Bianca Kamhi, Holistic Health & Accountability Coach
We’ve heard the word buzzing around- Adaptogens. What are they and do they work? In short, Yes! Let’s dive in on the what, when, why and how.
What are they?
Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that can help the body with different types of stressors.
When have they been used?
Adaptogenic herbs and roots have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions, and are now commonly used within the western culture. Studies like these have proven that adaptogens are safe for long term use and have many positive benefits.
Why do they work?
Overall, adaptogens help to restore the body to its normal physiological function. They help lower stress and fatigue, fight inflammation and work by targeting the body's three stages of stress: Alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.
Many functional medicine doctors urge their patients to turn to adaptogens. Dr. Mark Hyman suggests turning to adaptogens to boost your stress resilience. According to an article he came out with in 2017 about adrenal fatigue, he suggested that your daily supplements should include:
“Ashwagandha, magnolia, theanine (from green tea), and phosphatidyLserine can help calm an overactive stress response and improve sleep. The combination I use successfully with my patients is Cortisol Manager (1 or 2 at night).”
How do we know?
Dr. Frank Lipman wrote in an article suggesting “Adaptogens work a bit like a thermostat. When the thermostat senses that the room temperature is too high it brings it down and when the temperature is too low it brings it up.”
Examples of popular adaptogens include turmeric, ashwagandha, reishi, holy basil, maca and rhodiola rosea… and yes, theanine which is found in matcha!
Tell me more:
According to many wellness professionals, adaptogens have been said to help with:
Increase endurance in situations caused by fatigue
Lower stress-induced disorders and impairments in the body
Balance hormone levels
Keep cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and other hormone levels in check
Fight fatigue that results from excessive physical or emotional stress
Combat the impact that stress has on cognitive function
Stimulate mental performance that has been impacted by stress
Normalize body functions
Boost the immune system
Fight the symptoms caused by elevated cortisol levels (such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and obesity)
Increase physical stamina and improve energy levels
Improve the function of organs, such as the liver and adrenal glands
Improve the function of body systems, such as the gastrointestinal system
So now the big question - Is Matcha considered an adaptogen?
Matcha brings the following value to your daily life: The green tea powder works in accordance with what your body needs at a given moment. It stimulates when necessary, calms when necessary, and keeps you grounded when necessary. This, by definition, is exactly what an adaptogen does to your body.
Similar to other adaptogens, the benefits of matcha all work together to help you fight stressors, which is a common thread for true adaptogens. Matcha will help to balance your metabolism, support a healthy glucose response, and it is an adaptable energy booster — while still protecting your cortisol levels and inflammation.
According to a study in the NIH (National Library of Medicine), green tea powder was tested on a group of people who struggled with obesity, and it was documented that green tea may support a healthy glucose response after the trial was complete.
Another study documented in the NIH indicated through trials that matcha is an adaptable daily energizer, unlike coffee or other energy drinks, which may spike cortisol.
Consuming high quality matcha powder gives your body more antioxidants to protect cells and fight inflammation. Matcha helps to detox your body and fight against toxins.
Matcha has definitely proven itself to be a wonderful, healthy addition to your daily life. It is dynamic, and will be adapt to your personal highs and lows, allowing you to reach the normalizing “balanced middle” that we all strive for each day!
I can speak for myself in saying that not one day goes by where I do not consume a healthy dosage of adaptogens. Matcha is staple in my daily diet and I feel fortunate that I enjoy drinking something that also provides me with so many health benefits in return. I’m always happy to answer questions, visit me here.