Tag Archives: help for stress

Got stress? Try an adaptogen.

Our current lifestyles produce multiple scenarios where stress can develop. Even if you don’t think you are uptight, your body may be reacting making you tired, irritable, and lowering your immune response. In order for an herb to be considered an adaptogen it must be non-toxic to the body, increase the body’s resistance to all kinds of stressors including chemical, emotional and physical, and it would provide a normalizing effect without side-effects.

Adaptogenic herbs must also be capable of re-regulating the pituitary and adrenal systems which control our flight or fight response. When these glands recognize a ‘threat’ they release hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline. When the stress becomes chronic these hormones become pervasive. Adaptogens help to balance adrenal function by supporting the adrenals, thus counteracting the effects of the stressor.

Ashwagandha is a well-know adaptogen that contains withanolides that boosts resistance to fatigue and stress. Another herb, Rhodiola rosea includes salidrosides and the compounds rosavin, rosin and rosarin that are responsible for the stress-reducing effects and like ashwagandha moderates cortisol levels. Deer antler velvet is considered to be a natural adaptogen, restoring homeostasis to an unbalanced body by helping where it is needed. In addition to helping reduce stress and support normal cortisol levels, deer velvet works to support the body processes that help reduce pain and inflammation in joints and has been used for 2000 years in Asia as a treatment for menopausal symptoms.  Holy Basil is also an herb that has cortisol-mitigating action and is used frequently for adrenal fatigue although long-term use is not recommended for people on blood thinning drugs or who are being treated for blood sugar issues such as diabetics.                                                                                                            Link to Velvet Antler Click Here

Link to Rhodiola Click Here

 

Alternatives to drugs for stress and anxiety.

headacheAccording to the American Psychological Assn., the number of people who suffer from stress and anxiety has increased by 44% over the last five years. General anxiety disorders affect over 6 million people with women complaining of stress twice as much as men. Stress can be brought on by so many reasons, from rushed deadlines, social fears, childhood trauma, traumatic events to illness.

Natural approaches to stress may be tried before drugs. Starting with supporting the brain, good nutrition is essential including foods such as fish, hemp, avocados, coconut and nuts. Since the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are responsible for creating equilibrium we need to realize that chronic stress can negatively affect the thyroid, blood sugar, bone density, belly fat production and cognitive performance.

In addition to relaxation techniques that include meditation, yoga, exercise, guided imagery and self hypnosis, you may consider taking holy basil which will have a calming effect which acts as a mild nervine due to it’s action that reduces histamine responses in the blood . Ashwaganda is another herb that helps in reducing cortisol levels.  Rhodiola rosea is especially effective at curbing depression, decreasing fatigue and enhancing mental sharpness by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is considered the happy hormone. You have to be careful with rhodiola as it needs to be harvested at its peak and not past peak growing. Many cheaper supplements don’t care about that and you won’t get the effectiveness.

Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that helps protect the body from prolonged stress. When processed correctly, it helps inhibit chromosomal instability by creating a healthy telomere microenvironment. This impacts telomere length (caps at the end of the DNA strand that prevents the DNA from unraveling or breaking) reducing cellular death and slows the aging process. L-Theanine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) found in green tea. Evidence from human electroencephalograph (EEG) studies show that it has a direct effect on the brain. L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. It increases serotonin and  stimulates the brain’s alpha waves which induces relaxation. These two are a good combination and when I take a supplement that has them in it, I feel happy and my stress levels reduce. I call this MY HAPPY PILL.  If you want to read more about it go to the website www.LongLifeNews.com and click on Cell Metrix. I’ve tried lots of supplements for stress and this one seems to get me smiling and let me cope much better with daily stresses, road rage and the computer !

PS>If you want my new free e-book Think and Feel Younger click here.