Adaptogens: Natural Allies of Working Motherhood
Written by Bernadette Aguirre, Owner, and Herbalist of INA Botanicals & Tea.
Tea and herbs have been supportive allies in humans’ holistic health for generations. It’s no wonder why the conversation about consuming more plants has once again taken center stage, especially now. Given our new normal in the midst of the pandemic world, zoom fatigue and social anxiety have skyrocketed our baseline levels of stress, while compromising our immune systems in different ways. Add raising a family and managing your career on top of that.
By now you’ve probably heard A LOT about adaptogens and wondering what they really do. Adaptogens promote overall health and wellness. They assess what’s going on in your body and can change its behavior to give it what it needs1. Say you’re having a bad day at the office and later you pick your kids up from school. You go from boss mode to mom mode.
Adaptogens can help your body better physically and mentally
Your awkward meeting exchange from earlier is now a non-starter as you gleam at your child who is enthusiastically chattering about their math project. An adaptogen does just that, assesses what you need and changes its behavior to optimize your health. When taken long-term some adaptogens can help your body better physically and mentally handle minute-by-minute stressors. These include responding to that urgent email or getting up as your toddler goes through another sleep regression.
Here are a few adaptogens that can more commonly be taken as a long-infused tea, part of broths, or in powder form.
Once coined as a “superior herb” in Ancient China this mushroom has many actions to support optimal health. Reishi is known to boost your general immune system. It can both strengthen the body’s natural defenses or “down-regulate” overactive responses in people with autoimmune disorders.
This tiny leaf, but the nutrient-dense plant is native to parts of Asia and Africa, growing easily in warm climates. It helps increase resistance to physical, chemical, or biological stressors. Moringa is rich in vitamins and minerals and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, fighting off free radicals and infections.
Ashwagandha is a short shrub with orange-red fruit that grows in the dry regions of India and Nepal. It’s traditionally been used to restore strength and vitality, and to improve and enhance sexual drive (something for everybody!). Ashwagandha’s calming nature makes it an excellent choice for those whose tension may draw into the evening and night. Taking it before bedtime may either help promote sleep or settle the mind.
As an adaptogen, this root has been used to resist and cope with physical, mental, and emotional stress. It contains antioxidants to protect your body’s cells from damage and supports the immune system. This means helping to prevent colds, upper respiratory infections, and liver damage3. Astragalus is native to temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere.
With about 15 fungi and plants currently categorized as adaptogens, they’re available in easy-to-consume forms and can be found at herbal shops or natural food stores. For herbal teas, including adaptogens, visit INA Botanicals & Tea. We also provide custom herbal tea blends based on your body’s constitution and needs.