It’s the middle of another year and we’re all busier than ever. Trying to juggle careers, our relationships, family responsibilities, study and have social lives. Not to mention looking after our health. Inevitably we all face stress daily, whether it be minor or major, or a bit of both!
It’s all well and good to say we need to “stress less”. Along with me, you’re probably wondering how on earth is that possible. Sometimes adding an hour of yoga, meditation or ‘me’ time to a weekly to-do list causes more stress than good! So here’s your answer: meet the class of herbal medicine called ‘adaptogens’.
What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens have been used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Herbal Medicine for centuries. They work by helping the body adapt to stressors, both internal and external. They regulate our adrenal glands so that the effect is both providing the body with increased energy and stamina to face the day. Adaptogens also normalise our stress response, so that we can handle daily stressors with a sense of calm and balance and avoid running into Adrenal Fatigue.
Our adrenals are small glands that sit on top of each kidney, and produce hormones including cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are responsible for our stress response. When we are constantly facing stress, our bodies are running in what is called ‘Fight or Flight’ mode. Our adrenals are producing loads of adrenaline to help us fight or run away from the stress.
Over time though, our bodies can’t keep this up and the adrenal glands will then struggle. They will struggle to produce the necessary amounts of cortisol needed to fire our engines up in the morning. This causes that feeling of being unable to get out of bed and hitting the snooze button again and again. Sounding all too familiar? Read on to find out what you can do to stop this vicious cycle.
Herbal heroes to the rescue
Let me introduce you to some of our favourite Adaptagen herbs and what they can help to combat:
Rhodiola rosea (Rhodiola): An all-rounder – Rhodiola has been shown to support and strengthen the nervous system, support the immune system during times of stress, enhance mental and physical stamina, increase energy levels and improve sexual function.
Withania somnifera (Withania): Described by Naturopaths as a “herbal hug”, Withania is highly nourishing to the adrenal glands and has a calming effect on our nervous system, helping to ease the anxiety that accompanies acute and chronic stress.
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice): A true ‘adrenal tonic’, Licorice helps to support the adrenals during times of stress and is able to recuperate the adrenal glands after a particularly stressful period.
Eleurococcus senticosus (Siberean ginseng): Increasing mental and physical stamina, improving immune system function and improving memory and cognition make this ginseng a go-to in times of stress and fatigue.
What to do?
So if you’re struggling to get up in the morning, your energy levels are low or drop around 3pm, and you’re constantly feeling run-down, book an appointment to see a Naturopath at Darling Health. Ask for a herbal formula with adaptogen herbs, and start feeling amazing!