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Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body to overcome particular stresses put on it by stimulating the body's own self-regeneration process. They are plant substances that regulate body processes and improve overall health by supporting the body's systems particularly the immune system. By balancing the secretions of cortisol and other hormones secreted from the adrenal cortex, these multipurpose adaptogens modify a wide range of positive responses, proving to be particularly helpful in protecting the body from impacts of stress as well as increasing energy levels. Effective for a variety of conditions and suitable for all body types, adaptogens not only defuse the effects of emotional stress but in addition, help the body recover from physical stress like lack of sleep, recovery from surgery, heavy manual labor, running long distances, and even high-altitude sickness.
Adaptogens have been around for centuries. They were considered the most prominent herb in traditional Chinese medicine and the highly respected Chinese herb masters called them the "King" or "Elite" herbs and declared adaptogens as being the most effective for the human body in time of challenges.
The name 'adaptogen' was coined by by Russian scientist Dr. N.V. Lazarev in 1947 when he was doing extensive research on these beneficial natural plants. He called them adaptogens because of their capability to help increase the body's natural resistance and adapt to adverse environmental conditions.
Based on Dr. Lazarev's initial findings, numerous Russian scientists, including acclaimed scientist Dr. Israel Brekhman, set out to study and show that adaptogens are the only natural substances which help the body protect itself from stress. Starting in the early 1950's, until present, over 5,000 clinical studies have been successfully performed proving the effectiveness and efficacy of adaptogens for stress reduction.
Unlike allopathic drugs which carry with them the possibility of side effects, adaptogens must benefit the body without disturbing or doing it harm. Very few plants possess adaptogenic properties. It is estimated that only one in 4,000 plants qualify to be an adaptogen.
Adaptogens have been scientifically proven through clinical and laboratory studies for more than 40 years, with their actions well documented, and their safety confirmed. To be considered a true adaptogen, a plant must conform to the following criteria:
When you embark on an adaptogen program, it is traditionally believed that the initial stage of cultivation takes approximately 100 days. This "setup program" will accomplish all kinds of major tasks, including detoxification, purification of body tissues, balancing the major functions, establishing a fundamental level of protection and stabilizing the nervous system. It is important to maintain consistency for the full 100 days. However, you are likely to notice many positive changes in how you feel and look long before the first hundred day period has run its course.