the adrenal glands that manage our hormonal stress reponses.While they have recently gained popularity, these power herbs are not new. In fact, they have been part of Ayervedic and Chinese medicines for centuries.

Some herbs with known adaptogenic properties are various types of ginsing, astragalus, licorice, (no, Twizzlers don’t count!) maca, and holy basil.

Many of these adaptogens are featured in Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous “Morning Smoothie” recipe, purported to cost about $200 to make. Her smoothie contains maca, ashwagandha, ho shou wu and cordyceps, in addition to a teaspoon of moon dust, a compound available in various blends including Brain Dust, Beauty Dust and Spirit Dust, each selling for $55-$65 for a 2 oz. jar, from Moon Juice in L.A.

Don’t stress out if your adaptogens don’t seem to be working right away. It can take several weeks to feel the positive effects.

Want to learn more? Well + Good has a guide to Everything You Need To Know About Adaptogens to help you out.

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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