Adaptogenic herbs have been proven to increase cellular energy. But what exactly does that mean? Lots of other substances increase your energy. Sip some coffee, and the caffeine gives you a boost. The same could be said about food, in general. All types of food, including sugar, increases energy.
So do some drugs, both illicit and over-the-counter. Even alcohol has carbs, which provides energy. Knowing this, then, what’s the great thing about adaptogenic herbs? Why are adaptogens good for energy?
First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Stimulants and drugs may have undesirable consequences. Even caffeine can negatively impact stress hormone levels, which in turn, can interfere with your body’s ability to burn bodyfat.
As for food, yes, you should eat a healthy diet consisting of all-natural, minimally-processed-at-most foods, consisting of plants (low-starch veggies like broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.), grasses (wild rice, for example), pasture-raised eggs and meat and wild fish, nuts, seeds, organic fruit and ancient sources of whole grains (einkorn wheat, for example).
But food alone does not sufficiently temper and reduce the amount of stress hormones your HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenals) produces. Only adaptogenic herbs, aka ‘adaptogens’, have been proven to lower stress hormone release. (For more on how they do this, read this blog post.)
When your body has less stress hormones circulating through your bloodstream, you have more energy to do the things you enjoy (or things you have to do, or both).
Clinical proof that adaptogens may help boost energy
Let’s go ahead and look at a tiny bit of some of the research that proves how adaptogens give you more energy. (There are over 3000 human clinical trials alone; we won’t go through all of them here 🙂 )
In a review of specific adaptogens, published in Frontiers of Neuroscience, the abstract said:
“A common feature for all tested adaptogens was their effect on G-protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways, i.e., cAMP, phospholipase C (PLC), and phosphatidylinositol signal transduction pathways. Adaptogens may reduce the cAMP level in brain cells by down-regulation of adenylate cyclase gene ADC2Y and up-regulation of phosphodiesterase gene PDE4D that is essential for energy homeostasis as well as for switching from catabolic to anabolic states and vice versa.”
Translation: these adaptogens increase the activity of a specific gene that controls normal energy production processes. Adaptogens also synthesize molecules involved in metabolism. In other words, adaptogens increase energy.
More from the study’s abstract:
“Down-regulation of cAMP by adaptogens may decrease cAMP-dependent protein kinase A activity in various cells resulting in inhibition stress-induced catabolic transformations and saving of ATP for many ATP-dependant metabolic transformations.”
Translation: pretty much the same as above … these adaptogenic herbs increase your energy by reducing the stress on genes. By doing so, adaptogens preserve more energy in the cells. Your cells don’t get ‘burned out’ and robbed of their energy by stress.
One more thing from the abstract to decipher:
“These interactions can have an influence on transcriptional control of metabolic regulation both on the cellular level and the level of the whole organism.”
Translation: adaptogens fight stress at the cellular level. When you have less stress, you have more energy.
(Want less stress and more energy? Try NanoMojo, the world’s first adaptogenic herbal nanoparticle formula: goes straight to your cells and skips the digestive process!)
A new definition of adaptogens
If you’re interested in learning about the modern history of adaptogenic herbs, you’ll enjoy this quick read on our blog. The definition of adaptogens during the nascent, modern clinical study of this special class of herbs is three fold: they have a non-specific, broad-acting response to stress; they are non-toxic, and normalize body functions (get the body back to homeostasis).
According to Panossian, et. al, in an analysis published in Phytomedicine, the definition of adaptogens also could be thus: “a new class of metabolic regulators which increase the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors and to avoid damage from such factors.”
If your body is stressed because of environmental factors, and damaged by said factors, you’re not going to have as much energy as you could. This is why adaptogens are far above and beyond your average great cup of strong coffee. Instead of just giving you a quick buzz, that if you’re lucky, will give you energy for a couple hours, adaptogens can provide you with energy for years to come by protecting you from being zapped of energy from stressors.
Say you live in an apartment that has mold. Mold, especially black mold, can be hazardous to your health, even deadly. But adaptogens can actually help protect your body against the deleterious effects of this environmental saboteur. (Read this woman’s story about how adaptogens helped restore her energy after being exposed to mold.)
Adaptogens respond to an incredibly wide variety of stressors. Even ones that didn’t exist until very recently, such as over-exposure to EMFs. (If you spend too much time playing Pokemon Go, and checking Facebook updates, adaptogens may help protect you from the ill-effects of all that screen time, including moderating the melatonin disruption from EMFs that interfere with sleep cycles.)
Adaptogenic herbs for energy: conclusion
There are numerous studies that demonstrate that adaptogens, or specific adaptogenic herbs, can help increase your energy. Adaptogens accomplish this by, among other ways, reducing the stress response in the body; increasing the amount of ATP, the chemical currency cells use for energy, and improving metabolic efficiency. When you have less stress response, more ATP and improved metabolism, that results in more usable energy … not just for a couple hours, but for many hours, days, weeks, months, or even years to come (with continued consumption of adaptogenic herbs or formulas like these).