My top 4 Adaptogens For Stress and Burn Out

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints I see in patients today. 

Technology has made our lives easier and efficient.  However, this seems to be backfiring and we no longer know how to live a life more natural to our biology. 

We need nature, but nature is "too dirty", or too inconvenient.  

We lack sunshine, social connection, sleep, and may have stunted our spirituality in the hustle of modern living.  

Stress is big, and while willpower and deadlines may give us enough adrenalin boost to keep us going for a while, too much of this can lead to a burn out and we get sick easily, often, and feel like we need a coffee to even get out of bed in the morning.

How can we help once this point has been reached?

While the root cause is to exert changes in the lifestyle and philosophies with which we lead our lives, we often need a safe temporary measure til we get our act together.  

Besides ensuring your nutrients are adequately topped up, what else can you do? 

Introducing...adaptogens!  

Adaptogens

Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants that helps human body to adapt, particularly to stress.  Apart from relieving stress and burn out, adaptogens are involved in boosting immune system, managing healthy weight, increasing mental focus and encouraging a balanced mood.

Traditional chinese medicine physicians have a good understanding of these, and their particular usages, and western herbalists are now realising the value of them.

How do Adaptogens Work?

Adaptogens work by regulating certain important hormones especially cortisol and cortisone that help balance, restore and protect the body. They are great equalizers with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant nature. These healing plants respond to stress in a way that they can recharge our adrenal glands and normalize the levels of stress hormones. 

My favourite herbs are...

Withania somnifera

Common name: Ashwagandha (literal meaning “smell of horse”)
Properties: Immune tonic, fertility tonic, nervine relaxant, antispasmodic
Role of Ashwagandha: it is one of the most important ayurvedic herbs with the greatest ability to reduce cortisol.  This healing herb is famous for being a nervine relaxant, relieving human body from anxiety, insomnia and depression. Its is an iron rich adaptogens and helps women during their heavy menstruation. It also serves as a uterine tonic for ladies in Africa.

Ocimum sanctum

Common name: Holy basil or Tulsi (meaning “the incomparable one”)
Properties: Nervine, immune system tonic, antioxidant, antiviral, carminative (gas reliever), diuretic, expectorant

Role of Holy Basil: Studies suggest that basil helps you fight fatigue, anxiety and stress. As well as boost your immune system, stabilize blood glucose level, blood pressure and hormone levels. In India, it is commonly consumed as a tea known as “tulsi tea” and is famous as an elixir of anti-aging. It is also recommended as an expectorant for bronchitis and to ease stomach upset and vomiting.

Panax ginseng

Common name: Asian Ginseng (meaning “panacea” or “cure-all”)
Properties: Nervine, immune system tonic, antioxidant, antidepressant, increase cognitive performance, sleep tonic

Role of Asian Ginseng: Being the most popular herbal adaptogen, ginseng is considered as the king of ayurvedic herbs. According to research, Asian ginseng is use for improving mental health and the ability to cope with stress. Apart from dealing with stress, it can help in improving mood, fight insomnia, lowering the blood pressure and sugar levels etc.

Rhodiola rosea

Common name: Arctic root or Golden root (means, it is found mainly in cold regions of the world)

Properties: Antiviral, nervine, immune stimulant, heart tonic, neuroprotectant, weight loss agent
Role of Arctic Root: Arctic root contains a phytochemical known as “salidroside” which helps relieve anxiety and combat aging. It is known to suppresses the production of stress hormone, cortisol and provides a buffer to stress-related mental and physical fatigue. Furthermore, this healing herb restores normal patterns of eating and sleeping after stress and protects against oxidative stress.

rc60.jpg

Book a consult to start healing from stress and fatigue!

5 Musts for Optimal Brain Function

Just like how the mitochondria is a powerhouse of a cell, our brain is known for masterminding the whole body. It is the organ in the body that controls all the other organs of the body.

Perception, critical thinking, drive and motivation, memory and learning are all controlled by this mighty thing.  Even our physical balance and sports performance hinges on the health of our mind.  

Photo by eli_asenova/iStock / Getty Images

With increasing age and mounting workload, brain cells (neurons) deteriorate and neurons once damaged cannot easily be repaired.  Since they lack stem cells, they have little regeneration capabilities unlike other cells of the body. The only way through this is to protect the brain cells and ensure adequete raw materials for neurotransmitter formation.

In this article I have compiled five essentials that will keep your brain sharp and clear thinking

1. Stock up on eggs
Eggs (egg white plus yolk) have a number of nutritional benefits. They are rich in proteins. They also help to maintain cholesterol level. They have plenty of choline, which is a micronutrient required in the formation of a key neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals necessary for nerve coordination. So to retain brain function and improve coordination and memory, 1-2 eggs a day are fine and in fact, essential.

Ya kun kaya eggs are my personal favorite, slurped up first thing in the morning.   

2. Salmon
Salmon is rich in omega-3. Omega-3 essential fats constitutes 8% of the weight of brain. They stimulate the tissue development in brain and for that reason they are known to improve mental skills and halt memory loss. Besides, Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory.

A 4-ounce serving, two to three times a week is recommended to keep the gears well oiled.

3. Sleep
Sleep deprivation may lead to loss of some brain function. It is associated with depression and affects thinking capability and creativity. During sleep hours, toxins are removed from the brain which otherwise promote Alzheimer’s.

Adequete sleep strengthens our long-term memory and it also filters out the un-necessary data from the important ones. The important information is stored for use in future.

7-9 hour sleep is a necessity.

For more information on the importance of sleep in our children read this.   

4. The role of phytonutrients, herbs and vitamins
A diet full of phytonutrients and herbs protect brain cells and prevent DNA damage. They improve cognitive skills and long-term memory.

Ginseng, Matcha, Turmeric, Black pepper and Rosemary are some examples and the more diverse the diet the better.

Good quality vitamins delay the deterioration of brain function through many mechanisms. They neutralize free radicles and other toxins. They assist in the production of neurotransmitters, thus resulting in efficient coordination between brain and body. They are cofactors for the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These three neurotransmitters are vital for good mood.

So, consider a prescription-only quality multivitamin.

5. Accept the present moment
Focusing on peace and purpose will keep anxiety and stress at bay. Eat humble pie when you are mistaken. Slow down, forgive, and accept. Find ways to simplify your life, not complicate it. This will consequently relax your brain and optimize it.

Let's talk about optimising brain health - schedule a consult today to discuss your options!