We discovered Jodie and Paris via the inter web – fellow nature lovers with a particular passion for the plants that support the adrenals these fabulous women are working hard to promote education and top notch content and remedies based on herbal and fungal adaptogens. Here they fill us in a little….Over to the Herbal Alchemists themselves –
As a Seed Sista fan, you are gonna want to be be made familiar with the wonderful, world of adaptogens.
A little info to start off if we may; adaptogens are natural plant substances (herbs, roots and mushrooms) that help the body to ‘adapt’ in order to aid the stabilization of physiological processes and the promotion of homeostasis.
Or, as we like to say, adaptogens help the body to adapt to optimum levels of feel good. The word itself comes from the Latin term ‘adaptare’ which means to ‘fit’ or ‘adjust’ and applies to substances that can elevate the body’s resistance to stress.
When we discovered adaptogens we were astounded by the breadth of physical and mental potential these potent little wonders have. Mother nature provides us with powerful adaptogenic solutions for just about everything you can think of; mental clarity, libido, anxiety, fatigue, general well-being, immune system and menstrual cycle support, stress, physical training, and fertility, just to name a few.
And at this point we know that you are probably wondering; ‘if adaptogens are so good, why aren’t they widely used? Why aren’t we all functioning from a place of health and happiness?’ Well, a quick dip into the history of adaptogens gives us clues.
The earliest known medical systems: Ayuverda in India and Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, are both known to have used adaptogenic herbs, this dates back as far as 3000 BCE. Chinese mythology, depicted on embroidery, sculptures and art often shows Reishi as the ‘mushroom of immortality’ and it is believed to have been reserved for members of the Chinese Royal family only.
Over the centuries that followed many written medical texts included adaptogenic herbs; Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides included Rhodiola in his medical application of over 600 plants, Amla, Holy Basil and Shilajit were all included in Charaka Samhita’s first major written classic of Ayurvedic medicine around 200 BCE.
And applications of adaptogens can be found throughout history, including with the Vikings who used Rhodiola to enhance physical strength and the Shaolin Monks who used Reishi to enhance their meditation. So far, so good. Sounds like our distant ancestors had an innate knowledge or intuition that served them well.
But fast forward a few hundred years and it was the modern era, perhaps under the influence of capitalist systems, that witnessed adaptogens being used to acquire a competitive edge and being pushed out by modern medicine. Back in the 1940’s research into the body’s ability to cope with stress was being carried out by Dr. Nicolai V. Lazarev, a Soviet scientist, medical Doctor, and pharmacologist. He was searching for a natural performance tonic to be used for the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was during his research that the term ‘adaptogen’ was created. A few years later in 1958 he and Dr. Brekham discovered Eleuthera (commonly known as Siberian Ginseng) to be a remarkable adaptogen. By the mid 1970’s more than 3 million people in Russia were regularly using Siberian Ginseng, including the Russian Olympic Games athletes, their soldiers, and astronauts. Meanwhile, here in the UK our pool of wise women was rapidly shrinking. The growth in industrialisation saw women move from the home to the workplace and the sharing of plant-based medicine knowledge slowed down as a reliance on pharmaceuticals took over.
Luckily for us, women’s instincts run deep and there has remained a small number of western women who knew that plant medicine was important. They continued to observe, discover, and explore the potency of plants in healing. Some behind the white coat of science, others explored anthropology and our place in the world, some became nutritionists, naturopaths, herbalists or aromatherapists. These are the ways that the thread of plant medicine continued to weave its way through the stories of women, and we feel so grateful to be a part of this story.
We’ll finish off by inviting you to wonder about the ancient wisdom, the sacred knowledge, and the magical synergistic effect adaptogens hold. Where else can you find natural substances that when combined, can enhance each other’s benefits and provide potent support for your body and mind with no nasty side effects? We often joke that the only side effect our adaptogens have are happiness, elevation and joy. If you’d like to try our powerful elixirs, rooted in nature, backed by science and made with love, please do visit us at www.adaptogenicapothecary.com
Love & Light
Jodie and Paris