The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate...
Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
I’ve taken up the subject of adaptogens over the last several weeks, and today I’m wrapping it up with two of my favorites: Rhodiola rosea and Bacopa monnieri.
Primal aficionados from way back will know that I’m a big fan of Rhodiola rosea. It’s an integral component of one of the original Primal Blueprint supplements, Primal Calm. It’s a formula I put together for my own needs and eventually decided to offer in the supplement line. (That seems to be how I come up with things, I suppose….) I’ve written in the past about stress being one of the issues I’m still working on in my Primal life, and adaptogens have been a useful tool I’ve employed. Living with an ancestral template doesn’t preclude being scientifically resourceful.
But let’s dig into these final two players….
The microorganisms that reside in, on, and around our bodies influence almost every facet of our well-being. Part of maintaining microbiome health is maintaining homeostasis. Another is supporting diversity.
Our goal, then, is to improve our microbiological real estate in the many areas of the body that commensal and symbiotic bacterial like to put down roots—the gut, mouth, lungs, skin, reproductive organs, and so on. The average Primal enthusiast is well-versed with the role of food choices and smart supplementation (although research is always uncovering new wrinkles—more on this to come).
I thought I’d give a little attention to some of the other basic practices that can influence microbial diversity and homeostasis. There are more answers and nuances than I can cover today, but let’s start with some of the fundamentals.
A simple restorative yoga practice can teach you to truly relax your body, tune in with your breath, and calm your stressed-out mind.
Restorative yoga uses props to aid in physical, mental, and emotional relaxation.
As you do these poses, keep in mind the goal is not to “work hard” like you might do in a traditional flow yoga class. The goal is to get comfortable, hold still, and allow your mind to slow down and the tension to release from all areas of your body.
Conventional wisdom teaches us to accept our fate when it comes to hair loss. “Runs in the family,” we’re often told—and sometimes it does (but that’s usually not the full story). “It’s just part of getting older,” people say, too—and there we again find only partial truth at best.
But the Primal path is one of thoughtful scrutiny, not blind acceptance. While most people would file hair loss under aesthetic concerns (ranging from neutral to negative depending on social norms and personal views), it’s not always that innocuous. Let’s look today the bigger picture behind hair loss and the situations in which it signifies a genuine health concern.
Last week I waded into the adaptogen theme, examining the many ins and not-so-many outs of American and Asian ginseng. It got me thinking—why not keep the ball rolling? The ginseng varieties I mentioned are only two among many adaptogens after all.
Let’s dive right in and take up three additional adaptogen choices—along with some additional suggestions for discerning the safest and most potent formulations.
I’ve been using adaptogens for quite some time, but in the last year I’ve been experimenting a little more with them. You may have caught my mention of a few adaptogenic varieties in one version of my daily big ass salad (not for a flavor hit). I’ve also briefly highlighted ashwagandha and holy basil, and I’ve always been a big believer (and user) of Rhodiola rosea for normalizing stress response.
All well and good. But what’s the backstory on adaptogens? What is there to gain? And what about the other options?