Did you know that some plants appear to be capable of easing stress.
Both physical and mental stress.
This is why botanic medicine experts call them “adaptogens.”
A number of popular herbal remedies fall into this category. Among them is tulsi, one of my favorite herbs.
In traditional Indian Ayurveda it’s also known as the “Queen of Herbs.”
Some people also call it holy basil.
Tulsi is now found in a number of popular natural stress formulas. It’s typically mixed with a number of other adaptogens, with the idea of creating a natural type of chill pill.
Can Adaptogens Take The Edge Off?
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But do natural anxiety supplements work?
They do for me. But I can’t claim they will for anyone else. Not being a doctor, I can’t give medical advice either. I’m not a mental health professional, so I certainly can’t claim adaptogens will solve deep-seated anxiety or depression.
(I am a certified homeopath so I can talk about homeopathic remedies.)
If your anxiety is overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek professional medical help.
However, I can share my own personal experience with adaptogens, including how I’ve used them for natural stress relief.
Western medicine is still very much focused on pharmaceuticals.
But there are a number of studies that underscore holy basil’s potential to take the edge off.
The authors of a study that ran in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine called tulsi “A herb for all reasons.
They noted that this plant had the ability to counteract both physical and emotional stress. (I’ve noticed the two seem to go hand in hand, with a lot of overlapping.)
” There is mounting evidence that tulsi can address physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions,” the authors wrote.
Another paper published in Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine concluded that, ” The reviewed studies reinforce traditional uses and suggest tulsi is an effective treatment for lifestyle-related chronic diseases including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and psychological stress.”
The authors also noted that tulsi appears safe, with no reported adverse effects.
Adaptogens have played such a big role in my own life that I wrote an earlier post on Using Adaptogens for Stress Relief.
We are living in very stressful times. So I figured this topic could be revisited.
Can Adaptogens Reduce Stress?
At first, it seems like a far fetched idea that certain plants can help boost your mood.
Instead, we’ve come to expect this from pharmaceuticals instead, forgetting that for thousands of years plants were the dominant form of medicine.
I’m not suggesting that anyone with clinical depression forego regular care, and treat themselves with herbs.
Instead, I’m just sharing how tulsi and other adaptogens help moderate my anxiety. I don’t take them every single day. Just as needed.
Below you can see one of my favorite stress relief formulas, which contains tulsi along with a number of other adaptogens. This formula also contains natural B Vitamins.
Sometimes I take adaptogens for natural pain relief, instead of for anxiety. (That’s because I have chronic nerve pain, kept in check with a healthy lifestyle along with homeopathic remedies and plant-based teas and supplements.)
But I notice something when taking an adaptogen. It ushers in a sense of physical calm. Especially when I first start taking it.
Using Adaptogens To Ease Stress
Despite the early research, the idea of certain plants being able to ease the mind has not caught on in mainstream medicine, according to the Berkeley Wellness newsletter, published by the University of California Berkeley.
The newsletter pointed out that wild claims are often made about adaptogens. I’d have to agree, because I’ve seen some of the claims.
The newsletter also noted that multiple herbs taken together are the norm in Eastern medicine. This makes it difficult to gauge the effect of a single herb.
The newsletter listed a number of other herbs besides tulsi, also believed to help mitigate the effects of stress. These include ashwagandha, astragalus, and rhodiola.
Overall, though, the Berkeley Wellness article supported the idea of using adaptogens. Just not falling prey to the claims they are a cure all.
I have found this as well. Adaptogens work very well for me. But they don’t cure. They seem to relieve my chronic nerve pain. But it always returns, unless I
Herbal adaptogens also work best for me when I first start taking them. Then, the effect seems to wear off.
I need to take frequent breaks (so they start working again) and rotate my remedies, so I take different formulas at different times.
Nonetheless, I’m a big fan of adaptogens. You will always find them in my natural medicine cabinet.
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