Review: Adaptogens by Agatha Noveille

Adaptogens are the latest buzz in the wellbeing world as brands and products selling them promise improvements in every area from these miracle plants that help the body deal with stress. Adaptogens and their tonics have actually been used for centuries to balance and improve mental and physical health and as they become increasingly popular in helping the modern world cope with a fast paced lifestyle, information that explains what they are and how to use them is in demand.

These remarkable plants have been shown to have a gentle but measurable influence on immunity, sleep, stress levels, energy and endurance.

In Adaptogens: 75+ Herbal Recipes and Elixers to Improve Your Skin, Mood, Energy, Focus, and More, herbalist Agatha Noveille offers a different approach to the resources currently available: “…this book is different. It shows you how to take these amazing herbs and add them into your daily routines with flair!”

The recipes offered by Noveille cover extracts, teas, snacks and syrups and the information provided about each adaptogen and its healing properties allows for recipes to be tailored to suit individual needs.

Printed on textured paper with a recycled feel, this book has an organic energy. The greens and blues throughout are calming and as the book educates, it empowers and soothes.

How much can we do? How much can we becomes? What is the full potential for health and vitality?

The book offers a concise yet interesting history of these herbs before discussing extraction and elixir methods. Guidance on making extracts, infusions and tinctures is simple and encouraging; these are not daunting activities but approachable and even instructions on making a DIY glass funnel is clear enough to make it seem achievable.

Adaptogens are not just useful for helping us deal with life but when incorporated into our every day diets, can help us thrive. Non toxic and safe for long term use, adaptogens can increase vitality and restore and revitalise health.

Notes on the safety of herbs and their dosages is helpful and insightful. For instance: tulsi, known as holy basil, is a herb readily available in store bought herbal teas but can have an anti fertility affect so may not be appropriate for those trying to conceive or who are already pregnant; shatavari can interfere with prescription medications excreted through the kidneys and liquorice taken in large amounts over an extended period of time can cause the body to retain sodium and develop high blood pressure.

Our bodies change over time and it makes sense to change our adaptogens to match what’s going on with our health.

The book provides the original definitions of an adaptogen:

  1. An adaptogen is nontoxic to the recipient.
  2. An adaptogen produces a nonspecific response in the body – an increase in the power of resistance against multiple stressors including physical, chemical, or biological agents.
  3. An adaptogen has a normalising influence on physiology, irrespective of the direction of change from physiological norms caused by the stressor.

Noveille warns that whilst these herbs have excellent properties, they must be taken in moderation, treated with respect and are not a substitute for self care practices. Eating well and sleeping enough are still priorities and these herbs should not be relied upon to replace the body’s basic needs. Rather they compliment a healthy lifestyle and aid wellbeing when health is monitored for signs of change and need.

The recipes in this book are targeted to treat different areas of health. They span sleep, mental focus, mood, immunity, energy, stamina, skin, hair and nail health as well as support for men and women.

By using these guidelines and treating adaptogens with the respect they deserve as potent allies for health, you can incorporate these wonderful herbs into your daily life and enjoy their many benefits.

Recipes include sweets, sauces, teas, oils, sprinkles, smoothies, elixirs, snacks, potions and brews. Easily adaptable for dietary requirements, they are simple to make and advice on where to source herbs means they are realistic, too.

The aim of this book is to show that adaptogens can be used to support health in a variety of areas and taken in a variety of ways. These herbs are not only for a certain type of person or those with prior knowledge of herbal preparations but for everyone interested in promoting wellbeing.

For anyone who is interested in adaptogens, exactly which herbs exactly fall into this category, how to take them and what to take them for, this simply written and informative book is a great introduction and guide.

May your journey to health and balance be a rewarding and creative journey!