Adaptogens for Dogs
Rejuvenative and Restorative Health Tonics
Our dog’s bodies are regularly exposed to physical and toxic stress just as we are – from household chemicals, pesticides in our foods, pollutants in the air, intensively farmed meats and general anxiety to name but a few.
Adaptogens support a reduction in the effects of these stressors for your dog.
A study found that our dogs mirror our own stress! (1)
All this can overwhelm your dog’s body’s ability to cope, leading to insomnia, tiredness, anxiety, depression and even physical illness.
Thankfully there are some incredible rejuvenating plants and fungi that can help. These are the amazing adaptogens.
So, what are adaptogenic herbs and fungi?
Adaptogens are “medicinal substances which induce an increased state of nonspecific resistance in the body”. Dr. Israel Brekhman, described as the “father of adaptogens”, outlines that adaptogens comply with four properties: “They are safe to use; their effect is nonspecific or have a multitarget mechanism of action; they protect the recipient from multiple physical, environmental, and chemical stressors. And lastly, they act to stabilize or normalize the health of the individual user”.
The term adaptogen was introduced into scientific literature by Russian toxicologist Nikolay Lazarev in 1957 to refer to ‘substances that increase the state of non-specific resistance’ in stress. Broadly, an adaptogen must have the four ‘N’s:
- Nourishing – bring nutritive strength
- Normalising – raise what is low and lower what is high (e.g. energy, stress)
- Non-specific – act on multiple parts of the body at the same time
- Non-toxic – be completely safe when used over extended periods of time
Of the 1000’s of plants, herbs, botanicals and fungi on the planet only 22 are classified as adaptogens.
So, how do adaptogenic herbs work for your dog?
Adaptogens relieve stress by modulating the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. As biological response modifiers (BRMs), adaptogens restore the body’s innate immune function and help the body adapt to different stressors. This gives them preventative and protective as well as curative activity in compromised immunity.
By replenishing your dog’s deeper immunity and regulating their response to stress, adaptogens replenish the wellspring of health and vitality and are true rejuvenative tonics helping to:
- Improve overall wellbeing
- Increase energy
- Optimise organ function
- Reduce stress response
- Increase inner strength
- Improve blood sugar levels
- Optimise protein synthesis
- Reduce inflammatory cortisol levels
- Improve cholesterol ratios
- Regulate the hormonal balance
We often marvel at the fact that there are plants that can do all, yes, ALL, of these things.
Bonza includes carefully selected adaptogens to help your dog live their best life – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Its botanical name is Withania somnifera, and it’s also known by several other names, including “Indian ginseng” and “winter cherry”.
The Ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that’s native to India and Southeast Asia. Extracts or powder from the plant’s root or leaves are used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, joint pain, inflammation, stress, increasing muscle and strength, supporting heart health and lowering blood sugar and fat.
Turmeric, sometimes called Indian saffron or the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America.
The turmeric on shelves and in spice cabinets is made of the ground roots of the plant and is the spice that gives some curries their yellow colour.
Recently, science has started to back up traditional claims that turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties. These compounds are called curcuminoids. The most important one is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero):
Siberian Ginseng, or Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), is an Asian herb. It’s been used for thousands of years as a healing remedy in traditional medicine.
Eleuthero is also commonly called Siberian ginseng. However, this name was changed to “eleuthero” to avoid confusion with true ginseng, which includes Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius).
A very powerful adaptogen it has been used to prevent, and treat, many common health issues including Increasing energy and reducing fatigue, improving cognitive function, treating and managing cancers, boosting the immune system, treatment of diabetes, managing respiratory tract infections, reducing inflammation and repairing nerve damage.
The reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi, is a fungus that grows in various hot and humid locations in Asia.
Reishi mushrooms, classified as adaptogens, are among several medicinal mushrooms that have been used for hundreds of years, mainly in Asian countries, for treatment of infections.
More recently, they have also been used in the treatment of pulmonary diseases and cancer.
Medicinal mushrooms have been approved adjuncts to standard cancer treatments in Japan and China for more than 30 years and have an extensive clinical history of safe use as single agents or combined with chemotherapy.
Within the mushroom, there are several molecules, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans, that may be responsible for its powerful health effects.