by Fern Olivia
Let's talk about adaptogens, baby!
I'm so excited to tell you about herbs that have made an impact in my life and healing from Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism.
First - what are they? And why do they matter?
Adaptogens are a unique group of herbs used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that manages your body’s hormonal response to stress. They help strengthen the body’s response to stress and enhance its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue – slowly and gently, without jolts or crashes. They’re called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs. Though the effects may initially be subtle and take time to make themselves felt, they’re real and undeniable.
These are the adaptogenic herbs I recommend most frequently to my Thyroid Yoga™ clients to improve skin, mood, brain clarity, and immune function.
Chaga, the King of the Medicinal Mushrooms, is great for cleansing and nourishing the liver, lymphatic system and boosting immunity naturally. It is also considered to be a superb Kidney tonic. David Wolfe, the Indiana Jones of Superfoods, loves Chaga because it contains the highest amounts of anti-tumor compounds of any herb. These compounds are in the form of betulin, betulinic acid, and lupeol, which are powerful anti-mutagenic compounds naturally present in the white part of the birch tree’s bark (in which the chaga typically grows). Chaga is also extremely high in nourishing phytochemicals, nutrients, and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, especially melanin. Chaga is second only to cacao (the chocolate nut) in antioxidant content. Chaga is the most powerful cancer-fighting herb known and fights all kinds of radiation damage to healthy tissue. I’ve replaced my morning coffee fix with chaga from Dragon Herbs, a highly respected source of Siberian Chaga. I steep chicory root in hot water and then add chaga powder with a dash of cinnamon and add a splash of coconut or almond milk. It’s next level!
Astragalus root is one of the most powerful immune-boosting plants out there and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. An adaptogen, Astragalus stimulates the adrenals, which manages the body’s hormonal response to physical, mental or emotional stresses. Steep 3-5 teaspoons of the shredded root in hot water to ward off midday stress and fatigue.
Shilajit has been known for centuries by the people of the mountains of central Asia – Nepal, India, Russia, and Tibet. They are known to have nearly boundless energy, and it's believed that regular consumption of Shilajit is the reason. Mineral-rich Shilajit helps metabolize proteins and vitamins, contains antioxidants that promote cellular regeneration, and clears your head. It dissolves well in water so is perfect to keep in your purse for whenever you might need a quick brain boost. I trust Lotus Blooming as my source for Shilajit because they personally travel to harvest the most extraordinary and potent herbs in their native environment to ensure quality and superior efficacy. Lotus Blooming is currently the only company supplying the highest grace Himalayan sourced, fair trade and ethically sourced pure shilajit in it's genuine and authentic form - a black, gummy mineral resin. I take it every morning to boost my thyroid and give me radiant energy, and especially comes in handy when I travel. It's my antidote to jet-lag, too.
I’m obsessed with maca. Not only is it delicious, it’s a mind-blowing superfood elixir. The maca root is high in vitamin B, C & E, increases energy levels, and helps to balance your hormones – all good things to up your brain power! It’s perfect to add in your morning smoothie or on its own as a warm, earthy beverage. I love to add stir turmeric, black pepper, and maca with steamed coconut, hemp or almond milk.
Rhodiola extract is amazing for combating the stress of the information age – fatigue, mental fog, trouble concentrating, low energy and even mild depression. Be sure to pick up a supplement that’s sustainably harvested and balanced with adaptogens like Holy Basil and Schisandra. My go-to products are Adrenal Health Daily Support and Adrenal Health Jump Start by Gaia Herbs because Gaia adheres to strict Certified Organic cultivation practices and meticulous crop monitoring. I’ve noticed a tremendous boost of energy and mental clarity while taking these potent herbs! Try using a tincture to add these herbs to your juice or hot brew.
To make your brain and body feel better, try experimenting with these brain boosting herbal supplements and adaptogens in your very own tonics.
Pair your vibrancy elixirs with my Thyroid Yoga™ daily morning sequence and even more holistic lifestyle rituals in my MindBodyGreen video course.
Stay tuned: Yoga, meditation, breathwork, and essential oils go hand-in-hand with herbs - and I’ll be diving deeper into this with you this year. I’d love to know where you feel stressed and help you to create new rituals for yourself and your most healthy, alive you.
Live in NYC? I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday January 25th for Beauty & The Thyroid at The Alchemist’s Kitchen.
What is Thyroid Yoga™?
Thyroid Yoga™ created by Fern Olivia is a movement and meditation practice inspired by her own journey with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, education in biomedical engineering, and studies in Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Integrative Nutrition. The aim of each sequence is to balance the glandular system and tonify the adrenals while supporting the thyroid, also named the “Beauty Gland” as Fern Olivia explains: “because it is a major player when it comes to your skin, your hair, your weight, and how you feel every day.”