History of Adaptogens - Adaptogen: Defined

Article Index
History of Adaptogens
Adaptogen: Defined
All Pages

Adaptogen: Defined

Dr. Brekhman and his followers define adaptogens as:

(1) plants which are entirely safe;

(2) plants which increase the body’s nonspecific resistance; that is, they provide valuable support to the human body in coping with the pressures placed on a wide range of its functions by both the internal and external environments; and,

(3) plants which normalize the functions of the bodily systems.

As such, adaptogens are a vital component to human health. Adaptogens are special plants, which have unique properties. These natural biologically active substances or "organic chemicals" protect the body from stress.

Adaptogens were classified by the ancient Chinese as the most effective plants to increase physical and mental capacity, reduce fatigue, improve resistance to diseases, and extend lifespan. People discovered that using adaptogens is vital during times of challenges. In China, adaptogens were used by soldiers right before battle. In Siberia, the same plants were used by hunters before long, dangerous journeys. The Tibetan monks were able to get by without food and warm clothes, living high in the mountains for many days using these plants. Despite many legends and thousands of years of utilization of these herbs by many generations of people in China, Russia, Japan, Korea and finally in Europe, the effectiveness of these herbs from a scientific standpoint was not confirmed until 45 years ago. It was done by the Russian physician and scientist Dr. Israel Brekhman. He, and his mentor Prof. Lazarv, named them “Adaptogens.”

The reason for naming these herbs “Adaptogens” resulted from the scientific discovery, which proved their effectiveness in helping the human body to “adapt” or to “adjust” to strains and changes of daily living. By adapting to changes in the environment, mankind has survived. Scientific studies have shown that both humans and other organisms that are able to adapt best survive longer. In fact, these herbs have managed to survive harsh environments for centuries due to their unique composition of biologically active substances.