Stressed-Out and Anxious? Explore Nature’s Remedy — Adaptogens.
Most Americans are well-informed about the rise of chronic stress. Year after year, news stories and articles blast television screens and hand-held devices about this widespread public health crisis. Stress and anxiety are both normal human responses, but over a period of time can lead to a variety of consequences. Concerns of money, relationships, political divisions, and career all have an impact on our stress levels, which in turn, if stress becomes chronic, will most certainly have a direct impact on our health.
In a recent survey, the American Psychological Association reported that most Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress, with 44 percent reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years.
Reports such as these suggest that many of us are experiencing chronic stress. Long-term exposure to chronic stress — and the ensuing activation of the stress hormone cortisol — can interrupt all of your body’s regulatory systems. This interruption puts you at high risk of a variety of health problems, including depression, anxiety, obesity, weight gain, insomnia, lack of focus, memory impairment, and adrenal fatigue. We are living the majority of our waking hours in the fight-or-flight response and this is knocking our bodies out of balance.
So what is the solution for those of us who are moderate to high-risk for chronic stress?
Let me introduce natures ideal wellness supplement that works with your body naturally to combat stress — Adaptogens. Adaptogens are a variety of plants that when taken, help cope with the physical or emotional stress that arises from poor diet, demanding schedules, and the demands of everyday life.
If your knee-jerk reaction to the word leaves you slightly confused, you’re not alone. Adaptogens are naturally occurring super herbs that are just becoming popularized in the west. In all reality, these substances have been used over the course of several millennia, especially in Ayurveda (a mind-body health system originated in India) and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Both eastern and western medicine support the claims that adaptogens may reduce stress, support hormone balance, and support energy balance.
Adaptogens are naturally occouring non-toxic substances that ‘adapt’ their powerful healing properties to what your body specifically needs.
There is a strict set of guidelines in order to qualify a plant as an adaptogen. They must meet the following criteria:
— Adaptogens must be safe with no negative side effects.
— Adaptogens must stimulate the body’s own self-regulation process and. enhance the body’s non-specific resistance (ability to cope with external and internal stress).
— Adaptogens must have a balancing, normalizing effect on body functions.
— Adaptogens must be non-toxic and non-habit forming
Top Adaptogens for Stress
If you’re partially plugged in to the world of health and wellness, you have likely heard of this powerful adaptogen. Ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, is perfect for those of us that are worn down by stress. There has been significant amount of research done on this marvelous adaptogen that supports ashwagandha’s time-tested reputation for being a great remedy for stress.
Maca is a South American root that is generally known for its hormone balancing benefits. However, the adaptogenic qualities of Maca also support the adrenal function by helping your body normalize it’s cortisol levels, reduce exhaustion from stress, and protect against other negative stress effects. Further adding to its stress-busting powers, maca intake has been linked to the reversal of ulcers, enhanced anti-stress response, and support of weak and tired adrenal glands.
Reishi mushroom is regarded as the number one superior tonic herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the most extensively studied herb in the world and has been in use throughout Asia for a broad range of health and longevity benefits for thousands. Introductory research indicates that Reishi mushroom may reduce anxiety and depression. It is also known to enhance the overall sense of wellbeing in people suffering from medical conditions.
Rhodiola is an herb which is also referred to as golden root and it’s been used in Scandinavian and Arctic regions for centuries as a traditional medicine to improve cognitive function and to promote energy and vitality. Rhodiola, an amazing anti-oxidant, is considered one of the most reliable natural herbal supplements for depression, it reduces heart rate and decreases blood pressure and is being used to for people that are suffering from stress and anxiety.
Chaga is considered one of nature’s most powerful stress reliever. As an adaptogen, Chaga offers a solid variety of health perks and is safe for use over an extended period of time. Consuming chaga every day in your morning coffee, smoothie (if you’re sensitive to caffeine), taking them in supplement form, or simply combining it with cacao powder and nut milk for an antioxidant-rich ‘hot coco’, can reduce stress.
There is no denying the surge in the prevalence of these adaptogens. Considering how easy they are to blend into smoothies, tonics, and lattes, it’s no wonder why we are seeing superfood/ adaptogen lattes popping up at coffee shops everywhere.