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Adaptogens Part 3: Adaptogens vs. Stimulants

The adaptogenic benefits of jiaogulan (aka Gynostemma) include improved athletic performance and mental acuity. For this reason many people confuse adaptogens with stimulants like caffeine. But the stimulant effects of adaptogens and the mechanisms at work are very different. For example, we all know that drinking a cup of coffee before bed keeps many people awake at night. On the other hand, a cup of jiaogulan both improves alertness and helps you sleep, because the benefit results from improved blood flow instead of chemical responses. For...

What is an adaptogen?

You have heard me mention several times that jiaogulan is the most powerful adaptogens so far identified. But many people are not familiar with the concept of adaptogens. So, for the next few posts I'd like to focus on adaptogens and why they are important to your health. Let's start with answering the question, "What is an adaptogen?" The term "adaptogen" was fist coined in 1947 by Russian born scientist Dr. A. V. Lazarev to describe herbs that "increase resistance to a broad spectrum of...

Adaptogens Part 2: Molecule of the year! The nominees are……

In my last post we started a series on the topic of adaptogens. I want to thank those of you who responded for your thoughtful comments and questions. Today I'd like to drill down on the biological mechanisms medical researchers believe are at work in adaptogens. In general adaptogens help the human body return to a state of homeostasis, i.e. balance, after a stress has been placed on it. Under normal conditions the return to homeostasis is driven my the release of substances know as...