Adaptogens: Do you need them?
There’s a movement within the wellness and health space at the moment for ‘not eating anything your Grandma wouldn’t recognise as food,’ and, ‘if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.’ Whilst we think that there is a lot of good in both these aphorisms as they both effectively exclude overly processed foods and foods with lots of chemical sounding additives, some of the best things in our diets come via complex sounding words: Ascorbic acid, for example, is actually just Vitamin C.
The same can be said to be true of adaptogens, often with strange names like Ashwagandha and Reishi. Adaptogens are compounds which help the body adapt and deal with stress to restore normal, physiological function. They tend to be herbs and have ancient and traditional uses, typically in Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, hence the strange names. An important differentiation between an adaptogen and a more typical drug with the same use (for example, a relaxant), is that adaptogens have to be non-toxic, i.e. natural and not chemical based.
The term adaptogen was introduced by Russian toxicologist Nikolay Lazarev in 1957 and he outlined that any adaptogen must have the 4 Ns:
- Nourishing, i.e.strengthen our bodies.
- Normalising, i.e. boost energy and lower stress.
- Non-specific, i.e. act on multiple parts of the body at once
- Non-toxic, i.e. be completely safe for use over a long period of time.
The Presscription Calming Juice Cleanse (as seen above) is designed to reduce inflammation and provide nutrients to support the immune system to promote repair and recovery.
They work by modulating our stress response from our adrenal glands and help us adapt to different types of stressors - perfect for our busy 21st Century lifestyles. That being said they can help to improve and regulate:
Here are three adaptogens to consider if you think that any or all of the above might apply to you:
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania, is the perfect herb for the 21st Century as it helps to calm the stressors of everyday life, whilst still being energising. It helps to improve sleep quality and also works on the adrenal and endocrine nervous systems - i.e. imbalances in our energy production. Studies have shown that it works like the amino acid, GABA, which is effective in our brains promoting a sense of calm and anti-anxiety.
Turmeric has become so mainstream that you probably had no idea it was an adaptogen! Turmeric is now the subject of over 6,000 clinical studies which attest to its ability to protect, nourish and calm the body. Known mainly as an anti-inflammatory, turmeric is also great for digestive health and bowel function and for improving circulation.
Find turmeric in a whopping 5 juices in the Presscription range, The Anti, The Golden Heal, The Beta Boost, The Nurturer and Tropical Roots. There’s even a cleanse dedicated to calming inflammation which focuses largely around the incredible healing properties of turmeric and other clever ingredients such as essential fatty acids 3 and 6 and ginger.
Maca is one of the more commonly known adaptogens and it’s not unusual these days to find it blended into smoothies in many of London’s healthiest cafes. Maca’s claim to fame comes from its ability to help boost mood, endurance and energy during exercise, balance hormones and boost brain function. Find it in the Orange Tonic which comes as part of The Signature Cleanse. This juice alone also contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, complex-B vitamins, fibre, calcium, vitamin A, biotin, potassium, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids…and that’s just one juice!
What do you think? Are you ready to boost your health with the power of adaptogenic herbs? Book your cleanse with us now.