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Adaptogens

Updated: Nov 7, 2020


Have you noticed the vibe is tense lately? There are celestial reasons (Mars Retrograde and Mercury Retrograde) along with more down to earth reasons (Corona Virus, USA Elections, Climate Change, etc.).

While apprenticing at Flower Power Herbs and Roots I turned to Adaptogens as a remedy for NYC aliments of sleep deprivation, stress, and anxiety.

Adaptogens help the body deal with different types of stress including, emotional, physical, and environmental. They have immune building properties and are more preventative than curative.



According to the book Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston with Steven Maimes there are well-researched adaptogens, probable adaptogens, and possible adaptogens. They also list complimentary herbs for adaptogens including nervines and nootropics. The book goes into great detail on all the herbs below plus others. I highly recommend it if you are building your own herbal reference library. Below are the ones that I like and keep stocked in my personal apothecary.




Well-researched adaptogen Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera - I include this herb in many of my herbal blends. The flavor is light and pleasant and mixes well with many herbs. And it he one that is well researched and officially classified as an adaptogen herb. It is calming and helps to regulate the thyroid and adrenal glands. It works to relieve anxiety, fatigue, and nervousness. I also like the alcohol tincture and the glycerite both are pleasant tasting and a great addition to your medicine cabinet.

Probable adaptogen

Holy Basil (aka Tulsi) – Ocimum tenuiflorum (Rama), sanctum (Krishna), and gratissimum (Vana). I love all three and usually have at least two on hand. Rama is cooling and mellow, Krishna is crisp and peppery and Vana is floral and fragrant. The herb can enhance immune function and relieve anxiety while promoting cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and decision making.

Possible adaptogen

Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra – this herb is SUPER sweet and a little goes a long way. It is typically used in formulas for coughs and respiratory issues. It is also an antiviral and anti-inflammatory. It works well to sweeten bitter herbs and mellow spicy herbs.

Nervines

I live in New York City which is fast paced and stress can be found around any corner. Nervines are calming herbs that help restore emotional balance and nourish the nervous system. They help to relieve stress and anxiety. Both of the herbs below are gentle enough for children.

Chamomile – Matricaria recutita – is sweet yet slightly bitter. It is one of the most popular herbs used as tea and most people already know it and have it on hand. It provides relief to anxiety, upset stomach, and insomnia.

Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis – smells lemony and minty and is on the sweet side. It helps to improve mood, promote better sleep, and it also has antiviral properties. This herb blends well with the others.

Nootropics are used to enhance memory and improve mood. These are the herbs known as smart drugs.

Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia and latifolia – this is a well-known herb used as medicine and in perfumes. It is calming to the mind and gut. It promotes restful sleep and prevents night-time waking.

Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis – this is a well known culinary herbal spice and it also used as medicine. It is used to treat cloudy thinking and reduce anxiety.


Daytime Blend Recipe

Ashwagandha 2 parts

Holy Basil 1 part

Lemon Balm ½ part

Licorice ¼ part

Nighttime Blend Recipe

Ashwagandha 2 parts

Chamomile 1 part

Lemon Balm ½ part

Lavendar ¼ part

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