Stress affects us every day. Whether from work, finances, or relationships, stress can make us feel overworked and overloaded. But stress affects more than just our mental performance. It has real physical consequences, too, and can eventually lead to poor health and disease.
Stress management methods include exercise, hobbies, or other relaxing activities such as meditation or yoga. Unfortunately, according to a 2006 survey by the American Psychological Association, many Americans are resorting to unhealthy habits when trying to manage stress. Whether it’s alcohol, stimulants or simply overeating, many Americans are in need of finding a positive outlet for stress.
One healthy, effective way of dealing with stress without negative side effects is through the daily use of Adaptogens. From the Greek word “adapto” meaning to adjust, the term Adaptogen is applied to plants that produce special substances originally intended to help them adapt to and overcome stressors in their own environments. Some of these Adaptogens, many of which have been used traditionally in parts of Asia and Europe, are found to have properties that also extend benefits to humans.
Former Soviet Union research scientists Nicolai Lazarev and Israel Brekhman were the first to study Adaptogens scientifically in hopes to provide a natural means of improving strength, energy, and stamina in soldiers, as well as athletes and cosmonauts. Further research found that Adaptogens work by normalizing the Healthy Body’s functions under stress and taking them daily improves mental and physical performance while reducing fatigue (1,2).
Though all Adaptogens help the Healthy Body reduce and resist the effects of stress, they each have their own mechanism of action to benefit overall health. And because there’s no toxicity associated with Adaptogens, the more the better.
Here’s a deeper look at the adaptogen blend found in Ionix® Supreme:
Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) is a red-orange berry of the Solanaceae nightshade family that includes tomato, eggplant, chili pepper, and potato. Ancient herbalists regarded Wolfberry as nourishing to the liver, kidney, and eyes. Modern studies support these traditional claims by showing that the extracts from Wolfberry have antioxidant properties and protect the Healthy Body from oxidative stress (3-5).
Eleuthero root (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a small, woody shrub native to Northeastern Asia. It has been used in China for more than 2,000 years as a natural remedy for reducing fatigue. Recent studies have also indicated eleuthero root to help maintain mental and physical performance under stressful conditions such as working in an emergency room (6).
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is a plant that grows in the coldest regions of the world, including Northern Asia. It’s been used as an herbal medicine for several centuries in Russia and Scandinavia to increase physical endurance, improve energy levels, and help resist high altitude sickness. In clinical trials Rhodiola has been shown to help strengthen the Healthy Body’s resistance to stress (7).
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), like Wolfberry, is a plant in the Solanaceae nightshade family and is native to the dry regions of India, North Africa, and the Middle East. It’s been an important component in Indian Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times, mostly for its restorative benefits. In recent studies Ashwagandha has demonstrated antioxidant effects (8,9). Studies have also shown it to support healthy brain and immune function (10,11).
Bacopa (Bacopa monniera) is a plant popular in traditional Indian medicine practices for the enhancement of memory and to promote longevity. Preclinical studies have shown it to have antioxidant and adaptogenic effects on the central nervous system (12-14).
Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis) is known as the “five flavor berry” because it contains all five of the basic flavors: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, and bitter. The berry grows as part of a woody vine native to the forests of Northern China and Eastern Russia. It has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to nourish the kidneys and heart. In human studies, schisandra has shown to increase work accuracy and antioxidant protection and decreased feelings of fatigue and exhaustion (15).
The stresses of life are not likely to disappear, but we can provide our Healthy Body with the nutrition it needs to better manage the physical response to stress. Prime your Healthy Body daily with the blend of adaptogens in Ionix Supreme for optimal stress protection and overall health.
- Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol 2009;4:198-219.
- Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system and the molecular mechanisms associated with their stree-protective activity. Pharmaceuticals 2010; 3: 188-224.
- Amagase H, Sun B, Borek C. Lycium barbarum juice improves in vivo antioxidant biomarkers in serum of healthy adults. Nutr Res 2009;29:19-25.
- Zhang R, Kang KA, Piao MJ et al. Cytoprotective effect of the fruits of Lycium chinense Miller against oxidative stress-induced hepatotoxicity. J Ethnopharmacol 2010;130:299-306.
- Amagase H, Nance DM. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study of the general effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum. J Altern Complement Med 2008;14:403-12. Jeyanthi T, Subramanian P. Nephroprotective effect of Withania somnifera: a dose-dependent study. Ren Fail 2009;31:814-21.
- Kuo J, Chen KW, Cheng IS, Tsai PH, Lu YJ, Lee NY. The effect of eight weeks of supplementation with Eleutherococcus senticosus on endurance capacity and metabolism in human. Chin J Physiol 2010;53:105-11.
- Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue–a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine 2000;7:365-71.
- Jayaprakasam B, Padmanabhan K, Nair MG. Withanamides in Withania somnifera fruit protect PC-12 cells from beta-amyloid responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. Phytother Res 2010;24:859-63.
- Auddy B, et al. Standardized Withania somnifera extract significantly reduces stress-related parameters in chronically stressed humans: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. JANA 2008; 11:50-56.
- Ziauddin M, Phansalkar N, Patki P, Diwanay S, Patwardhan B. Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Ashwagandha. J Ethnopharmacol 1996;50:69-76.
- Davis L, Kuttan G. Immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;71:193-200.
- Uabundit N, Wattanathorn J, Mucimapura S, Ingkaninan K. Cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monnieri in Alzheimer’s disease model. J Ethnopharmacol 2010;127:26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.056
- Morgan A, Stevens J. Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. J Altern Complement Med 2010;16:753-9.
- Roodenrys S, Booth D, Bulzomi S, Phipps A, Micallef C, Smoker J. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology 2002;27:279-81.
- Aslanyan G, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study of single dose effects of ADAPT-232 on cognitive functions. Phytomedicine 2010.