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Adaptogens...what are they?

When we launched adaptogen supplements brand, life armour as a Blomma Beauty partner, it coincided with a wellbeing event we were hosting. So it made total sense that founder Marishka came along to share her knowledge on the wellbeing industry and how her supplements play a key part in keeping us well, whether that’s through combatting stress, boosting our energy or balancing our mood. 

One of the first things she did was ask the audience, ‘by a show of hands, who knows what an adaptogen is?’. Not one person raised their hand so we thought we’d demystify the term and explain why you need some life armour in your wellbeing regime. 

Flay lay of herbs, roots and leaves

What is an adaptogen?

In a nutshell, adaptogens are any plant based active that has been grown, and importantly, survives in extreme conditions. Whether it’s a herb, a mushroom or a root, when ingested, or present in the body, these adaptive plants can help create balance and help our bodies cope with physical, mental and toxic stress. This can be anything from dealing with anxiety, insomnia, physical illness and tiredness or even the toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. 

What does the name adaptogen mean? 

The term adaptogen originated in the 1950s and refers to substances that normalise the behaviour of stressors on the body. A substance with adaptogen properties is categorised into 4 characteristics, known as the 4 N’s. An adaptogen must be nourishing (provide nutritional sustenance), normalising (provide equilibrium depending on the cause i.e. lower stress or increase energy), non-specific (provide balance on multiple areas of the body at once) and non-toxic (be safe with extended use). 

How do adaptogens work?

Adaptogens can detect stresses within the body and alter their function depending on our individual needs, particularly by helping to manage the mental or habitual cues we experience in response to physical and mental stress. By incorporating adaptogens into your wellbeing routine, even just at these times, they can help boost energy when tired, focus our thoughts during high pressure or stressful moments and calm the mind and ease the body into a restful sleep. 

Adaptogens moderate the release of stress hormones from the adrenal gland. This helps the body react and manage different stresses on the body. By regulating our physical response to stress, adaptogens can have a positive effect on our overall wellbeing. 

Which plants are adaptogens? 

Adaptogens can be herbal, a funghi or a root found in nature. Some examples are ashwagandha, turmeric, ginseng, reishi mushroom and holy basil. Not all adaptogens are so exotic. Even ingredients like rosemary and aloe vera have adaptogen properties.  

life armour have based their supplement formulations on the herbal powers of ashwagandha. Look out for our future blog post where we’ll be delving deeper into the wonders of this ingredient! 

Why haven’t I heard of adaptogens before?

With nearly 80% of us feeling overwhelmingly stressed on a regular basis, consumers are now looking for alternative ways to manage the stress epidemic before medicating and adaptogens certainly fit the bill. As our world continues to be driven by connectivity whether that’s to social media or working remotely, the balance of work, personal life and health and wellbeing is in constant flux and adaptogens could be an excellent way to manage this almost unavoidable aspect of the modern world. 

How can I incorporate adaptogens into my everyday routine?

Blue wooden dresser with jars of herbs

Now you don’t need to stock up on all the apothecary jars of dried mushrooms, roots and herbs at your local herbalist or health food store to tap into the numerous benefits of adaptogens because life armour have blended together these potent extracts so you don’t have to. 

We’ve chosen to partner with life armour because they create high quality adaptogen supplements that haven’t been formulated with bulkers, fillers or preservatives so you can ensure you’re ingesting only 100% natural ingredients at the optimum dosage. On the back of each pack of their capsules and tinctures you’ll find details on the levels of actives found in each ingredient. 

You can slot their products into your routine easily by adding a capsule to your daily dose of vitamins, keeping a pot in the kitchen cupboard to take with your meals or by stashing a tincture bottle on your desk or in your handbag for reactive doses for those moments when life’s stresses take you by surprise.

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Sources
Adaptogens: A Review of their History, Biological Activity, and Clinical Benefits by Alexander Panossian, Hildebert Wagner, HerbalGram. 2011; American Botanical Council
What are adaptogen herbs? Sebastian Pole
Ultimate Guide to Adaptogens, Metta
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/news/stressed-nation-74-uk-overwhelmed-or-unable-cope-some-point-past-year
https://lifearmour.co.uk/blogs/journal/adapto-what-adaptogens-explained-and-why-they-work
Whilst we hope the pages are informative it’s important to remember we’re organic beauty enthusiasts not scientists so the information is detailed here to the best of our knowledge or research we have conducted from third parties.  Whilst we are continually updating our content based on new research, it may not always be up to date and as such it is the readers responsibility to conduct their own research in order to independently verify the information and make an informed decision on their beauty regime/lifestyle. Any opinion expressed on the efficacy of a product is based on tests performed by our team. As everyone has different skin types and concerns, please be advised that what works for them might not work for you but we try to give as much subjective information as possible which we hope you will find useful. If in any doubt, please consult a medical professional.