ADAPTOGENS FOR ANTI-AGING, STRESS & FATIGUE
Right alongside nutrition deficiencies and environmental effects, handling stress effectively is key in looking your best. Caffeine and sugar are often used to combat fatigue and get through the day. Although products like coffee and energy shots found at every gas station and drug store counter can give you a temporary energy boost, they have confirmed negative side effects. As a matter of fact, a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center shows that caffeine taken in the morning has effects on the body that persist until bedtime and amplifies stress consistently throughout the day.
So, what’s so bad about a little stress? Stress elevates CORTISOL levels, cortisol is commonly known as the ‘aging’ hormone! Elevated cortisol levels can affect every physiological system in your body. It can make you anxious, irritable, leads to weight gain & bone loss, contribute to diabetes & heart disease risks, and depletes your energy levels.
What is the answer? Healthy nutrition and a centuries old herbal alternative, adaptogens.
Definition: An adaptogenic substance is one that demonstrates a nonspecific enhancement of the body’s ability to resist a stressor.
Adaptogens consist of a unique blend of herbal ingredients used to aid in a healthy adrenal system. The adrenal system handles the body’s hormonal response to stress, fight fatigue and cope with anxiety. The adrenal system covers the upper surface of each kidney, synthesize and store dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These compounds are responsible for the changes that occur during the fight-or-flight reaction.
This is not a quick fix. Adaptogens work subtly and over time, but several studies have proven the effectiveness of incorporating adaptogens into a daily diet. These adaptogens are infinitely useful nonetheless, because they perform in a way that no pharmaceutical drug does: they’re nontoxic, mostly side effect–free, and help your body counter physical, chemical, or biological stress.
Simply put, adaptogens are herbs, they are in a unique class of healing plants. The most common are:
- American Ginseng Root
- Asian Ginseng Root
- Schisandra Berry
- Leuzea Root
- Ashwagandha Root
- Dang Shen Root
- Eleuthero Root
- Licorice Rhizome
- Rhodalia Root
(I must note, as outlined in my bio, I am not a medical doctor or health care worker. I encourage anyone to consult with their physician before beginning any new program, especially important if you have current health problems or take medications.)
Different variations help different issues, so it is important to carefully research the correct herb for your specific needs. Once determined which herb, or combination, is best suited to meet your needs, you can decide how you would like to incorporate them into your daily life. The most common way to drink a tea made from the herbs that you choose, that’s what I do. Many people prefer to take a supplement or use the ground roots & herbs in their cooking. I find the tea tastes, well, like tea and I can drink it throughout the day without feeling like I’ve made any type of change.
I can’t outline all of the top adaptogenic herbs and their best uses here, this article would be a mile long! If you have specific questions, or would like to know what I personally do, please send me a message via the Contact Me tab above. I’ld love to help.
No amount of skin care, exercise or healthy choices will help you look and feel your best if you’re constantly under stress. Beauty of body & soul really is an inside job.