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Adaptogenic plants improve cognitive function and alleviate anxiety

Adaptogenic plants for human benefit

What if you knew of the plants that reduce cortisol levels in the body, and improve cognitive functioning and focus. And that we can use these plants to achieve objectives in our career, increase productivity, and prevent work overwhelm during periods of high stress.

All without damaging side effects that come with synthetically produced, prescribed medication.

Adaptogens are a special category of plants and roots with bioactive compounds that bring the body back to homeostasis; the state of equilibrium where hormone levels are in balance. Something which affects us all, and is not akin to solely women as is commonly misunderstood.

The state of homeostasis

Hormones play key functions in the body, being responsible for metabolism, growth and cellular repair, and the reproductive system. They also promote feelings of positive wellbeing and happiness, and can aid a sense of calm or trigger a sense of worry and anxiety, making them an important factor in leading a healthy and happy life.

When hormones fall out of balance, which happens regularly, it has wide effects across the body including mood changes and deteriorating mental health, fatigue and muscle weakness, and sudden weight gain or weight loss.

Adaptogens have been studied since the 1940’s when scientists identified these plants’ ability to bring the body a state of balance, alleviating stress, and improving mental performance. The Soviet Union studied the plants as military aids to reduce feelings of stress within their military, and enhance mental performance on the battlefield.

Since then, the plants and roots have been widely studied for their myriad benefits for the human body and brain, with scientists identifying a direct link to improved cognition, and reduced anxiety and depression, when taking adaptogens.

It’s perplexing to us, therefore, that the healthcare system prescribes anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication with damaging side effects, when nature offers a solution which helps prevent deteriorating mental health, with a far smoother, smarter experience, and without the undesired side effects.

Adaptogen’s individual effects

80 years on, with a much broader understanding of adaptogens, we have sufficient evidence demonstrating each adaptogen’s individual effects on the body. And with science having identified around 30 adaptogenic plants and roots (numbers vary owing to a few outliers to the traditional adaptogenic definition).

This understanding of an adaptogen’s unique effect on the body allows us to cycle the use of adaptogens depending on what we are aiming to achieve. For example, ashwagandha  can reduce anxiety, promote calm, and increase productivity in a subtle, yet noticeable way, but if I’m approaching a project deadline and working long hours, I’m likely to take siberian ginseng for its more potent increase to productivity and alertness.

Alternatively, if you’re already on the higher end of the energy spectrum without the need of siberian ginseng, adaptogens like lemon balm calm the central nervous system, and provide us a sense of bliss within our lives.

Understanding which adaptogens work best for you is unique to everyone; like our bodies respond differently to food groups, so too can the body respond differently to adaptogens.

However, unlike prescribed medication, adaptogens don’t come with risks of serious side effects. Providing they’re taken in recommended doses, individuals can take adaptogens safe in the knowledge they a natural product, with potent benefits for the body.

The science of adaptogens

There are myriad studies online about adaptogens and their varying benefits.

If we take ashwagandha, for example, a 2019 study evidenced the plant’s ability to reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the hormone that floods the system during times of stress, causing inflammation in the body, brain, headaches and mental fog, and rapid weight gain. A major problem in the modern world, many of us operate with heightened levels of cortisol due to stress from work, busy lives, and the sense of anxiety caused by social media.

Ashwagandha  has also been proven to improve physical performance, meaning many fitness professionals  take it to supplement their gym training, workouts, and to increase physical endurance and stamina.

, on the other hand, is widely evidenced to positively affect symptoms of depression, reducing feelings of depression, anxiety, and improving overall wellbeing.

It is understood that adaptogens, collectively, are able to curb the stress response by limiting the spike in blood glucose levels, and extends the decline of blood glucose over a gradual period. This prevents the body going through the intense surges and dips of blood glucose levels caused by stress and anxiety.

Adaptogen’s popularity

With science continually advancing our knowledge of adaptogens, it is clear they play a key function in maintaining healthy and happy lives.

And yet, they remain widely unknown and not talked about in mainstream media, while the health system continues to prescribe synthetic medications with unwanted side effects produced by big pharmaceuticals companies.

Mother nature has provided us with solutions which we can grow and harvest, yet our manufacturing lifestyles means we turn a blind eye to the solutions immediately in front of us.

Next Steps for Adaptogens in Mental Performance

Adaptogens can be a source of improved cognitive functioning and mental wellbeing for us all, increasing productivity in our work, helping us climb the corporate ladder, and improving our charisma, confidence, and overall sense of calm within ourselves.

With long-term use, we’re able to build a stable, more resolute sense of self, helping us manage our own stress response, and remaining calm and composed under pressure.

Not only that, adaptogens can support preventative healthcare by inhibiting the damaging effects of stress, anxiety, and depression, with stress being one of the greatest factors of physical ill-health causing chronic inflammation in the brain, joints, and throughout the body and organs. Chronic inflammation is a major cause in the rise of heart disease, mobility issues and arthritis, chronic back pain, and cognitive decline disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Taking supplements produced by nature means we care for our bodies naturally, and give ourselves the greatest chance of avoiding ill-health in the first instance.

This is ultimately the story of Humans, a company who aims to promote the benefits of caring for our body and brain with the use the incredible and rare super-plants and roots.

We are driven by the desire to promote wellbeing, as we have seen first-hand the physical and mental turnarounds that have been achieved with the long-term use of adaptogens, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and choosing to care for our bodies and our brains.

We believe adaptogens will play a critical role in the reduction of society’s poor mental wellbeing in the coming decade, and we’re excited to help shape this understanding with each person we speak to.


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