Take note: Gwyneth Paltrow has a healthy vice and a craze is sure to follow.
According to the actresses’ wellness site, Goop, which showcased the recipe for her go-to a.m. adaptogen smoothie, “Gwyneth drinks adaptogens every morning, whether or not she’s detoxing.”
“Adaptogens are herbs that help the body adapt to stress,” Jeffrey Morrison, MD, founder of The Morrison Center in New York City explains to Us Weekly. “This means they can either be stimulating or calming, depending on the circumstances that an individual is experiencing.”
Paltrow, who favors them in powder form from brands such as Moon Juice and Sun Potion, may be reaching for what Goop deems ‘GP’s Morning Smoothie, to feel more zen or to get an added burst of energy.
As for how they work, adaptogens are “a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress,” Frank Lipman, an integrative medicine expert and founder of Be Well told W magazine in June 2017. “They also help enhance the body’s ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue.”
In addition to the powders Paltrow favors, Morrison explains that you can also take adaptogens from Siberia (Rhodiola Rosea), India (Ashwagandha) and Korea (Ginseng) in a pill or tincture, too.
According to Morrison, each type of adaptogen has unique mood-changing properties.“Rhodiola is very good for mild to low mood and also helps improve mood when a person is under stress,” he told Us. “While Ashwagandha is very good for mild anxiety, especially when the anxiety is stress related and Ginseng is excellent for mild to moderate fatigue that is caused by stressful life circumstances.”
In one study published in Phytomedicine, Rhodiola helped those with low mood and signs of depression and was better tolerated than a mainstream anti-depressant medication.
Meanwhile, findings from the Indian Journal of Psychology Medicine showed that patients who took a high level of Ashwagandha for 45-days were more likely to cope with stress more efficiently than those who took a placebo.
Celebs such as Olivia Wilde and Mandy Moore have embraced the adaptogen in the form of CBD oil. “It’s the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant,” Brooke Alpert, a New York City-based nutritionist and author of The Diet Detox told Us in July 2018. “In order for it to be legal, it has to have 0.3 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or less.”
For Wilde, CBD oil helped lesson pain caused by her physically demanding role on the Broadway show 1984. “I’ve been using this body lotion that has CBD from marijuana. It’s called Lord Jones,” Wilde told The New York Times in January 2018. “My body was wrecked. My neck was really tight. The CBD has relaxing benefits, and the idea is to avoid using too many painkillers.”
This Is Us star Moore slathers the same CBD-laced treatment on her heels. “This year I’m trying some CBD oil on my feet, which my stylist recommended,” Moore told Coveteur in January 2018. “I asked her if there was some kind of numbing cream, and she was like, ‘No! Try Lord Jones CBD Oil.’ So it could be a really exciting evening! I could be floating this year.”
“CBD is the most ideal and functional adaptogen out there,” Alpert, who is currently becoming certified in holistic cannabis and launching Daily Habit, a line of CBD supplements in the fall, explained to Us. “Our bodies are so out of whack, whether it’s stress, anxiety, athletic pain or inflammation that when we consume CBD, because it’s an adaptogen, it actually goes to where you need it to go.”
But, notes Morrison, the feel-good effects of taking adaptogens internally are not instantaneous and you do have to stick to daily supplementation to benefit — and if you don’t see a change in your mood or energy over time, you may want to have your regimen re-evaluated. “Generally a person should notice positive benefits within a month,” he shares. “If there’s not benefit after a month it may not be the right herb for the individual.”
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