Can Adaptogen Herbs Help Stress?

Choosing the right Adaptogen Herbs for Stress

Natural medicine has long appreciated herbs as natural sources for treating stress.  One such example of this is adaptogen herbs.  This is especially true when your body is  supported emotionally and nourished physically by wholesome food and select herbs.

For numerous people contending with daily anxiety and frazzled nerves, long-term stress has become a widely common occurrence. Adaptogens work through hormonal regulation of the stress response, by fortifying the body’s immune system as they decrease cellular sensitivity to stress.  Adaptogen herbs include panax  ginseng, holy basil (ocimum sanctum), astragalas root, ashwagandha (withania somnifera), rhodiola (rhodiola rosea), Licorice Root  and reishi (ganoderma lucidum), mushroom.   Today I will discuss the seven I believe to be the most beneficial as part of a stress relieving lifestyle.  I have used most of these herbs and found them to be very helpful.

Top 7 Adaptogen Herbs for Stress

Adaptogen Herbs
Adaptogen Herbs

Panax Ginseng

Panax ginseng is one well known adaptogen and considered by many to be the most potent.  In humans, Panax ginseng has been shown to improve calmness and some aspects of working memory in healthy young adults.

Panax has also been observed to reduce ulcer index, assist the adrenal glands, lower blood glucose levels, triglycerides, and reduce damage of the circulatory system and other parts of the body.

This red ginseng also has antioxidant effects and has been found to improve mood and mental performance in small studies, may reduce fasting blood sugar levels.

What does all this mean?  It means that there are some promising results about the way this adaptogenic herbs may affect stress responses in humans.

Holy Basil

Also call tulsi, holy basil is known in India as the powerful anti-aging supplement.  It has also been a Avurvedic medicine to treat a large number of conditions, such as “infections, skin diseases, hepatic disorders, common cold and cough, malarial fever and as an antidote for snake bite and scorpion sting”.

Holy basil has also been studied as a use for anti-stress benefits.  One reason is the presence of three phytochemical compounds that lower stress parameters in lab studies.

In addition to these stress-related benefits, holy basil may potentially help to lower blood pressure, reduce seizure activity, fight bacteria, kill certain fungi, combat viral infections, protect the liver, promote immune system function and reduce pain response.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is often referred to as Indian ginseng.  It’ s effects on cortisol, stress tolerance and internal stress responses have been studied for decades.

In addition to stress relief, reviews have shown potential benefits on various types of tumors, cognition and memory, neurodegenerative diseases and brain health, inflammation and arthritis.

Astragalus Root

Used in Chinese medicine, astragalus has been known to boost immunity and potentially buffer the effects of stress.

Astragalus root may actually temporarily increase cortisol levels to allow the body to positively respond to certain types of stress.  This quick boost in temporary cortisol then lets the hormone level out as soon as the stressor has been removed.

There are studies that astragalus improved physical performance, helps the body get rid of disease-promoting free radicals, improve the use of glucose in the bloodstream and protect the liver.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola, or golden root, is a potent adaptogen that has been the focus of much research.  Like the other adaptogens, rhodiola provides a biological defense against stress.  In a human trial conducted in 2009 by scientists in Sweden they test the impact on people “suffering with stress-related fatigue”.  They found the rhodiola “exerts an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental performance, particularly the ability to concentrate, and decreases cortisol response to awakening stress in burnout patients with fatigue syndrome”.

Reishi Mushroom

Cordyceps, reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms are fungi with antioxidant properties.  That means nutrition-rich mushrooms have all the benefits of antioxidant foods.  They may not be adaptogens in the classic sense, but each has adaptogenic, anti-tumor and immune-enhancing properties.

It seems that the adaptogenic effect of reishi involves a temporary higher boost in the cortisol when exposed to stress, followed by a large drop during non-stress periods when compared with no treatment.

Licorice Root

Licorice root can increase energy and endurance, boost the immune system, and protect the thymus from being damaged by cortisol.  If may affect blood pressure and potassium levels, so traditional licorice root is typically recommended in cycles of 12 weeks, although this isn’t the case when taking DGL licorice, which is considered safe for long-term use.

Precautions

As always you should discuss any new supplements or medications with your doctor before beginning a regimen.  This is especially true with apoptogenic herbs, as several of them interact with prescription medications and are not recommended for people with certain conditions.

