The term “adaptogen” covers an incredibly wide range of plants, herbs, mushrooms, and even certain rock residue. People have been taking them for thousands of years. It is only natural that after thousands of years of use of dozens of compounds, there are now innumerable ways to take them.
From sweeter adaptogens, like goji berry, to the most bitter roots, like ginseng, and all the ingredients and blends in between, there are ways of taking any adaptogen extract you can think of. The important part is not to worry. As long as the adaptogens are entering your body and being digested, you’re doing all you need to do. But if you want to do more than consume dry plant powder, there are a ton of ways you can do it [check out our recipes if you want some quick and creative ways to take adaptogens].
The first evidence of adaptogen use occurred over 5000 years ago with the beginning of Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. The first adaptogens used by humans were likely eaten - like Schisandra berry - or brewed into a tea - like Ginseng. These same methods of ingestion are still some of the most common ways of taking adaptogens today. However, science has advanced a bit past the early days of having to eat 10 grams of Goji berry to reap its benefits as an antioxidant.
Today, the market for powdered adaptogens and adaptogen extracts is one of the fastest growing supplement markets in the country, and these powdered blends are being introduced to more people every day. While it might seem like a great unknown at first, taking adaptogens is simple, and you can vary your preferred method as much as you like and still see the same benefits.
One of the most popular methods of taking adaptogens is still tea. It is one of the most traditional, and simple ways of consuming adaptogens. Simply add your blend to a cup of tea that you have let steep for the desired time, mix, and enjoy. There’s nothing more to it. Many adaptogens, especially those that come with berries and blends that have a little sweetener, taste great in teas. Darker flavors can often pair well with black teas.
Another popular way of enjoying adaptogen blends is coffee. Particularly with ingredients whose benefits include energy or focus, and with ingredients that may be more bitter or earthy-tasting, coffee is an excellent pairing. Some of the more popular combinations with coffee are L-theanine and Lion’s Mane. Adding adaptogens to your morning coffee, depending on the ingredients, can also be a great way of getting all the energy from the caffeine, without the jitters.
Adaptogen mixes can be blended into any drink you can think of. You can have them in teas, coffees, protein shakes, milk, or just plain water. As long as you’re having the blend in an appropriate dose, there’s nothing more you need to do.
But if you really dislike the taste or texture of adaptogens in your drinks, or if you’re eager to see other ways you can incorporate adaptogens into your diet, there are tons of recipes to choose from that use adaptogens. It can be as simple as adding a scoop of Mucuna into a bowl of yogurt, or as complicated as incorporating Lion's Mane into a batch of brownies. The choice is yours.
There are any number of ways to enjoy your adaptogens. From teas to coffee, from milks to protein shakes, there are countless ways to combine your powdered extracts into your daily routine.
While baked goods might be popular right now, you can experiment endlessly with different combinations. And once you begin to get a better grasp of the different flavor profiles, textures and combinations of your ingredients and blends, there’s really no limit on the ways that you can make room for adaptogens as part of your daily routine.
Kiefer, David and Traci Pantuso. “Panax Ginseng.” American Family Physician, vol 68, no. 15, 2003, pp 1539-1542. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/1015/p1539.html.