While all adaptogens carry beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, each species of the plant carries its unique gift. Let’s take a look at some of the most wonderful benefits mother nature has hidden in these wonder-plants.
1. Altai Seabuckthorn
For centuries these berries have been known as a panacea, or ‘omni-cure’, in Eastern Asia and Russia. They contain 14 essential vitamins including omega 3,6,9 and even the rare omega 7. The berries are also filled to the brim with antioxidants and hundreds of other nutrients. It can be used topically to accelerate the healing of cuts and burns, as the high levels of omega 7 support healthy tissue and mucous membranes. Its oil is used internally to relieve ulcers and inflammation.
2. Rhodiola Rosea
This plant can replenish antioxidant deficiencies, especially within red blood cells. It specifically upregulates heat-shock protein 70’s expression, combating the natural aging process. The particular quality that made it a target of Russian research was its ability to increase muscle activity. People given the supplement are typically able to perform exercises for longer, with less perceived fatigue than a control group. This is because Rhodiola stimulates ATP while increasing muscle protein synthesis and anabolic activity. Conspiracists believe it was an essential ingredient in the phenomenal performance of Soviet athletes in the 1970s.
3. Schizandra Berry
Its main antioxidative properties stem from the ability to enhance mitochondrial glutathione status, a key molecule in preventing cellular oxidation. These berries carry liver-protective properties as well as being known for their help in maintaining healthy neurological functioning. It can prevent the formation of excess amyloid-beta peptides in the brain, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Its anti-inflammatory properties also protect the brain’s microglial cells, preventing Parkinson’s disease.
The main benefit of astragalus is the stimulation and proliferation of one’s natural immune system. It is used on wounds to speed up healing by increasing blood flow to the skin. It is even injected venously to counteract the side-effects of cancer treatment, heart failure, diabetes, lupus, and many other conditions. Some species of the plant contain a toxin called swainsonine, which has been linked to livestock poisoning, but this is not contained within species of the plant used for human supplements.
One of the principal herbs of natural Indian medicine, Ayurveda, it is sometimes known as Indian Ginseng or poison gooseberry. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce cortisol, boost brain function, and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression. It has been shown to induce apoptosis, natural cell death, making it beneficial in cancer treatment studies to the extent of stopping metastasis. In one study of infertile men, it was extremely effective in boosting sperm count and fertility.
6. Siberian Ginseng
Eleuthero, or Siberian ginseng, is not to be confused with American or Panax ginseng. This Siberian superplant is used for a wide variety of medical conditions. It can decrease fatigue by inhibiting the production of lactic acid in muscles and urea nitrogens in the blood. It boosts cognitive function by increasing circulation to the brain- this also makes it a great natural remedy for people with low blood pressure. It is an immune stimulant and can decrease the length and severity of lung infection. It contains eleutherosides that reduce fluid build-up, oedemas, and improve lymphatic function. Furthermore, it has been known to reduce insulin resistance and is being considered for the management of type 2 diabetes.
All in all, there is a huge amount of untapped potential in these species of plants. It is incredible to consider that almost all of the currently available prescription medication is derived from plants, and yet we have studied almost none of mother nature’s life to see what health benefits are offered to us. A combination of Siberian adaptogens, coupled with other natural or man-made medicine, is the way forward to a more comfortable life with less of the nasty side-effects we currently expose ourselves to.