You’ve got a lot on your plate. The demands for your time are enormous. And finding a way to fit everything in can leave you feeling seriously stressed out. Ultimately, I’d argue that we need to realistically manage our schedules and learn to say “no” to certain things that leave us feeling unfulfilled. But getting to that place can be a long and winding road. This is why I often recommend adaptogens for stress. Adaptogens can be a fantastic bridge between stressed out and frantic land to a more manageable and peaceful existence.
If you haven’t heard of adaptogens yet, no worries.
They are the natural herbs and plants that have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help the body adapt to stress.
I love adaptogens because they can really expedite the healing process. They are most effective when used in combination with lifestyle and diet changes. But they can help you get over that initial difficulty of kickstarting diet and lifestyle changes.
Sometimes, when your body is so depleted by stress hormones, cooking, going to bed on time, or going for a walk can feel like impossible tasks.
This is where a little boost from the right adaptogen can help get you started.
The Best Adaptogens For Stress
The list of traditional adaptogens is actually quite long, but I’ll cover some of my most commonly recommended ones here.
Ashwagandha is an extremely powerful herb that is revered in Ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India. There are so many amazing things this herb can do. The reason it has a great reputation as an adaptogen is that it can help reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone your body produces when it’s under stress.
As early as 77 AD this plant that thrives in cold, rocky environments started showing up in medical texts. Traditionally, it’s been used to treat colds, flu, enhance energy, and extend lifespan. More recently, it’s been prescribed to help with anxiety, depression, and stress management.
Just like with Ashwagandha, cortisol regulation is the superpower of Rhodiola that makes it so effective as an adaptogen. And just like Ashwagandha, this herb has been studied for many other health benefits as well, including lowering blood sugar and blood pressure. It’s also shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties too.
Ginseng can get a tiny bit confusing because there are 13 different varieties that are all labeled ‘ginseng.’ For simplicity, they can be separated into 3 basic groups: Asian ginseng, Siberian ginseng, and American ginseng.
The most widely studied type of ginseng is known as ‘Panax’ ginseng which incorporates both American and Asian varieties. Once harvested, the root is treated by either peeling and drying (producing white ginseng) or the skin is left intact, steamed, and then dried (producing red ginseng).
Studies indicate Panax ginseng can help improve working memory, boost feelings of calmness, and improve immunity. It’s also shown to help cardiovascular function.
Tulsi or Holy Basil
Not to be confused with the basil that goes into a nice pesto sauce, holy basil is another popular adaptogen that can help if you’re feeling stressed out.
In Ayurveda, holy basil’s status as an attenuator of physical, metabolic, chemical, and psychological stress is second to none — hence the “holy” moniker.
This reputation has been supported by modern studies as well, with one study showing 500mg per day efficacious in reducing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and increasing feelings of desire for social interaction.
Can Adaptogens Work For You?
Sure, taking an all-natural supplement that is well tolerated by most people and comes with little to no side effects sounds like a great fix for stress, right?
But choosing the right adaptogen for you can be confusing. Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding these to your regimen, especially if you’re taking other medications.
Or, if you want to talk to me directly about these amazing herbs, I offer completely free, no-obligation consultations.
If you’re feeling stressed and tired and wondering if there is a way to feel better (spoiler alert: there is) then we should chat. I’d love the opportunity to help you make sense out of your options. You can apply for a consult here.
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