Dandelions. The archenemy to allergy sufferers and aggressively-manicured lawn keepers alike. Every summer, like clockwork, these tough little weeds spring up from the ground with fuzzy yellow blooms bursting into fuzzy white plumes a week or two later. They break apart, seeds carried away in the wind and land everywhere – your hair, your house, your yard – multiplying until any patch of grass you see is blanketed in yellow and white.
Annoying as they may be to some, dandelions, from root to tip, are pretty nutritious and are considered a medicinal herb. The roots? Often roasted and steeped like tea, aid in digestion by increasing saliva and bile production and also supports liver health by combating oxidative stress. The leaves? Can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like steamed veggies and contain plenty of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants – the flowers too.
Cordyceps, reishi, ashwagandha, ginko biloba, all of these names together may sound like part of some fantastic spell, but they’re actually fantastic foods stuffs. Like dandelion, they belong to a subset of herbs known as adaptogens.
What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are natural substances that help support and strengthen the physiological functions of the human body and its response to stressors. They can help boost immunity and balance hormones by providing the body with beneficial compounds and antioxidants. Many cultures around the world with long-standing herbal medicine traditions, like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, have been using them for centuries to improve health.
In the West, we tend to only think about our health when it is being compromised by illness. Adaptogens are used as a part of a holistic approach to personal health; where health is seen as an ongoing practice, they’re used therapeutically to increase and maintain the overall health of the body.
There has been a growing interest in wellness and nutrition as preventative healthcare and a host of new products are emerging on the market to meet it.
Read on for a list of products below.
Need To De-stress?
Balance My Stress
Nadine Joseph founded Peak+Valley after finding success using adaptogens to treat her own chronic stress and anxiety. Leaning on her past experience studying neuroscience and stress on the body at UC Berkley, she set out to create a line of adaptogenic supplements that others could benefit from.
Balance My Stress is a chocolate-flavoured herbal blend with Ashwaghanda, a herb used to balance cortisol levels, reishi mushroom to support the immune system and Eleuthero to decrease fatigue. Best taken in coffee or tea, the site suggests it’s meant to help manage everyday stress.
Available at Peak + Valley
Need to Detox?
Original Turmeric Latte Blend
A take on Golden Milk, a classic Indian Ayurvedic herbal drink, this superfood latte blend is the standout product that CEO Trinity Mouzon Wofford used to launch GOLDE.
Now a bestseller, this latte blend is chocked full of turmeric – a superfood adaptogen containing curcumin, an anti oxidant that aids in digestion and helps fight inflammation. It also contains complimentary ingredients like powdered coconut milk, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom. Add it to milk, smoothies and hot and cold drinks.
Pick some up here at golde.co
Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea
No no, you read that correctly, not the berry, but the leaf. The leaves that accompany the popular fruit have been used as a tonic in traditional herbal medicine especially for feminine health.
Rich in B-vitamins, polyphenols and minerals like potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron, this adaptogen has been used to help especially balance female hormones and lessen the symptoms of PMS. While a feminine tonic, it can be enjoyed by everyone and the dried leaves are steeped and drank as an herbal tea.
Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Tea
As mentioned earlier, the entire dandelion is a wonderful herb but the roasted root makes a wonderful tea. It’s a great substitute for coffee as it’s slightly bitter, has a deep robust flavour and is caffeine-free.
Beyond flavour, dandelion root is rich in antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals that cause cellular damage in the body. Dandelion root is said to help support healthy liver function and aids in digestion.
Available here at Traditional Medicinals
Need an Immune Boost?
Turkey Tail – Immunity Super Mushroom
A Canadian brand? Yes! All Rainbo products are made and sourced right here in Canada. And what’s great is that each product page provides links to scientific studies supporting their products claims.
Did you know that most of the human immune system is housed in the gut? This glycerin-based tincture is made of turkey tail, a mushroom adaptogen that contains prebiotics and other nutritional elements to support immune health. Prebiotics are compounds that support the activity of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Turkey Tail also contains beneficial polysaccharopeptides, compounds that are reported to promote healthy immune cell function and are anti-inflammatory.
Available here at rainbo.com
Instant Mushroom Coffee with Chaga and Cordyceps
Mushroom coffee has been trending lately with products incorporating adaptogens to balance out the side-effects of caffeine on coffee drinkers. This instant coffee blend from Four Sigmatic has chaga to support the immune system, and cordyceps to support energy and endurance and fight fatigue. Both mushrooms contain several antioxidants, vitamins and a number of nutritionally beneficial components.
You can pick some up to enjoy in the morning or throughout the day here at foursigmatic.com
Need Something for Your Looks
Super Hair – Hair Nutrition
Moon Juice claims thicker, healthier hair with Super Hair, their multivitamin and botanical blended supplement formulated to combat hair loss. It contains adaptogens ashwagandha and ginseng to balance hormones thrown out of whack from stress and reduce oxidative stress. It has biotin for keratin and nutrient-dense kelp.
Pick some up here at moonjuice.com
Be Here Farm + Nature’s wild-crafted face serum contains among other things tulsi, which is part of the basil family, and has roots in Ayurveda and is used here to protect and detoxify. There’s also gotu kola to promote skin firmness and collagen production, St. John’s Wort, olive oil and chamomile.
Pick some up at sunpotion.com
Need Something New?
Superfood Chocolate Truffles
Dubbed, “The world’s smartest superfood truffle,” by Brainbo, these chocolates are geared towards those with more of an indulgent sweet tooth. These truffles come in two flavours, Cacao Coffee Butter and Cacao Cashew Butter – both vegan and keto friendly.
Apart from the real-chocolate base, these truffles are made with an adaptogenic blend of Cordyceps, Chaga and Lion’s Mane mushrooms. It also has Ginko Biloba, an herb with many antioxidants and flavonoids/terpenoids, which are believed to improve blood circulation.
Pick some up here at thisisbrainbow.com
This one’s dedicated to the lover in you.
Loverdose 100mg is formulated with Psilocybe Cubenisis, Maca: a peruvian root veggie which may increase libido and energy, horny goat weed: for libido, and green tea extract. It’s listed as an aid to maintain sexual health and to support all your bedroom gymnastics.
Now, this one you should likely consult your doctor on as it contains Psilocybe Cubenisis, a species of Magic Mushroom or ‘shrooms’. Psilocybe Cubenisis contains psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in Magic Mushrooms that give it its hallucenogenic properties.
Although not considered an adaptogen, the converstation around microdosing with psilocybin has gained a lot of traction over the last few years as studies have been conducted testing it’s ability to support an elevated sense of well-being through mini-doses of the substance (known to give a sense of euphoria in recreational users). Schedule35 offers that their pdroducts are, “designed to boost focus, increase creativity, and energize your every day.”
You can find it here at schedule35.co