by Maksim Khotimchenko, Ph.D.
In XXI century a diet composition of an average man in western countries reached the best values due to developments in nutrition science. But this is not enough. At the same time, modern way of life requires more physical and mental strength, more stress resistance, more hours of activity and clear mind. The base of it is in our nutrition.
That is why we need to consume active compounds helping our brain and body to work effectively in the fast, aggressive and always-changing world.
The best and almost infinite source of such substances is nature, in particular, wild forests and seawaters. Nowadays, there are several great wild forests on our planet. They are the Amazon Rainforest in South America, Deep Forests in India, Daintree Rainforest in Australia, Congolese Forest in Africa, and Great Siberia in Russia. All of them have quite diverse wildlife affecting culture and traditions of various nations for a long time.
The most known and, at the same time, the most mysterious plants are found in South-Eastern Siberia. Such names as Ginseng, Schizandra, Golden Root are known to everybody. That is why there is a lot of myths and rumors about these plants and their powerful health effects. But are they really so good from the scientific point of view? Maybe, modern supplements and pharmaceuticals are much better? And Ginseng and Schizandra should be placed in the ancient history of medicines?
And scientists say “YES, they are good”. And pharmacy guidebooks have information about these herbs and their constituents that is placed in the chapter entitled “Adaptogens”.
The first research studies of adaptogen plants were carried out in mid XX century in Soviet Union. Famous soviet scientist Israel Brekhman have shown that Panax Ginseng contains unique chemical compounds with beneficial properties for human body systems. Researchers in the Brekhman’s laboratory discovered and investigated many other herbs, which are very popular nowadays. For example, Eleutherococcus Senticosus or so-called “Siberian Ginseng”, Aralia Mandshurica, Schizandra Chinensis, and Rhodiola Rosea or so-called “Golden Root”.
Professor Brekhman worked in Pacific Institute of Oceanology in Vladivostok. Members of his splendid team and their disciples are still working and bringing new knowledge about these beautiful herbs.
And now we can definitely say that these plants and many remedies made from their parts exert adapogenic effects. In other words, they enhance capacity of human body to adapt to changing environment and resist to various harmful factors such as infections, toxic substances, physical and emotional stress, low and high temperature, atmospheric pressure, and many other.
Mechanisms of beneficial effects of adaptogen herbs are now explained. The most important or them are:
- activation of RNA and protein synthesis;
- general tonic influence;
- enhance resistance to low oxygen level;
- regulation of the cell membrane permeability;
- antioxidant effects;
- regulation of neurotransmitter metabolism in nervous system.
These activities were found and investigated in laboratory animals and proved to play a crucial role in general adaptogenic influence when taken by human being.
Therefore, we may conclude that the intake of the plant adaptogens helps everyone to be healthy. Physical training, mental stress, infectious agents, lack of sleep and many others factors always try to affect our body, and adaptogen herb consumption is one the most promising way to protect us and keep our health.
Dr. Maksim Khotimchnko, Ph.D.
Vladivostok (Russia) – San Diego (USA)