Be sure to do your research on any supplements you are considering finding out if they may conflict with any medications or conditions you may have, and use only high quality, organic varieties from trustworthy sources.

For further research on plants, herbs and natures remedies here is a resource that I found to be helpful.  The Healing Plants Bible, The Definitive Guide to Herbs, Trees and Flowers by Helen Farmer-Knowles.

I’m Shirley Noah, I teach the 9 pillars for health.  A step-by-step approach to good health.  Let’s connect to see how I may best serve you in the near future.

 

 

Ever Wonder What Homeopathy Is and How Does It Work?

Ever Wonder What Homeopathy Is and How It Works?

The wisdom and logic of homeopathic medicines are that instead of suppressing symptoms with fever-lowering drugs, a small dose of medicine that might actually cause a fever or flu-like condition will be used to augment your immune and defense system. Or,  put another way, it helps to balance your body’s energy, called chi in traditional Chinese medicine.  This energy is circulated through your body along specific meridians, and when this circulation gets disrupted, illness can result.

Homeopathy
Homeopathy

Homeopathy was founded by a German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann based on the theory that “like cures like”.  Homeopathic solutions themselves contain minuscule doses of plants, minerals, animal products, or other compounds that cause symptoms similar to what you are already experiencing.  The remedies have been diluted many times over, and the idea is that the substance will stimulate your body’s own “anti-inflammatory” response, and this will help you maintain homeostasis. They are commonly administered in pellet form, dissolved under the tongue.

What Does Science Say About Homeopathy?

One study in the British Medical Journal, found that people with allergies who received homeopathy had a 28 percent improvement in their nasal air flow while those in the placebo group had only a 3 percent improvement.

A great resource for those of you looking to learn more about homeopathy is Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy by Amy Lansky, Ph.D. She provides an in-depth study on the history, philosophy, and practice of homeopathy, as well as testimonials on the power of homeopathy in various health problems, including her own son’s autism.

Uses for Homeopathy for Influenza

It is known that living organisms, including the human body, will go to great measures to survive.  In doing so, it can and will create symptoms as defenses and as adaptive measure to fight infection or stress.  When the human body is exposed to a flu virus, the body inflames into a fever as a defensive effort to fight the virus.  During a fever, the body increases its number of T-cell and B-cells that help fight viral infection.

The logic of homeopathic medicines is that instead of suppressing symptoms with fever-lowering drugs, a nano-dose of a medicine that might actually cause a fever or flu-like condition will be used to activate your immune system.  For instance, the syndrome of symptoms with the flu may be (fever, body aches and a frontal headache, increased thirst for cold fluids and irritability).  You can select a homeopathic medicine for those specific symptoms.  While another person my have different symptoms such as (fever, fatigue, a headache in the back part of the head and no thirst) could select another homeopathic medicine that would be effective for those specific symptoms.  This allows you to individualize the treatment.

Homeopathy as a Form of Homeo-Immnotherapy

The use of Oscillococcinum is an example of a remedy that can be effective for many people with the flu, (although use within 48 hours of getting flue symptoms is more effective).  Although most homeopathic medicines are made from the plant or mineral kingdom, Oscillococcinum is unusual in that it is made from the heart and liver of a duck.

In a study group, the patients treated with Oscillococcinum concluded that the number of days needed to return to work as well as reducing the number of flu and acute respiratory infection episodes.

Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH, is one of America’s leading advocates for homeopathy.  He has authored 10 books, including, “The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy and bestselling,” Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines, with Steven Cummings, MD.  He is the founder of Homeopathic Educational Services (www.homeopathic.com),. A leading resource center for homeopathic books, tapes, medicines, software and correspondence courses.

Wouldn’t it be great to have something to grab in your “1st Aid Kit”That could help alleviate symptoms ? This Boiron HomeoFamily Kit, 32 multi dose with 12 units of Oscillococcinum or Hylands Homeopathic Remedy Chest with a variety of Homeopathic Remedies in 30x potency could be just that.

Energy medicine over conventional practices is very interesting.  But, it should be used to support your already healthy lifestyle, and not be a substitute for it.

 

I’m Shirley Noah, I teach the 9 pillars for health.  A step-by-step approach to good health.  Let’s connect to see how I may best serve you in the near future.