Q & A with Herbalist Isaline Tala Delforge about adaptogens

Updated: Mar 16

We spoke to the beautiful herbalist and yoga & meditation teacher Isaline Tala Delforge about adaptogens. She fills us in on what adaptogens are, what they can do for our health and not to forget, for our skin. Last year, Isaline launched her own line of beautiful and medicinal adaptogens called AHO Botanicals, which we are absolutely obsessed with. We start each day with a cup filled with one of her magical adaptogens. Now, let’s dive into our interview with Isaline.

Isaline Tala Delforge AHO Botanicals

Who is Isaline Tala Delforge? And, to kick off our chat as if we were to start a brand new day together: how do you drink your coffee, adaptogens or tea in the morning – if you do? What (else) is the first thing you do in the morning?

I am an emotional soul, wildly excited by nature, aesthetics, self-care. I love to wake up looking at the sky, treating myself with kind thoughts and preparing a delicious reishi latte or other medicinal plant-based brew. I try to create time to breathe consciously, self-sooth, write, meditate or sing to start the day at peace. Furthermore, I love to cook some delicious, quick oats with warm fruits and other kinds of comforting foods to kick-start the day.

How did you become a herbalist and a yoga and meditation teacher? What were you doing before?

Before yoga, meditation, and herbal love, I was already amazed by human psyche, social business, and self-care. I studied sociology, anthropology, and political science, with some economic courses on top. Some years later, I had gained experience by working on a few projects that had an impact on how human values could be directed back into the business world whilst I also got to experience traditional ways of doing business in our countries first-hand. These experiences made me want to get closer to myself, nature, and self-care. I decided to sail the Atlantic Ocean to go to Guatemala to become a yoga instructor and had the chance to enjoy medicinal plants in Nicaragua. I came back to Belgium knowing that my life would never be the same: I studied herbalism, discovered adaptogens, and started sharing the philosophy and physical practice of yoga. Later, I decided to create the new brand Aho Botanicals, to be sharing adaptogenic powders and tools for self-care. What I am doing makes me happy and it’s a wild adventure, too. I learn about myself and the world every single day, which is truly nourishing me.

When did you first hear about adaptogens, and what motivated you to start working with them?

I first heard about this powerful medicine when I was struggling with stress and anxiety during the launch of another project, just before launching the Aho Botanicals brand. Someone back then told me about ashwagandha and how well it was working for her, giving her relief. I bought it right away and felt relieved so quickly; only 15-20 minutes after taking it! It pushed me to finish the current project as quickly as I could, and decided to launch a brand focusing on adaptogens soon after. I truly desire that everyone could enjoy adaptogens, these truly powerful plants, roots, and mushrooms.

AHO Botanicals Adaptogens

For our readers that don’t know yet: what are adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a category of medicinal plants and mushrooms that help the body adapt to stress, reinforce our system, and find back the homeostasis state. They are non-toxic, and they adapt to each body depending on what it truly needs.

So exciting! Please tell us more! How can they benefit us, for example? And why are you so crazy about them? The adaptogens category has been scientifically created after a Russian physician discovered how well these medicinal gems were supporting the emotional and physical strength of soldiers. Many clinical studies are carried out to prove the effects of adaptogens, but more than that, the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and the Ayurvedic system both promote the daily use of adaptogens.

The range of actions of these plants and mushrooms is broad, as it can help you restore your hormonal system, ease your digestive system, chill your nervous system, and help you sleep better, amongst many other things.

What I really like about them is that they can be used safely, and that they work on a bidirectional level depending on everyone’s personal needs. The intelligence of nature is working directly through these plants, and that is simply mind-blowing to me.

How do you use adaptogens in your daily routine? What more does your self-care ritual consist of (meditation, yoga, food, skincare, etc.)?

Now that I truly know them, I know when I need ‘who’: they are like little characters to me! For someone discovering this new world, I would pick one according to your greatest need and take it every day during a month to use it as a cure. I think that this medicine is strongly complementary to yoga or any form of sport and to some types of meditation practices, but also to any other type of ‘medicine’ that makes you feel good. Laughing is a medicine, sleeping is a medicine, loving is a medicine, walking in nature is a medicine, dancing is a medicine, and so on. It can change depending on the time of the year, but at this moment, I really love to do yoga, play, nourish my skin with beautiful oils, such as the ones of Comme Ça Skincare, eat a heartwarming homemade meal, chill, and rest close to the fire.

Which are your favorite adaptogens and why?

I really loved the energy of Reishi last year, it’s so chill and comfy. It helps with a poor immune system and high inflammation, and I got so much interesting feedback about it from the people around me, too. This year, I think that I will go more for a Lion’s Mane type of mushroom; a bit wilder and it’s a focus booster. But it might change over time! I try to go with the flow and sharpen my intuition to feel what I need.

AHO Botanicals

Can adaptogens have an impact on our skin’s health? And if so, which adaptogens do, and what do they do?

Definitely, as the skin is a mirror of our internal world. We all experience some kind of stress, so it is really common that the skin shows some signs of dysfunction. Reishi is really nice to diminish inflammation, so that would certainly be the ‘must-experience’ adaptogen for a peaceful skin. The Gotu Kola is also a genuinely beautiful plant to diminish inflammation. My friend Eva Gaillot from the account The French Coconut has written a beautiful article about the link between adaptogens and the skin. It is in French, but you can easily translate it if you open it with Google. It is definitely worth the translate!

Where can people find out more about you?

For more information about our adaptogens on our Instagram account AHO Botanicals and on my personal Instagram account.