ADAPTOGENS & AYURVEDA
The use of adaptogens has long been a part of Ayurveda, an ancient Hindu medical system. “Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to healing, bringing balance in bodily systems, mind, and spirit,” says Pushpa Soundararajan, a registered dietitian and Ayurvedic practitioner. The practice, Soundararajan says, is based on the concept that everything in the universe is connected, every person is comprised of five elements (air, fire, water, earth, and ether), and all these elements must stay in balance to maintain overall health. Ayurvedic medicine focuses on addressing imbalances. Modifying your lifestyle and incorporating adaptogens into your diet are often part of the treatment. Western medical practitioners who incorporate adaptogens and other Ayurvedic therapies into their care often use them as a form of complementary or alternative medicine. This integrative approach to whole-body health— physical, mental, and, for some, even spiritual—often brings together healthcare providers from different disciplines to customize and coordinate care. If you’re interested in adaptogens and Ayurvedic therapy, ask your healthcare providers if they are, work with, or might recommend a complementary or alternative medicine practitioner.