We all deal with stress every day, a hectic schedules, lack of sleep, demands at the work place or in school our world has become increasingly more complex. We are constantly bombarded with information via TV, cell phones and the internet, and the majority of it is negative, fueling worries and anxiety. Assaults on our senses create a physical and emotional reaction, an overwhelming feeling we call STRESS!
While our bodies strive to adapt to the stresses in our live and keep us balanced and healthy, it is the consistent exposure to stressors that eventually leads to physical symptoms such as:
- frequent bouts of low blood sugar,
- mood and memory problems
- salt and sugar cravings
- morning fatigue, low energy
In nature we find a category of herbs called adaptogens which can help the human body adapt to stress, support normal metabolic processes, and restore balance. They increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors and promote normal physiologic function. They can provide a defense response to acute or chronic stress and are unique from other substances in their ability to restore the balance of endocrine hormones and strengthen the immune system.
Adaptogenic herbs have been used for thousands of years in ancient India and China. In the past, they have been called rejuvenating herbs, qi tonics, rasayanas or restoratives. Modern research has substantiated what the ancients knew, that many of these herbs are important medicines that can be used for the prevention and treatment of a variety of common ailments.
Astragalus, Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Eleuthero are some of the herbs that are considered Adaptogens.
ASTRAGALUS is native to China and it s Chinese name means yellow leader because the root is yellow and the herb is considered the leader among tonic herbs. Astragalus strengthens the lungs and enhances the immune system function. Research has shown that it helps prevent immunosuppressant caused by chemotherapy and has anti-tumor inhibiting activity. More recently, Astragalus has been used to improve cardiac blood flow and to prevent kidney and liver damage.
ELEUTHERO is native to Siberia, Korea and northern Japan. It strengthens the immune system and if used regularly, can reduce incidence of colds. It also increases endurance and stamina and if used regularly, a person will feel better perform better and recover more quickly. It is great for those stressed-out type A people who work long hours and/ or don’t get adequate sleep or nutrition. Eleuthero is also used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, jet lag and adrenal fatigue.
Adaptogens are tonic herbs and they don’t have any negative physical effects and can be taken safely over long periods of time. A tonic supplement strengthens and invigorates various organs and body systems. They help balance emotions and enhance memory.
Reference: (Winston & Maimes, Adatptogens-Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief, 2007)