4 adaptogens to defeat chronic stress and support adrenal health

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adaptogenic-herbs(NaturalHealth365) Did you know that according to American Psychological Association, stress is linked to 6 of the leading causes of death? Even with this startling statistic, the majority of doctor’s visits are spent talking about medicinal treatments as opposed to uncovering stress as the root cause. Without addressing stress as a root cause of illness, and adrenal fatigue, chronic disease will continue to be on the rise.

The great news is that by taking your health into your own hands, there are natural remedies – like adaptogenic herbs – that can be used to defeat chronic stress and support adrenal health.  Taking control of your chronic stress is critical for overall health, and may be the answer to slowing down the aging process, and preventing premature death.

How chronic stress can cause disease symptoms

Fact: 75-90% of doctor’s visits are directly related to to stress. Yes, that means that going to the doctor for your frequent headaches, inability to sleep, or acute anxiety may all stem from chronic stress issues. Unfortunately, more often than not, medications are the only thing being prescribed. These medications are used to put a band aide on the symptoms you are experiencing, as opposed to discussing how stress may be a trigger.

If you think about the fact that more than half of doctor’s visits today are due to stress, stress may be the root cause of more diseases than you could possibly imagine. Understanding why stress damages the body is the first step in taking control of your health.

Sadly, when we endure a chronic state of stress, physical harm is done to the body through an imbalance in the HPA axis, other known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This HPA axis is in control of our bodies response to external stress, commonly known as the fight or flight response. When the body is under a chronic amount of stress, the HPA axis may not be able to respond to stress appropriately.

How stress increases inflammation and creates hormonal imbalances

An Impaired HPA axis may be an influencing factor behind the development of autoimmune diseases, and even inflammatory conditions. According to Thomas G. Guilliams Ph.D. and Lena Edwards M.D., repeated exposure to chronic stress can lead to more than one form of HPA axis dysregulation.

Cortisol secretion is another major reason why stress is causing many modern day diseases. While it’s normal to experience moderate amounts of stress in life, chronic everyday stress is going to lead to a steady release of cortisol, leading to cortisol overload. When cortisol is relentlessly being released, the body becomes desensitized to this hormone, which can cause large amounts of inflammation in the body.

What we know about inflammation is that inflammation is responsible for 8 out of 10 of the leading causing of disease today. What you have here is a domino effect, the chronic stress causes constant cortisol secretion – which results in inflammation and chronic disease symptoms.

And, finally, throwing the body out of a state of harmonious biochemical balance can lead to chronic disease. Stress causes an imbalance in both the parasympathetic, and sympathetic nervous systems, and causes an imbalance in nearly every other process in the body. An imbalanced body leads to opportunities for disease to strike.

How adaptogens help to eliminate chronic stress and support adrenal health

Adaptogenic herbs have been around for thousands of years, and have be used to help the body restore a natural balance, and help combat the negative effects of stress. Research has shown that adaptogens can improve mood, energy levels, and even reduce the number of chronic diseases, while improving longevity.

It may be nearly impossible to remove every source of stress from our lives, but it’s possible to supply our body with what it needs to combat the negative effects stress has on the body. There are a handful of different adaptogenic herbs for stress, and each of them have their own unique benefits.

Let’s explore 4 of the best adaptogenic herbs to help you defeat stress and support adrenal health.

1. Ashwagandha: This is probably one of the more popular, and well known adapotgenic herbs, and has been known to improve overall strength, and endurance. Ashwagandha has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a healing tonic. This powerful herb has been known to help improve endurance, stamina, immunity, and even promote longevity.

Studies have shown that this adaptogenic herb is particularly helpful for physical stress due to high intensity exercise. While exercise is essential for living a healthy lifestyle, it can also cause inflammation, and muscle damage. This is where Ashwananga come it, it helps to counteract the stress intense exercise can put on the body.

2. Cordyceps: Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom, used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Mushrooms have been known for their immune supporting properties for centuries, so it’s no surprise that cordyceps may be helpful in boosting immune function for those facing chronic stress. Chronic stress significantly impairs immune function, so it’s essential to do everything in your power to rebuild a healthy immune system, and prevent chronic stress from turning into a chronic disease.

3. Holy basil: Holy basil, also known as tulsi has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. This adaptogenic herb is one of the most widely used adaptogens to help the body cope with chronic stress. Holy Basil can help protect the body from oxidative stress, and can help the body maintain a healthy cortisol balance. This adoptogenic herb is incredibly calming and may even be able to help those who suffer with anxiety, and depression.

4. Rhodiola: Here is another popular adaptogenic herb that is commonly used to help balance the body’s stress-response systems. During times of chronic stress, the bodies sympathetic, and parasympathetic nervous systems can be thrown out of balance putting you on edge, and burning out your adrenal glands. Rhodiola helps to balance these systems, and helps the body reach a state of homeostasis.

If you want to take control of your chronic stress, and restore homeostasis for an optimal functioning body, then consider one of the four adaptogenic herbs above. These herbs have been around for thousands of years, and may be just the answer to controlling the negative effects of chronic stress in your life.

Resources:

http://www.pointinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/standard_v_9.2_hpa_axis.pdf
http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/8/Fight-Stress-and-Support-Adrenals-with-Adaptogens/Page-01
http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/12/report_nutraceutical/page-01

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  • Paula Barkin

    I finally found a health practitioner that address my health issues. He prescribed ashwagandha which made a difference. The fact is no medically trained doctor talks about stress.

  • Lilly F

    You can’t talk about stress without mentioning adrenal health. Adrenals are the most vulnerable under stress and protecting them is so important.

  • Alan Schmukler

    Thanks for this useful article. Cordyceps can be a problem for people in a weakened condition. It’s like putting rocket fuel in a Volkswagen. Can also cause hypoglycemia. Herbs should always be chosen to suit the individual.

  • cautiousnautious

    Before consuming herbs, investigate the side effects. Some people cannot consume these products.

  • Wendy Allen

    Celiac may hurt intestines so less nutrients/B vitamins/good oil/minerals etc absorb. Then the brain/body may malfunction. Stress uses up B vitamins and zinc and gluten may cause these to be low already causing stress/anxiety etc. Fix the Celiac and people may deal better with situations and and vicious cycle may stop and the person’s health issues may disappear fast as the intestines heal.

  • roundthings

    Ashwaghanda seems to lower cortisol levels but if you’re stressed during the day it could be because of low cortisol already. It made me feel worse
    The only thing that seems to help are adrenal glandulars

  • Ty Shlackman

    The real problem is undiagnosed viral infections. Stress is a contributing factor because viruses feed off stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol and stress hormones themselves suppress the function of the immune system.