Adaptogens increase resistance to stress and fatigue, enhance concentration and performance. They do this through a series of mechanisms that are able to normalize the body functions. Promote the adrenal glands functioning. Increases the uptake of glucose by cells, thereby promoting an increased energy production. Enhance processes of removal of metabolic waste. Slow metabolism. Increase specific resistance, by stimulating the immune system. Normalize the regulation of biorhythms.
Stimulation of the expression of proteins associated with heat stress (Hsp 70s) and their release into the blood would be one of the fundamental mechanisms. Proteins that act as repairing the incorrect protein synthesis and as targets for the immune system.
Numerous scientific evidence on a variety of metabolic chemical processes that influence aging and, when fully understood, will give new patterns of action. Such mechanisms for ketone bodies, which slow down with age.
Plants with adaptogenic properties
Angelica (Angelica spp.). Its use goes back many years, especially in Eastern countries. Root aqueous extracts have been shown to reverse chronic stress changes, apparently by interference with hormonal mechanisms.
Guanabana or graviola (Anonna muricata). Its activities are centered mainly on the metabolic effects of chronic stress, achieved by inhibition of lipid oxidation. These effects have been achieved primarily through the use of ethanol extracts of the bark of branches of the plant.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus). Another plant traditionally used in China. It is considered an excellent adaptogen to protect the body from physical, mental or emotional stress. Its antioxidant properties also helps to protect against free radicals and has been shown to boost the immune system. Its activity is due to several active ingredients, amino acids and essential fatty acids, minerals and groups of phytoestrogens such as isoflavones.
Centella (Centella asiatica). The extract of the herb has been used as a tonic, anti-stress and immune stimulant. The alcoholic extract has shown similar effects than diazepam.
Eleutherococcus or Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Repeated administration of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the bark and branches has shown a significant protection against chronic stress. Its chemical composition is very complex, glycosides, glycosides, pigments, etc.
Grouse (Mikania cordata). Alcoholic extracts of some species of grouse showed an interesting anti-stress activity, at least in tests with laboratory animals.
Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum). Laboratory tests have shown that the use of aqueous extracts of the plant have been corrected behavioral and physiological reactions related to chronic stress.
Ginseng (Panax spp.). Ginseng saponins derived from the roots and rhizomes, have shown a suppressive effect of psychological stress and develop coping mechanisms.
Rhodiola or Arctic Root (Rhodiola rosea). Extracts of root and rhizome contains a large number of active substances, alcohols, glycosides, flavonoids, flavolignans, proanthocyanidins, etc.
Brazilian ginseng (Pfaffia paniculata). This creeping ivy root is used. Its popular name "for all" with which it is known in Brazil and indicates its usefulness. It contains saponins, allantoin and some unusual mineral type, the germanium.
Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent oxidative damage that can produce free radicals, byproducts of cellular metabolism. Vitamins like A, C and E are antioxidants frontline as minerals like selenium. Many fruits (blueberries, grapes) and vegetables (especially leafy) are excellent sources of antioxidants, so are many spices, including clove, lemon balm, mint, oregano, sage and thyme. As an example I will mention some of the most common and easy to use plants.
Plants with antioxidant properties
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) and other plants with high content of glutathione, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, purslane, avocado, grapefruit, orange, peach and watermelon. It is a very powerful antioxidant.
Cocoa, chocolate (Theobroma cacao). It has been demonstrated that cocoa polyphenols, for its high antioxidant power, help to prevent cardiovascular disease, the onset of neurological conditions, the growth of tumor tissues, increased blood pressure and problems associated to metabolic stress such as cataracts.
Barley (Hordeum vulgare). Plant grains contain high levels of antioxidants capable of neutralizing substances responsible for the oxidation of lipids, proteins and DNA damaging free radicals.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris). They contain a number of antioxidants, which can be exploited by using the dried plant, as a condiment or extracting the active ingredients by decoction.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Another plant with an exceptional amount of antioxidant compounds that should be included in the daily diet.
Grape (Vitis vinifera). In addition to othr several important compounds, grape juice or wine itself contain a compound, resveratrol, that together with its derivatives, have a potent antioxidant effect that may be responsible for the properties related to slowing of aging, bad cholesterol control, low blood sugar levels and growth of some tumors inhibition.
Other plants with significant amounts of resveratrol are bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and strawberry (Fragaria vesca).
Other plants such as artichoke, Boldo, turmeric, ginger, chamomile, marcela, nutmeg, rosemary and various fungi, make up the long list of plants with high antioxidant power.