(Adaptogens!) AKA Healing Herbs for Stress and Fatigue Relief
If you’re suffering from chronic stress, fatigue, and don’t know how to get help, we’re here to share some advice about possible relief and a return to good health—adaptogens.
What Happens When You Stress Out?
An important hormone in our body, which is secreted by our adrenal glands, is cortisol. When we get anxious or overly worried, our “fight-or-flight” natural response occurs, releasing a ton of cortisol into our bloodstream. It’s a mechanism designed for extreme survival. We should not be living everyday as if we are fighting for our lives.
Maintaining proper levels of cortisol is a good thing. It helps us regulate blood pressure, maintain a healthy metabolism, immune function, inflammatory response, as well as an appropriate balance of insulin release for blood sugar maintenance.
When your cortisol levels become imbalanced due to high stress, the results will most certainly have a negative impact on your body. Some of the symptoms may include: extreme tiredness, tension headaches, impaired ability to recall details, thyroid imbalance, and blood sugar problems such as hyper- or hypoglycemia, along with an inability to lose weight or unexplained, rapid weight loss. None of these are good, nor will they lead to anything better.
What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are a unique class of healing herbs. They help your body to “adapt” to stress and resist fatigue. Adaptogens help balance, restore, and protect your body from the damage that stress can cause. These specific herbs have been used as remedies for thousands of years in the Indian and Chinese medicinal cultures.
There are countless numbers of adaptogenic herbs used to impart strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and improve mental clarity. There are, however, about five, which are the most recognizable and attainable. Those include Asian ginseng, ashwaganda’s, licorice root, holy basil, and cordyceps.
- Asian ginseng is also referred to as Panax, which is considered the most potent. This red ginseng has antioxidant and antidepressant effects, and can assist with lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Ashwaganda is also known as Indian ginseng. It eases anxiety and regulates the immune system.
- Licorice Root has been found to increase energy and stamina.
- Holy Basil has become the “trendy” herb. Don’t despair if you dislike trendiness; this centuries-old elixir has proven to fight fatigue, along with a variety of other benefits. It also helps balance many of your hormone levels (hello, menopausal ladies.)
- Cordyceps are fungi, which include shitake, reishi, and maitake mushrooms. They are all high in antioxidant properties and help diminish the adverse effects of stress.
There is a bevy of other herbs, vitamins, and minerals that can help you boost your natural immune system when it’s fighting against the stresses of daily life (or even extreme circumstances.) Always, please, check with your physician or naturopath before embarking on herbal remedies. They can be extremely beneficial if used properly but always utilize with informed guidance.