Friends and faith help get me through all of the big and small stresses in my life. I spend time every day meditating, praying and reflecting on all of the blessings I have in my life. Every day I think about how grateful I am to have so many loving friends in my life, and to have such joy in my work.
Stress is a serious threat to our health whether it’s emotional or mental. Chronic, long-term stress can wreak havoc on the body’s systems, causing imbalance. So what can you do? One way to combat stress is to look into a particular class of herbs called adaptogens.
Adaptogen compounds can help improve the stress response of the body, providing calming and hormone balancing properties. They may also help enhance energy, improve sleep, and support the immune system. These herbs can help support the adrenal glands which can experience fatigue or even complete burn-out when under long-term, chronic stress. So what herbs are we talking about? Some of the common adaptogenic herbs are Asian ginseng, Siberian ginseng, Ashwagandha, Scuttelaria, Holy Basil and rhodiola.
“Adaptogens are powerful herbs and should be dosed by an expert with a health target in mind. Adaptogens are rarely given alone and used rather in combination depending on a person’s needs. A small study with 17 participants over the course of 3 months found that a combination of 8 adaptogenic herbs taken daily provided a highly significant improvement in their ability to cope with stress. Further, there were no adverse effects reported from anyone. Other studies have shown benefit for reducing fatigue, depression, and neurosis,” says FoodTrients nutritionist Ginger Hultin in her article on adaptogens and stress.
And don’t forget that there are other ways to reduce stress – relax, try deep breathing, meditation, or physical activity. Ginger also recommends that before taking any of the adaptogenic herbs that you discuss with your health care provider to find out if they could be another tool for your stress support this season.