It took me some time to really understand what an adaptogen is. I like to know what “jobs” nutrients have in my body, like vitamin D helps you absorb calcium or magnesium relaxes muscles. But adaptogens… well they help your body “adapt”. I know, it’s a little vague.
Adaptogens’ magic lies in that they are very “not” specific. They don’t have one job in the body or target one problem/ailment/deficiency. They quietly nudge the metabolic processes of the body (the chemical reactions that keep us alive), offering support where we need it and promoting homeostasis. Adaptogens are plant-based and quite safe to consume (barring allergies, special health conditions or “over doing it”).
But what it comes down to, when you are experiencing physical or mental stress, when your body’s systems are out of balance, an adaptogen can support you. They offer a helping hand or a little nudge so that your marvellously complicated body will take care of itself.
Disclaimer: This is my personal story, and this is not intended to be medical advice or to suggest you will have the same results.
A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to try pine pollen when I met first Burgess Andre of Canadian Pine Pollen Co. I enjoyed it right away. There is something mesmerizing about the golden powder that spills, almost like a liquid and leaves a little cloud of gold dust. There is the fragrance of pine (surprise, surprise) and the lightest flavour of, well, pine.
I usually want to try anything that touts’ health benefits, so I was keen. Most of the anecdotal testimonials that were being shared – in person, as we gathered around Burgess’ demonstration – were about shifts in libido. That seemed to be the first noticeable difference that people reported. Again… SURE, I’ll try it ;) And I took a sample home.
It was suggested that I could add a teaspoon or so to almost anything – beverages of all types, soups, smoothies, sprinkled on top of foods, etc. I knew right away that it would be part of my morning LEMON TONIC. I was right – it was a perfect fit. For the next few weeks, every weekday morning, I would add about 1 tsp of pine pollen to my warm lemon water that I start my day with. I wasn’t paying any attention to whether or not it was triggering specific changes – I just enjoyed it and my instinct (which we should rely on more) was telling me that this was a nice thing to do for myself.
And after a few weeks… I realized something had changed. It was kind of hard to miss – I got my period. And that just didn’t usually happen. Since I had an IUD at the time (typically used for birth control), I hadn’t been menstruating at all. And prior to the IUD, as I was supposedly peri-menopausal since the age of 39, I rarely had a period, maybe every 5 months or so. Which was why I had tried the IUD, in an attempt to stave off menopause. Oh, the things we do to try to control our body, instead of listening to it. AND – if that’s not enough – I’ve had a benign brain-tumour, since my early 20’s (pituitary adenoma) that also skews my hormones and even before having babies, getting my period was sporadic or not at all.
Alright, so one period does not a victory make. But then, about 4 weeks later (like exactly) it happened again. I’d heard tell about the myth of cycles – of getting your period each and every month – surely that was just an old wives’ tale? But here it was, happening to me, at 44. I realize that this is not usually something many women wish for, a period each month, but for me, it’s like I was finally part of the club.
One other change that was rather noticeable for me was hair loss. Since my 6-year marathon of pregnancy-breast-feeding-pregnancy-breast-feeding-pregnancy-breast-feeding, I found that when I washed my hair, I would lose handfuls of hair each time. Short-term hair loss is normal after having children as we tend to have had increased hair growth while we are busy growing little humans in our uteruses. But some 5 years later, it was still falling out at an alarming rate, and I was worrying that my hair would continue to thin. For me - pine pollen seemed to be the adaptogen to sort that out. Some of the physical stress or hormone imbalance that was allowing my body to just give up on my hair – well it wasn’t going away with healthy eating and exercise alone. An adaptogen gave me the nudge and within a few weeks, I realized that my tub was no longer lined with a hairy carpet when I washed my hair :)
I still use pine pollen as part of my morning routine LEMON TONIC. It is like have a little breath of the forest each morning. I take a break from it on the weekends to avoid my body becoming too accustomed to the bio-active compounds of the pine pollen and possibly ignoring the helpful input. I miss it on the weekends though – like there is a little boost or perk that just isn’t there in my weekend lemon tonic.
Pine pollen hasn’t stopped me from shifting into menopause, but I strongly believe that it is a large player in smoothing the transition. I budget for pine pollen as I would any other grocery item – I would rather pay for my current wellness than my future illness. I trust Canadian Pine Pollens’ quality and consistency and love that they are harvesting from trees close to me and they don’t add any fillers. I’m getting straight-pine pollen as if I stood under the tree and let the dust fall on me.
Ingesting harvested pine pollen is no replacement for time outdoors in wilderness. I still want you to go for a walk. And touch a tree… any tree. Even one you find on a city street boulevard. We may not always be able to get ourselves deep into a forest or feel that loam beneath our feet, but we can touch a tree, close our eyes… and look like some sort of crazy person as cars pass on their morning commute ;)
There are many other adaptogens out there, that offer a range of support for the variety of stresses we all experience. I would love to talk to you more about your own personal journey and help you map out path to wellness and longevity. Book a consultation here.