From mycological pioneer, Paul Stamets to herbalist Ron Teeguarden of Dragon Herbs, there are many key players in our culture’s new obsession with mushrooms and adaptogens. Tero Isokauppila and his brand Four Sigmatic have played a unique role, bringing their sunny packaging and easy-to-drink sachets right into the eyeline of the average grocery store shopper like few other brand’s have.
I met Tero early in his journey with Four Sigmatic and we’ve brought you live chats with him, plus offers and product reviews, for years. Watching the brand’s adaptogens and shrooms creep into mainstream consciousness has been a thrill and an important part of the whole ‘shroom movement.
In this excerpt from his book, Healing Adaptogens, Tero lays out key guidelines for those, like us, who can’t get enough of these ancient supports for the modern lifestyle. Read on, take note, and leave us your questions for Tero in the comments!
The 10 Commandmants Of Adaptogens
According to Four Sigmatic Founder Tero Isokauppila
01 | Listen to your body. Bio-individuality is so important when it comes to adaptogens. Even after you learn about an ingredient, remember that it may affect your body in unique or unexpected ways. Listen to what your body is telling you and either continue or discontinue use based on your own unique experience and needs.
02 | Adaptogens are supplemental tools. They should never be used as a replacement for a healthy diet, exercise, good sleep, and general well-being practices. Instead, they should be used as additions to your wellness journey. We never want you to rely on anything to help get through the day. Make sure your underlying needs are met and then use adaptogens to support your body beyond your basic needs.
03 | Always start small. Begin using a new adaptogen at the lowest end of the dosing recommendation and slowly build up from there, increasing in small increments week by week.
04 | Time it right. For best results, take adaptogens 30 minutes before food.
05 | Quality matters. Always purchase adaptogens that are certified organic.
06 | Do your research. Functional mushrooms supplements should always meet the following criteria:
+ Mushroom fruiting body (aka real mushroom)
+ Grown on log, wood, or wild-harvested (exception: cordyceps, because it is the only adaptogenic functional mushroom that does not naturally grow on wood; it grows on insects. For humanitarian and sustainability reasons, lab-grown cordyceps is recommended and often the highest quality you can find.)
+ Extracted properly (dual-extract is the gold standard)
+ Third-party lab tested
07 | Check the source. Choose Adaptogens from their native countries. (e.g., ashwagandha from India and reishi from China).
08 | Stay away from capsules if possible. Poor quality or rancid ingredients can hide inside capsules.
09 | Taste your adaptogens. It has often been said that “the medicine starts in your mouth.” Essentially, when your body tastes the flavor, a cascade of reactions begins in your body. This allows your body to instantly recognize the ingredient and enhances the functional benefits. If you do purchase capsules for ease of use, simply open one up, pour the contents on your hand, and taste them.
10 | Keep an open mind. New research is constantly being conducted, discoveries are always being made, and adaptogens will continue to surprise you when used at different times in your life. Stay curious and have fun with them!
Excerpted with permission from Healing Adaptogens: The Definitive Guide to Using Super Herbs and Mushrooms for Your Body’s Restoration, Defense, and Performance by Tero Isokauppila, Founder of Four Sigmatic and Danielle Ryan Broida, Registered Herbologist and national educator for Four Sigmatic (Hay House, Inc.; Sept. 27, 2022). Available wherever books are sold.
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