Adaptogens are often used for stress. It’s believed these special plants can protect us from both physical and mental trauma.
Stress is a killer. It raises our level of cortisol. Excess cortisol has been linked to autoimmune disease, thyroid problems and even cancer. It’s also believed stress can trigger chronic inflammation. Many holistic healers believe excess inflammation is root cause of illness.
I’ve suffered from both long-term stress and excess inflammation. Actually, I believe the first condition caused the second. So I’m really happy to have discovered adaptogens, which I plan to take for the rest of my life. But I do need to point out that I’m not a doctor, and I’m not implying these herbal remedies are a panacea for anyone else.
Using Adaptogens for Stress Relief
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Anyway, I ended up with a painful nerve condition. So, now, I take various adaptogenic remedies, such as tulsi tea with lavender, to naturally curb my inflammation.
Unlike regular pain medications, which can cause some pretty scary side effects, the only thing I notice is that adaptogens seem to make me happier. Plus, I they also seem to help me sleep better.
For me, adaptogens are the perfect solution. But there’s just one catch. I need to rotate them, or else they stop working. But it’s all good. There are enough adaptogens to choose from, so I never have to worry about running out of new things to try. (Plus, I can return to an original remedy after a break.) So what I do is put my tulsi tea away, while I take something else, such as South American camu camu powder.
Adaptogenic Herbs for Stress
Many of the better known adaptogens come from far away. Actually, I think we’re really blessed right now to be able to easily obtain so many potentially beneficial herbs from around the world.
One of the most popular adaptogens is tulsi. (This herb is also called holy basil.) Tulsi has been used for ages in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, and is also referred to as the “Queen of Herbs.”
Tulsi is one of the most researched of the adaptogens. It appears to have a wide range of potential health benefits. The authors of one study, which appeared in the Journal of Ayurveda Integrative Medicine, called it an “herb for all reasons.”
Tulsi for Stress
I’ve taken tulsi for years. One of my favorite ways to ingest this herb is as a tea. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve used organic tulsi tea with lavender as a natural stress and inflammation remedy. But tulsi is now available in other forms. I’ve also taken various supplements that contain tulsi.
One is Zyflamend, which you can see below on the right. This is a popular natural OTC inflammation remedy. I’ve also taken Oregon’s Harvest Stress Guard formula, which contains tulsi plus ashwagandha, licorice root and skullcap. These herbs are also considered adaptogens.
What I like about the Stress Guard formula is that it contains natural B vitamins, derived from fruit concentrate. These nutrients are depleted by stress.
Zyflamend Natural Anti InflammatoryNatural Herbal Stress Capsules
Potential Benefits of Astragalus Supplements
Astragalus is another herb that often springs to mind when people consider taking an adaptogen. This herb has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, typically as a health tonic.
However, I’m not a doctor, and I can’t give medical advice. Nor can I promise that an adaptogen will solve your health problems. All I can do is share my own experience with natural remedies, and tell you about other already published information.
One site I like to read is the University of Maryland Medical Center. It has an open-minded approach to alternative medicine. The UMMC notes that astragalus can potentially help regulate blood sugar and protect against heart damage. It also appears to contain cancer fighting compounds. However, please check with your own doctor before adding an herbal remedy to your health regimen.
Astragalus Root Supplement – Where to Find It
On this site, I generally recommend organic whole herb supplements. I also like to tell readers about brands I use myself. Oregon’s Wild Harvest is one of them. Below you can see two different choices. One is pure astragalus capsules and the other is astragalus with reishi mushroom capsules. (Astragalus is often taken with medicinal mushrooms.)
Natural Astragalus Root CapsulesAstragalus With Mushroom Capsules
Maca Root for Stress
Maca is another adaptogen I have in my house. It’s another remedy that I’ve rotated into the mix. This South American superfood is loaded with nutrients. Maca is being suggested as a natural thyroid support remedy. I’m not aware of any studies showing it can cure thyroid disease. But some holistic health experts believe maca is good for the thyroid.
The reason I used organic maca powder was for general health and inflammation control. (For me, anything that helps my body also seems to help my mind.)
One good source of maca information can be found on The Maca Team website. It cited an Australian study found that maca had a beneficial effect upon anxiety and depression. A separate animal study showed that
Gelatinized Maca Root Powder.
Anyway, below you can see the brand of maca root powder I own on the left. The Maca Team brand is on the right. I feel comfortable showing both brands, even though I haven’t personally tried The Maca Team label. Both companies are reputable and sell Maca grown in the Andes. (It’s important to buy real South American maca, instead of maca sourced from China.)
The maca shown here is also gelatinzed, instead of raw. This is the only kind of maca I’ll take myself, because it’s believed to be easier to digest. Maca is a staple food in the Peruvian Andes. But it’s served cooked, similar to potatoes.
Organic Gelatinized MacaGelatinized Peruvian Maca
Adaptogenic Stress Herbs
Tulsi, astragalus and maca are just a few of the most popular adaptogens for stress relief. But there are others. If I haven’t tried them yet, I probably will in the future. Here are some other botanicals sometimes used as folk remedies for stress.
Rhodiola – This adaptogen is often recommended for adrenal fatigue. Herbal rhodiola is derived from a plant that grows in cold northern climates. There’s some evidence that rhodiola contains natural compounds that combat depression. (Rhodiola is available here)
American White Ginseng – It’s believed this herb can help naturally relieve mental stress and anxiety, and help balance metabolism. (White ginseng is available here)
Eleuthero – This is an herbal remedy I’m currently taking to relieve stress and anxiety. I’m taking it as part of a multi herb formula designed to help support the adrenals. (Herb Pharm Adrenal Support is available here.)
Schisandra – Schisandra berry has been used for thousands of years in China. It’s often used as a natural anxiety remedy. (Organic schisandra is available here.)
Goji Berries – Some people use goji berries as a natural sleep aid. (Organic goji berry powder is available here.)
Sea Buckthorn – Sea buckthorn berries are loaded with nutrients, including the healthy Omega fatty acids our bodies need. (Organic sea buckthorn oil is available here.)
Anyway, I’m very grateful adaptogens are so readily available. Chronic inflammation is my enemy. It affects my nerves. And it seems to be triggered by stress. Adaptogens are one of my drug-free solutions.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional. People with health conditions or those taking medication should not take herbal remedies without their doctor’s approval.