The 5 Best Adaptogens For Boosting Your Mood
When it comes to help boosting the mood, adaptogens are an effective, natural option.
Adaptogens have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to help combat the effects that stress can have on both the body and the mind, and Western medicine is quickly beginning to embrace their power, too.
PYM started with that in mind, offering a natural way to support you while you’re working through feelings of overwhelm, stress, and anxiousness.
Here is a list of the top five best adaptogens, in our opinion, which includes a few that we included in our very own Original Mood Chew!
Before we dig into the best adaptogens, here’s a quick reminder of what an adaptogen actually is.
While all adaptogens are herbs, not all herbs are adaptogens. That’s because, to be an adaptogen, it needs to meet three specific criteria. First, it has to be considered non-toxic and safe for consumption. Second, it needs to help to calm stress. And third, an adaptogen needs to balance the body’s hormones.
Adaptogens are called that because their main characteristic is their ability to adapt. Not only do they individually adapt to the type of stress that is encountered, they also help the body to react and adapt appropriately as well.
Found naturally in things like tea, L-theanine works to increase the levels of several different neurotransmitters in the brain. GABA (gamma-amino-butryic acid), serotonin, and dopamine all work in different but complementary ways to reduce the feelings that come along with an increase in stress and anxiety.
L-theanine actually helps to reduce feelings of restlessness by boosting the alpha wave activity in the brain. This specific type of brain wave is the same that can be seen during meditation. That feeling of calm spreads through the body, helping you feel more relaxed both physically and mentally. And, best of all, L-theanine has not shown any addictive potential or serious, adverse side effects.
#2) Rhodiola Rosea
Another one of the best adaptogens that you can use to help boost your mood is Rhodiola Rosea. Also referred to as arctic root or golden root, Rhodiola Rosea has been used for years overseas in places like Asia and Europe, although it has only recently started increasing in popularity in the United States.
Rhodiola Rosea is known as a neuroprotectant, meaning it helps to protect the nerves from damage. It also helps to protect against the effects of unbalanced stress. It does all this by helping to regulate the body’s normal release of cortisol (the stress hormone), both up and down. When you’re stressed, this hormone tends to just run rampant in the system, which can lead to a whole host of negative side effects.
Ashwagandha has earned a reputation as a “mood booster,” and for good reason. It also helps support the body’s natural stress-balancing processes which, in turn, can both reduce feelings of stress and help to improve mental focus.
The herb is also thought to help reduce fatigue and increase energy levels, helping you to feel reinvigorated and refreshed. It can also help you sleep better, so you’ll have even more energy and not have to feel as worn down and sluggish throughout the day. That mind/body connection is a major reason that so many people use ashwagandha.
While there are many different types of ginseng out there, it is American ginseng and Asian ginseng that get the most attention as mood boosting adaptogens. Although they work slightly differently, with American ginseng working as a calming ingredient and Asian ginseng working to boost feelings of energy, they both are said to be able to improve both the mood and the mind.
People who use ginseng regularly have reported a variety of other, different, equally positive effects on the body, including better sleep, higher energy levels, and even a more fulfilling intimate life. While much of that is still being scientifically proven, the word of mouth that precedes ginseng speaks for itself.
#5) Tulsi (a.k.a. Holy Basil)
Tulsi has been a favorite of Ayurvedic practitioners because of the way that it can positively impact people, physically and mentally. The herb has a unique ability to be able to support focus and mental clarity (basically, helping you think easier), level out your mood, and ease feelings of stress.
When you use tulsi, it lives up to its name by actively adapting to any stress the body may encounter (physically, environmentally, emotionally, etc.), then helping the body return to its normal set point (known as homeostasis). Essentially, tulsi helps the body be able to more easily help itself. It also, much like most of the other adaptogens on this list, helps support your body’s processes for managing stress. This is helpful because the long term effects that elevated stress levels can have can be dangerous to your overall health and wellness.
Adaptogens are one of nature’s best ways to help you work through the pressure that stress and overwhelm can put on both your body and your mind.
PYM Mood Chews include a few of the top five of what we believe are the best adaptogens out there, but you should always go with what works best for you!