Contributed by Dr. Damian Rodriguez, DHSc, MS
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 72% of adults report that anxiety interferes with their lives on a daily basis. While conventional treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective, the time and cost investment can be significant and may not be appropriate for those who are otherwise healthy.
There are a number of more convenient alternatives for those who are facing daily bouts of anxiety or wanting to support cognitive function, including an entirely new category of dietary supplements known as nootropics. One of the most researched of these new compounds is one of the primary active ingredients in the new doTERRA Adaptiv Calming Blend capsules: the extract Zembrin of the Sceletium tortuosum plant (also known as Kanna natively).
The History of Zembrin
A succulent native plant to South Africa, indigenous cultures have dried and chewed the extracts and ground parts of the plant into tea for centuries. Traditionally known as Kanna, the Zembrin extract has been used for a wide range of spiritual purposes, but it was also customary for hunters to chew it to combat fatigue, relieve thirst and hunger, and mentally prepare for stressful situations. With reports about its possible mood-modulating benefits, late 19th century European chemists began researching Kanna further and ultimately isolated what is believed to be its primary active constituent, an alkaloid called mesembrine.
The Science Behind Zembrin
Zembrin, a patented extract of the Sceletium tortuosum plant (Kanna) that was developed by a multi-national team of physicians and scientists, has been the focus of several published studies in the last several years, including three placebo-controlled human clinical studies. Along with examining the safety of its consumption (it has self-affirmed Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status in the US), much of this research has revolved around its efficacy in supporting healthy emotional responses to anxiety-inducing events and supporting overall cognitive well-being.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, researchers used fMRI to evaluate how Zembrin ingestion may influence the amygdala (the part of the brain which processes memories, and regulates critical thinking and emotional responses) and connected neurocircuitry during anxiety-inducing activities. While in the trial phase, which included a single daily dose of 25 mg of Zembrin, participants experienced reduced amygdala reactivity and amygdala–hypothalamus coupling compared to when in the control (placebo) phase.
In another trial, after six weeks of use, participants showed positive increases in brain activity (as measured by EEG), improvement on various functional psychometry tests, decreases in anxious feelings, and reported enhanced overall moods. The third cross-over clinical trial provided further evidence that regular supplementation of Zembrin may support improved cognitive function and long-term health.
What Do Zembrin’s Alkaloids Do to the Body?
The powerful benefits of Zembrin are believed to be due to the composition of alkaloids present in extracts of Sceletium tortuosum. Alkaloids are plant-derived chemicals that contain carbon and nitrogen
Alkaloids range from helpful to downright dangerous. Lucky for us, Zembrin’s alkaloids fall into the former category. Research suggests that Zembrin can promote respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous system. In addition, research shows that Zembrin can help boost levels of one of our favorite neurotransmitters: serotonin. Zembrin blocks serotonin receptors from absorbing serotonin, resulting in more of this neurotransmitter to go around.
Current research has focused on Zembrin’s ability to positively influence emotional regulation and promoting overall cognitive health, but there may be even more potential for this botanical when used by those who experience daily bouts of emotional and even physical stress, especially when combined with the essential oils as in the Adaptiv capsules.
How Do I Use Adaptiv Capsules?
doTERRA Adaptiv Capsules are a great, natural alternative to promote mental well-being and there are a few different ways to use them daily, for both acute and long-term support.
- Take one capsule daily, as recommended by a healthcare professional, to support long-term emotional well-being.
- Or take one capsule before a test or a presentation to help manage feelings of stress.
- Or take one capsule each morning to support healthy cognitive function throughout the day.
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Try the doTERRA Adaptiv System
The Adaptiv System is a toolbox to help the body and mind stay balanced during life’s stressful moments. Save when you purchase the system together.
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