The world of adaptogens seems like a wondrous place, an eclectic variety of natural medicines touted to boost our energy levels and sex drives, improve our moods, and balance our hormones. Around since the dawn of time and used in societies for millennia, adaptogens have found their rebirth in popular culture, with all things adaptogenic leaving the ashram and heading over to Beverly Hills and Brooklyn. Adaptogens have gone mainstream.
At the forefront of this adaptogenic awakening is Gwyneth Paltrow, who, in all of her goopy goodness, has shed light on adaptogens to the masses. As both a functional medicine doctor and someone who has struggled with adrenal fatigue in the past, I've seen the clinical benefits of adaptogenic blends in my life and thousands of patients over the years.
To see what adaptogens could really do, I went full-on health nerd and decided to put myself on a 30-day Gwyneth-inspired adaptogenic diet. Since some adaptogens are calming (such as cordyceps, schisandra, and reishi) and some are stimulating (like maca and rhodiola), it was fun not only to use GP's recipes but to experiment with creating my own blends depending on what my body was needing that particular day.
It's important to note, though, that while most adaptogens are generally safe for everyone, please supplement with awareness. Certain varieties like ashwagandha, shilajit, and mucuna pruriens are not safe for those who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. Ashwagandha is also a nightshade so it can trigger inflammation for those with autoimmune conditions.