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seriously and without nonsense ...

Hans (Janosz) Selye
Israel I. Brechman

Adaptogens are natural and artificial substances that improve the ability to overcome the burden and are harmless . In practice, it is mainly medicinal plants and fungi (ie natural substances), but the development of artificial substances meeting the definition of adaptogen is already intensely under way. Unfortunately, not in our country, but mainly in the West, where the terms of Russian origin do not like. They are smart, and therefore they use the term smart drugs . ("Superdrugs" would dangerously resemble Superman.) The concept of adaptogen was created in the 1950s to describe herbal tonics whose typical representative is ginseng . This concept was missing here. Before it was introduced, many plants were called "ginseng" (eleuterokok = Siberian ginseng, vitans = Indian ginseng, Peruvian cress = Peruvian ginseng, Desert denim = Desert ginseng, see all what is called ginseng ). These plants should be called adaptogen . Prior to the introduction of this concept, European science was able only to create for the ginseng an unnamed Panax - a panacea.

Adaptogens are characterized by facilitating the adaptation process . Adaptation is a key concept of theoretical medicine . We talk about adapting when the body adapts to the load. As long as we handle the burden, we remain well. If the burden exceeds our adaptation range, the result is sickness to death. Adaptogens facilitate adaptation by extending the adaptation range . In other words, not only treats sickness but also health . This is related to the field of medicine for health consolidation - valeology . Health is at risk of various types of stress: cold, heat, physical (work, sport ...), mental, chemical (liver, kidney, brain ...), oxidative, radiation, infectious ... English stress is generally stress . In our country, however, the word stress is mostly used only in the narrower meaning of mental stress . During that time, the hormones of attack and escape (adrenaline, noradrenaline) and then stress hormone cortisol are released into the body.

Hans (Janosz) Selye
Hans ( Jánosz ) Selye

The term adaptogen with the discovery of stress hormones is historically related. Cortisol and more generally the glucocorticoids category was described by János Selye , the father of modern theoretical medicine. The adaptogen adaptogen prefix then comes directly from the term generalized adaptation syndrome , a fabulous historical name for a mammalian stress response.

The ideal adaptogen significantly increases the adaptive range and does not have unilateral effects. Real adaptogens are more or less close to this ideal. Some more protect the liver, others protect blood vessels, others suppress inflammation and allergies. The classic effect of adaptogens is the effects on stress and stress hormones. Their effect on the nervous system is both exciting and soothing. For adaptogens, it is typical that they have a double, contradictory effect on physiological parameters that allows them to stabilize physiological parameters and thus to strengthen health. Unilateral effects on physiological parameters in healthy people do not have and must not have adaptogens - they must not be poisonous and cocaine-based stimulants can not be taken into account.

Adaptogens are heavily healing . This may surprise physicians and pharmacists used in Paracelsus medications - poisons that are used to treat them in precisely metered doses. We call them Paracelsus because it was Paracelsus who formulated the rules for the medical use of poisons (especially mineral). Paracelsus drugs are therefore only in the hands of experts, which is reflected in the law. Regrettably, however, the legislation looks paracelsically on all the pharmacists and has no understanding for adaptogens . From medicogens belonging to adaptogens, milligram standardization is like poisons, but their effectiveness is somewhat denying (due to lack of dramatic symptoms) (see Decree No. 245/1997 Coll., On Medicinal Plants). However, adaptogens will be used in the prevention and treatment of civilization diseases that are the result of the cumulative burden of today's long-lived population. Adaptogens are an excellent prevention of the three most important diseases of longevity: atherosclerosis , cancer and diabetes (diabetes) . Contemporary medicine has revealed that the immune system plays an important role in all of these diseases, which can be influenced by the active ingredients of natural adaptogenes. Regular use of adaptogens also slows down aging , protects the liver, and several mechanisms fight against other important civilization diseases - hypertension . Part of the miraculous effects of natural adaptogens can also be attributed to the fact that our diet today is generally distant from the natural perennial full of plant secondary metabolites, which also helps the herbs nonspecifically.

A closed list of adaptogens (like a closed list of medicines) can not be compiled. Different fabrics and natural ingredients can be seen as adaptogens of varying degrees of efficiency and perfection. However, it does not apply that each non-toxic drug is automatically an adaptogen. The category of adaptogens with the non-toxic drug category is not identical. For example, liquorice or cannabis , though more or less non-toxic, are not adaptive because they have unilateral effects. Numerical assessment of the quality of adaptogens analogous to the therapeutic index of Paracelsus drugs has not been provided to us by pharmacology.

Examples of natural adaptogens

For these reasons, I do not offer a complete, authoritative list of adaptogens. You will find here a number of candidates and counter-examples, including all well-known classical adaptogens. The question of whether or not a substance is an adaptogen (more precisely, how perfect is an adaptogen) can be applied not only to pharmaceuticals, but also to chemicals (piracetam, dibazol ...) and industrial drugs (Viagra, Wobenzym ...) sorting out clumps (placebo, homeopathy ...) or nutrition (starch, glucose ...)

Go to an overview of natural adaptogenes