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As a mom, I try to bring positivity to the table in any role, whether it’s at the breakfast table with my kids or my desk as I plow through work emails. But as every parent knows, there are some instances that simply push you over the edge: One of your kids accidentally spills your coffee two minutes before you need to be out the door, a forgotten science project sneaks up on you and threatens to ruin the entire weekend or, say, a pandemic requires you to suddenly take on homeschooling in addition to your daily work duties.
Parenting is rewarding. But like most worthwhile endeavors, it comes with its fair share of challenges. And when stress starts to take over, it can be tricky to get back to neutral.
In case you’re not familiar, adaptogens are non-toxic plant-derived herbs that help regulate your adrenal system. That’s the one that copes with stress and manages hormones in your body — a.k.a. a very important system when it comes to managing your kiddos.
Adaptogens are often compared to a thermostat. Whether you’re underwhelmed or overwhelmed, they swoop in to help regulate your mood and get you back to a feel-good place. Yes, even when you’re running late and there’s coffee all over your kitchen floor.
My mom owned a health food store when I was young, so I’ve always been passionate about preventative health care and medicinal herbs. It’s true that more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of adaptogens. That said, I truly believe they can improve your wellbeing and the quality of life. Ever since I started using adaptogens several years ago, they’ve quickly become a staple in my pantry.
Here are six of my favorite adaptogens for any parent who has ever fallen prey to a last-minute curve ball or could just use a hand managing day-to-day stress. But, please, remember to consult your physician before taking any of these herbs — and keep in mind that more research is needed on adaptogens.
Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder, $14.99
If I could only use one adaptogen, it would be this one. Sure, it’s a mouthful — pun intended. But ashwagandha is known for soothing benefits that help kick stress and anxiety to the curb. It helps regulate your hormones, improves your energy levels and enhances your ability to focus. It’s also thought that this herb helps improve your memory, body composition and reduces inflammation. It’s an all-around winner in my book.
Organic Maca Root Powder, $10.74
Another energy boosting powerhouse, maca root powder is another one of my favorite adaptogens. Not only does it help me feel focused and energetic, but it also contains vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin C and copper. Maca also helps support a healthy libido and fertility in any gender. This could be the herb for you if you’re looking to extend your family or have a little romantic time with your partner after the kids are asleep.
Shop: Moringa Powder, $14.99
Moringa powder is one of my all time favorite superfoods. When I was nursing, I would take this — and it helped double my milk supply. In addition to mental clarity, moringa also promotes beautiful skin and hair growth, helps detoxify the body and improves vision. It’s packed with iron and calcium, so it’s great for both you and your little ones. I like to blend ⅛ of a teaspoon into the kids’ smoothies or nut milk. Proceed with caution, though, as this powder has a rather bitter taste. Your kids will pick up on it — and hit you with the lemon pucker face — if you overdo it.
Shop: Organic Reishi Mushroom Powder, $14.95
This mushroom-derived adaptogen is said to help support a healthy immune system. It even won the nickname “the mushroom of immortality.” Word on the street is Reishi helps to support a healthy heart and liver by eliminating toxins and reducing inflammation so that your body can better fight off infections. It also has promising, memory-enhancing effects all while boosting your energy and your mood.
Shop: Moon Juice Beauty Dust, $38
Known as the beautifying adaptogen, Pearl is one of my favorites for enhancing my mood as well as my hair and complexion. It’s packed with calcium, antioxidants and anti-aging properties, and it’s said to help even out skin tone while strengthening your nails, hair and promoting collagen growth in the body. All that beauty boosting is on top of regulating your mood, of course. Even a Chinese empress used Pearl as far back as the 7th century.
Shop: Holy Basil Leaf Capsules, $35.21
This adaptogenic herb is a powerful antioxidant that helps manage stress relief and relaxation. Packed with zinc, calcium, iron, chlorophyll and vitamins A and C, holy basil also has anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it helps improve focus during the day and promote better sleep at night.
Although my kids are pretty dang cute, they also have the ability to wreak havoc faster than you can exclaim “Holy Basil!” With a little help from my adaptogenic herb of choice, though, I’ve got a mood boosting, stress-curbing elixir at the ready. Easy, peasy, no stress ball squeezy.
If you enjoyed this article, check out Sai De Silva’s favorite products to help you sleep well during motherhood.
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