Was ist ein Adaptogen?

What is an adaptogen?

"Adaptogen" comes from adapt. Adapt means "to fit" in the sense of evolution: "survival of the fittest". It does not mean "survival of the strongest", but of the best adapted.

Now, adaptation should not mean the well-behaved joining of the ranks.

Now, adaptation should not be understood as the well-behaved joining of the flock of sheep. To "fit", that is, to fit in, can also mean that I appear and become widely visible ("I am the light of the world") where before I thought it more comfortable to hide.

Making myself fit could also mean that I adapt the environment to me, that I create the "biotope" or even "ideotope" in which I (like a particular species of plant) can thrive optimally.

In any case, "fit" means a successful further development of the status quo. Towards more freedom, more opportunity to play and more life energy.

So where does the term "adaptogen" come from? Why is a nutrient, a substance called an "adaptogen"? What distinguishes true adaptogens is one thing above all: they mitigate the stress response on the physical level.

What does that mean? Even if we already think of ourselves as human beings, we must honestly admit: "The transition from ape to man is us" (Konrad Lorenz). We carry both within us. What we have inherited from the mammals and also from the cavemen, that is the stress reaction.

Stupidly (or fortunately), there are no more sabre-toothed tigers in our everyday lives today for which this reaction would have "fitted". If we get into stress today, our body releases stress hormones and releases a lot of energy with which we could have attacked or fled in the past (fight or flight response).

The only thing is that it does not work.

Only - that doesn't work so easily today. Instead of reducing stress, we are increasingly under constant negative stress, which completely overtaxes the body in the long term. The result is a chronic lack of energy.

Many civilisations suffer from a lack of energy.

Many diseases of civilisation are rooted in the consequences of distress. What fails here is the adequate reaction, a new way of behaving in a new kind of environment. Attacking or fleeing often no longer gets us anywhere today. We no longer live in the Stone Age but soon in outer space. So what can we do to become more stress resistant?

In addition to meditation, mindfulness, yoga and sport, we can also fall back on the resource of adaptogens. Substances, in other words, that help us do just that: To be less reactive like a robot and closer to our humanity, our self-determination, our joy of playing. In this sense: Have fun in the sandbox earth!




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