All of your daily experiences create chemical reactions in the brain that trigger the release of thousands of peptides, hormones, and metabolic particles. These molecules travel throughout the body and attempt to enact an appropriate response in the body. When stress occurs, whether it be physical or emotional, that response usually causes a rise in blood pressure, elevated heart rate, and changes in the immune system. If too much stress is encountered over time, these responses can be detrimental for your overall health. While it may not always be easy to remove stress-causing factors from your life, you can help your body to cope with the aid of adaptogens.
How Does Stress Affect You?
Your stamina, health, and emotions are all interconnected by a vast network of sensory receptors, glands, organs, and the various parts of the immune system. Each affects the others through a series of chemical reactions that are constantly firing throughout the body. When one or more of these systems undergoes stress, it can go into overdrive, which in turn affects every other system in the network. For this reason, emotional stresses can often depress or overstimulate major organs or immune responses. The key is to find a balance that prevents stress responses in one system from affecting the others.
What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are herbs, roots, bark, fruits, and mushrooms that can help balance and regulate the chemicals that provoke stress responses. The name stems from the ability of adaptogens to ‘adapt’ to the needs of each individual, helping to reduce hormone levels that are too high or increase levels that are too low. In this way, the anti-stress herbs bring the body into a more balanced and relaxed state of wellness. Here are some of the benefits of consuming adaptogens:
- Healthier, more balanced reactions to internal and external stresses.
- Improved energy levels and emotional stability.
- A stronger immune system.
- Improved stamina and less fatigue.
- Increased libido.
- Anti-aging effects.
- More tranquil, deeper sleep.
- Improved functioning of vital organs.
- Increased metabolism.
- Better mental acuity and nervous responsiveness.
Where to Find Them
There are many herbs and plants that qualify as adaptogens, not all of them easy to find. Next week, we will go into more detail about each herb and their individual properties. For now, here’s a few herbs you can look for:
Fortunately, there are herbal preparations and tonics, such as Shakti Chai Powerboost by Golden Lotus Botanicals, that contain several adaptogens along with health-boosting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Browse chai teas and products containing adaptogens in the Living Clean Store, or learn more about herbal curatives:
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