Adaptogens – plants that reduce stress levels?

Fighting anxiety with plants, does that sound realistic? In principle, it is indeed possible. After all, everything in the body is chemical. And of course there are also plant substances that have an effect on the hormone balance and cause corresponding reactions. Plants with this kind of effect are now called adaptogens. We will explain in more detail how and why they work.

How does anxiety develop?

Anxiety arises in the mind. It is triggered by certain areas in the brain. The basis for this is a kind of inner evaluation system. Some fears are instinctive, such as fear of the dark, fear of suffocation, etc. Other fears are learned. Other forms of fear are first learned. Based on these experiences, the brain evaluates what scares us and how much. And what does not frighten us. For example, one person is afraid of driving a car because of traumatic experiences. Others are not affected at all.

The emotion of fear is triggered by the head subjectively interpreting a stimulus as danger. As a result, certain hormones are released, such as cortisol and adrenaline. They drive the heart rate up and prepare us for fight or flight. It gets bad when people are afraid of their boss or colleagues. They perceive their job as a kind of minefield, a threat. Then they are exposed to a permanent hormone cocktail that slowly but surely damages the psyche.

How do adaptogens help?

Over the course of time, biologists and plant scientists have identified a number of herbs, fungi, leaves, etc. that intervene in these chemical processes. They were called adaptogens. They all have in common that their ingredients have a positive effect on resilience and psychological resilience.

Examples of such plants are ginseng, reishi mushrooms, ahswaganda, chokeberry, turmeric, rose root, gotu kola, St. John’s wort and many more. In the health industry, they are mainly traded as food supplements. Mostly in the form of tea or capsules.

With the help of their ingredients, they help users have more energy. Mainly because many of them are rich in vitamins and minerals. Others actually have an effect on the nervous system. They then ensure, for example, that the release of stress hormones is much lower. Or, they contain substances that even brighten the mood.

From a purely legal point of view, many of these plants are not classified as medicines. This means they can be sold freely in shops. However, this does not mean that customers should simply consume them. Especially with such rare herbs that you have never tried yourself, you don’t know how your body will react. It’s like with medicines. One person feels massive side effects, the other has no problem at all. That’s why we recommend asking your doctor or trying them in small amounts. And then after a few months, go for a blood test to see if everything is okay or if anything has changed negatively in the body.