Adaptogens are nature’s little miracles. They are healing herbs that work with a person’s body to help them adapt to issues they are having, most notably stress. They support adrenal function (the adrenal gland is where the stress hormone, cortisol, is created) so they counteract the feeling of pressure. They help to increase energy, eliminate toxic by-products of the metabolic process and assist the body in utilising oxygen more efficiently. They’re amazing!
They cleverly work to regulate important hormones in the body which cause persistent stress and the feeling of fatigue. However, they do have other benefits such as boosting the immune system, maintaining a healthy weight, increasing mental focus and clarity, reduction in discomfort when we are of ill health, and they help to encourage a balanced mood.
There are some adaptogenic herbs which you can introduce into your life, and the simplest way to do this is to take a supplement in powder or capsule form. These are some of the best herbs to look for when you’re in need of a natural solution to managing stress:
Ashwagandha is taken to keep the mind sharp, boost energy levels and to help the body dramatically improve the way it handles stress. It is frequently referred to as ‘Indian ginseng’ because of its rejuvenating properties. It is one of the most highly prized herbs in the tradition of Ayurveda.
The soothing properties of this herb have been used for centuries to maintain good health and as a powerful tool against the feeling of stress. The nutritious food supplement can help support your mental and emotional wellbeing, while the antioxidant content reduces the damaging effects stress can leave on the body.
This adaptogenic herb helps manage the hormones associated with stress. One of the primary uses for milk thistle is as a liver support and aid as a powerful detoxifier. While protecting the liver, it’s also protecting its many functions, one of which is hormone production. With milk thistle protecting the liver, it’s keeping the body’s hormone level in balance, aiding how we deal with stressful situations.
Traditionally used in cooking nowadays, this herb has also been used for centuries to relieve stress. As well as helping with improved memory, the powerful antioxidants in rosemary can protect us from stress and damage caused by toxins in the body.
A study in 2007 showed that rosemary essential oil could be used an effective stress reliever as it decreases the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, is in the saliva once breathed in.
Ginseng can help ease the workload on the adrenal glands if they become exhausted. Research has shown that substances found in ginseng can directly affect the glands and can help slow down the release of stress hormones. However, it cannot reverse the effects of stress; you need to be taking ginseng beforehand to feel the benefits.
Rhodiola is a great natural healer. It grows in the most extreme environments including deserts, cold mountains and dry and barren land. Due to having to battle these elements to survive, the plant has developed a resistance to environmental aggravators. When we consume the same compounds in the plant, we, fortunately, can experience the same resisting effects.
The rhodiola plant helps increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of our red blood cells which leads to an increase in energy. Not only does it affect energy levels, but it also reduces the amount of cortisol our body releases, calming our body and mental state. It can also help build a resistance to sickness.
An all-around do-gooder for our health and wellbeing!
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