With almost two-thirds of American households working to manage chronic stress for one of their family members, it’s no wonder adaptogens are gaining traction. Stress isn’t always bad, but an overload can contribute to a plethora of digestive, cardiovascular, renal, and autoimmune conditions.
Adaptogens are generally defined as a class of medicinal herbs and fungi, used for centuries to help the human body “adapt” to stress and maintain endocrinal homeostasis. Adaptogens such as ashwagandha, ginseng, and Rhodiola have a long history of use in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Today, functional mushroom varieties like reishi and cordyceps are showing up in everything from lattes to trail mix.
Since dosing metrics are still unclear, adaptogen-enhanced products are emerging slowly. Purely Elizabeth offers a line of snack bars and granolas boosted with fungi; Four Sigmatic has specialty mushroom elixirs, and Rebbl offers an entire line of chocolate, cold brews, teas, and enhanced “milk” with adaptogenic boosters. As adaptogen dosing continues to be tested, increases in ingredient availability and consumer knowledge will drive new product innovation.
If your brand incorporates natural health and wellbeing, your ingredient list should consider adaptogens. They’re a new-old class of superfoods, on-point with today’s needs, and ripe for re-discovery.