Therapeutic Use of Adaptogenic Botanicalsnaturaedu
Therapeutic Use of Adaptogenic Botanicals
Adaptogenic herbs enhance optimal function – all with no side effects and while bringing the system as a whole back into its natural state of harmony.
Adaptogenic herbs were first researched and designated as such by Russian scientists. They were looking for non-toxic herbs to enhance physical stamina, performance and endurance in Russian athletes, cosmonauts and factory workers during prolonged stress, workload and athletic performance. They searched amongst botanical compounds with long histories of safe use in humans as an alternative to pharmaceutical compounds that have adverse side-effects offering short-term benefits with long-term adverse effects on wellbeing.
The simplest definition of adaptogens is any compound that (1) acts in a nonspecific manner to strengthen physiological adaptation, (2) exerts a normalizing action upon physiological responses, and (3) has a restorative effect on the organ and energy systems, enhancing optimal function – all with no side effects and while bringing the system as a whole back into its natural state of harmony.
This approach to healing has been utilized for thousands of years by ancient medicines, such as Ayurvedic and Chinese, along with the more modern Vitalist herbal tradition. Each of these traditions recognizes that there is a vital life force or energy that drives the neuroendocrine, cellular and other systems of the body. This vital life force is known in ancient traditions around the world as Prana (Ayurveda), Qi (Chinese Medicine), Ki (Kiatsu in Japan) and a multitude of other names. In these age-old medical traditions, specific herbs are recognized, classified and used according to their ability to nourish and support this vital life force in its very specific manifestations, as well as in relation to specific organ systems and functions.
Adaptogenic botanicals are nonspecific in action without being stimulating. By definition, adaptogens exert a modulatory influence. Because they normalize hypo- or hyper- conditions, they are of primary importance in calming the stress response and restoring function. Adaptogenic botanicals are known to modulate cellular function, cell-signaling, neuroendocrine function, metabolic homeostasis, and immune response. These botanicals support an efficient adaptive response and optimize the body’s natural resilience. Adaptogens help normalize the entire system, enhance recovery time from stress, and revitalize exhausted organ and energy systems.