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A Beginner’s Guide to Adaptogens

Some people may be intimidated by the word “adaptogen,” not truly understanding what it means or what an adaptogen is. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants, like herbs and mushrooms, that protect the body from the impact of stressors – something everyone faces on a daily basis. Incorporating these plants into your diet can potentially aid the body in resisting stressors and gain other amazing health benefits along the way!

As the process of learning about adaptogens and how to use them can be a daunting task we looked for some expert advice. Our friends at Calii Love integrate adaptogens into a number of their menu items and provided some helpful information on their favourite super plants!


Ashwagandha Root. Photo: draxe.com

Often considered a beginner adaptogen, ashwagandha is a small woody shrub with yellow flowers. Native to India, the plant is also known as “Indian ginseng” or “winter cherry”. Both the root and the seeds are used for a variety of medicinal purposes. It is commonly made into powders, extracts (tinctures) and capsules and is best known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety.  

Easy application: Like other adaptogens that come in powdered form, ashwagandha can be incorporated into things like superfood smoothies, teas, or even made into a delicious bone broth for your favourite soup. For ashwagandha infused bone broth try this recipe from Kiki Athanas, Calii Love’s In-House Wellness Expert.

Goji Berries

Dried goji berries. Photo: Healthline.com

Also known as “wolfberries”, goji berries are bright orange-red berries that grow on shrubs native to China. They often come in a dried form making them look like large red raisins. Goji berries are high in antioxidants providing anti-aging benefits. Research also shows that goji berries can help boost the immune system, increase energy levels and maintain blood sugar levels. 

Easy application: You can use dried goji berries like you might use raisins. Sprinkle a few into your favourite baked goods recipe (hello goji berry muffins!), add to a trail mix, or top off your morning oatmeal.


Maca Root Powder. Photo: zuzkalight.com

Maca is a root plant native to Peru. It is known as “Peruvian ginseng” and commonly available in powder or supplement form. Research has found that maca can help to boost energy and endurance, increase libido, improve mood and brain function. 

Easy application: Maca root powder can be easily mixed in with a number of different beverages. Try it with a superfood smoothie, latte or even a hot chocolate on colder fall and winter days. Don’t want to make it at home? Try this: Calii Love Limitless Smoothie is chock-full of adaptogens like maca, chaga mushrooms, and ashwagandha for an all around brain boost!

Categories: Health, How To, Trends