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Adaptogens: Better than Caffeine? (Part 2)

Last time around, we learned what adaptogens are, and how they work in balancing our body.

We’ll pick up today from where we left off and cover why adaptogens can increase our energy without leading to a crash, and how they work in balancing our body.

You might think that adaptogens may only cause a short term effect, if any, but this may not be the case – in fact, drugs and caffeine are more likely to cause a crash in the body. In contrast, adaptogens can cause a longer lasting effect.

Let’s get back to it as I continue to extract information from our interviewee James Costello. We’ll be discussing:

  • Why caffeine can cause your body to crash
  • Why adaptogen create long lasting effects in our bodies
  • Why adaptogens can change our body in a cellular level

Why Drugs and Caffeine Causes a Crash

Lana: Why do drugs and caffeine get us so out of balance?

James: Remember we talked about the concept that our health oscillates and that our body always wants to get back into balance in the previous part?

The concept of a super power drug like uppers, amphetamines, as well as caffeine, takes you only one direction and gets you so out of balance.  Finally, when the abuse stops, you have the crash.

And the crash is for a good reason. The body has intelligence and it’s going to bring you all the way back, past the centre, into some quiet, which means sleeping if off or calming down or becoming depressed so you don’t want to do anything.

Your body crashes so it can get balance again. And, hopefully, without the chemicals or the drugs, you can go back to this oscillating, balanced existence.

Why Adaptogens Create Long Lasting Effects in our Bodies

Lana: When we ingest adaptogens, how do the chemicals from the adaptogens regulate and make us feel better, in the case of someone who’s very stressed out?

James: In a real broad, general sense you can describe ingesting adaptogens as a tonifying process. Everybody knows that when you get your body toned, you become fitter.

When you tune an instrument, like a violin string, you don’t make it too tight. And you don’t make it too loose. You make it just right so it makes the right sounds. That’s what tonifying is. And it normally goes back into balance.

An adaptogen is rooted in the plant system. It’s effects on the body are going to be slow, so you’ve got to take it every day for a while, and then on and off for a couple of months. And then you really start to see the results.

After a few months, you gradually get off the adaptogen because the body has learned to feel that way. The body has learned to release those brain endorphins, the neurochemicals, the neuro peptides that are our feedback system.

So you don’t have to take adaptogens forever. And this goes into another section we’ll talk about now, the triphasic curve of everything that makes you feel better. You can’t just continue things ad infinitum.

You have to stop with them because the body learns and it takes care of itself. Continuing the adaptogen after that point, say three to six months, is going to take you back into disharmony or lack of balance.

How Adaptogens Work At the Cellular Level

Lana: So how do adaptogens work in the system?

James: Most of us, when we look at systems, we think of bodies as bones, muscles, and blood. People don’t really go into things like the Chinese medicine system. And in endocrinology we look at the hormone system and the glandular systems, which are your adrenals, your sex glands, your pineal, your pituitary, all the glands in your body, your hypothalamus, thyroid.

Even Western medicine constantly makes the mistake of treating say one gland at a time. You go in, they give you thyroid-stimulating hormones. Or some problems with the thyroid, they’ll give you a pituitary-directed drug to work on that.

Well this turns off all the other glands at once, simply because all the glandular systems are interconnected through an intelligence network, which is mediated by brain chemicals called neuro hormones and neuro peptides.

When you look at adaptogens, you go, wow, these things get in there and they jump circuits. They go into the hormonal systems, into the tissues, into every little nook and cranny in your body and start to try to help to balance.

People say well, “I’ve never had an adaptogen. I don’t really believe that. It’s hard to believe these plants can actually do that much more.” Well, believe it or not, they can. And all foods, to a degree, will have adaptogenic substances in them, from a papaya to a green salad.



The point is that we don’t really Google right before we sit down to eat every day. Most of us run on this unconscious habit energy, doing the same things, and enjoying the same habits that we’ve always had. When you look into adaptogens, you go, wow, there’s a lot of intelligence out there in the plant and animal kingdom.

Are taking adaptogens really better than coffee? Well, we’ve presented the information, and it is for you to decide. Let us know of your thoughts by leaving a comment below or joining our community on Instagram.

In our next article, we’ll be discussing how you can use adaptogens to boost your sex life 😉 Stay tuned here or simply fill out your information below.

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