You’ve seen them and know they exist, but what exactly are adaptogens? So much more than just mysterious, pricy add-ons at your local juice bar, adaptogens are packed full of unique nutritional profiles, distinct flavors, and are ancient holistic healing.
Since the FDA hasn’t put their official stamp of approval on what does or doesn’t make the cut as an “adaptogen,” it’s a little hard to clarify just what qualifies. But, the NYTimes shared that traditional Chinese herbs, Ayurvedic herbs, medicinal mushrooms, and certain algae all fall under the category. Basically, they’re super herbs and 100% natural substances that can be used for healing, renewed energy, and help your body (and mind) thrive.
Below are five of my go-to adaptogens, and what I love using them for!
Native to India, this ancient herb has been used for thousands of years to reduce stress levels, lower blood sugar, and improve memory. Try adding a spoonful to your next latte to reduce caffeine jitters and get a smooth energy boost.
Packed full of beta-glucans, chaga is my go-to when I’m just feeling “out of it.” It’s a medicinal mushroom (and no, not that kind of shroom!) that grows in Russia, Korea, Europe, and even North America, and is dried to create a delicious tea. According to Moon Juice, you can also sprinkle it in ginger ale for a refreshing treat!
From Peru, maca is a cruciferous vegetable found in the Andes. It has an earthy flavor that pairs deliciously with hot chocolate(!) and a known mood booster for when you just can’t shake off the blues. And, for all my fellow sun-lovers out there, maca has even shown to help protect skin from harmful UV rays. My favorite way to use it up is this INSANE AF Superfood Maca Hot Chocolate. So, so, SO good.
Made from rice, tocos is full of good-for-you fatty and amino acids. It’s the ultimate skin-boosting superfood, as its phytonutrients hydrate skin skin, connective tissues, and protect collagen. Boost your glow naturally by adding tocos to your next morning smoothie!
Originally from China, ancient folklore claims Schisandra can “calm the heart and quiet the spirit.” Beyond that blissful healing, it is known to help aid liver function, reduce stress, and boost focus. Given its slightly bitter tang, this berry does well with a strong counterpart like matcha, orange juice, and cacao-infused smoothies.
What are your favorite adaptogens? And if you’ve never tried them before, do you think you will now? LMK on Instagram @lazybitch.la !! xx