Herbs For Stress Relief

Herbs for stress relief

Herbs can assist in many areas of your life. Everything from stress to heart disease, to high blood pressure to getting rid of those sugar cravings. Did you know that prolonged stress can be deeply harmful to you? Not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. Studies show that over 90% of all chronic illnesses are caused by stress.  These leading causes of death include cancer, accidents, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory illness, Alzheimer’s disease, suicide, Kidney disease, influenza and pneumonia. Often the one underlying cause, sometimes overlooked, is chronic stress. This is because there are many stressors in life – overwork, kids, partner and even social connections.

Coping With Stress

Our bodies are built to combat the effects of short-term stress, but when it comes to long term, or chronic stress it is a different story. This chronic long-term stress takes a huge toll on your body, more than you may realise. In particular it causes havoc on your thyroid and adrenals; these produce the various hormones that your body needs to live and be healthy. Our bodies have a temporary “fight or flight” response to temporary stressors. The problem comes when this system is forced into becoming a permanent coping mechanism for constant stress. When this is left unchecked, this chronic stress will eventually deplete your body’s hormone stores until they become dangerously low.

Once this happens you may find that you will start to develop other health problems. These health problems can be potentially life-threatening. They include blood sugar imbalances, known as type-2 diabetes, brain damage, decreased bone density, increased blood pressure, impaired immunity and healing, excess fat growth, and it can increase your risk of having a heart attack.

Signs of Chronic Stress

When it comes to chronic stress, it can present itself in many ways both physically and emotionally. Some of the most common signs of stress include insomnia, low energy, headaches, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, aches, pains, tense muscles, chest pain, rapid heartbeat and frequent colds and infections. Other symptoms can also include things such as a loss in sexual desire or ability, nervousness and shaking, excess sweating, ringing in the ears, cold or sweaty hands and feet, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. You may be easily agitated, frustrated, and moody. Chronic stress can also leave you feeling overwhelmed and can make it difficult to relax and quieten your mind. You may find that your self-esteem is low and you feeling bad about yourself which can then lead to depression.

Adaptogens as herbs to help chronic stress

There are many different things you can do to relax. You just need to find what works best for you. Meditation and exercise are good ways to help you relieve chronic stress. Also, you may find that prayer, leisure and rest are great ways to relieve stress. However there are also certain herbs that you can add to your diet that will help you relax. Adaptogens are herbs that will support your body in combating chronic stress. Adaptogens help your body to adapt to difficult situations in life. Can you see how it is important to get on top of your stress before it begins to take its toll on your body?

Adaptogen herbs can improve your body’s ability to adapt. It doesn’t matter what the cause of your stress is. It could be a busy schedule, feeling too hot or cold, issues with noise, or heights. These herbs help you build strength, energy, mental clarity, stamina and endurance. Adaptogens protect your central nervous system against stress-induced neural damage. They can help your cognitive abilities, help you fight fatigue, depression, and anxiety. These herbs are special as they don’t change any specific function of the body, they just help the body’s adaptive structures. This helps you to respond better to outside influences and stressors. Adaptogens help to normalize your physiological state and help your body to release the constant state of fight or flight that the chronic stress has caused you.

The function of cortisol

Adaptogens regulate the release of cortisol. This is the aging hormone. Adaptogen herbs do this by targeting the hormones most associated with the damaging effects of chronic stress. That hormone is cortisol. Like all of the other hormones that your body produces, cortisol is essential for life. Cortisol should be produced in small amounts and for a short amount of time. It is a buffer to keep the many systems of your body running smoothly. So, when your stress levels swing out of control, so do your cortisol levels. This then starts to take the energy out of you instead of creating it and affects your immunity instead of supporting it. Adaptogens step in in the place of cortisol to give the adrenal glands a break, effectively guarding them against becoming fatigued. Your cortisol levels decrease with adaptogens as they function similar to cortisol.

Which herbs to use

Some of the best Adaptogen herbs for stress include are Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Eleuthero, Holy basil, Licorice root, Maca, Panax Ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, Schisandra. However you shouldn’t just go out and buy these as there could be other reasons why they don’t mix with your body in the state it’s in. For example if you are on Warfarin from your doctor you should not take Ginseng.

The best people to help you with the right herbs for your stress is a trained naturopath, nutritionist or stress management specialist. Why not make an appointment with one in your area and start your healthy lifestyle right now? Find out more info from some of my other articles on herbs and how they can help you on https://www.wellbeing.com.au/body/health/ashwagandha-herb-assist-diverse-good-health.html . Take care as stress related illnesses creep up on you and once they are part of your physique they are harder to get rid of so the time to start is right now.

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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