In this hectic, demanding world it has become regular to feel stressed on a daily basis. If this stress is not relieved, it continues to build up inside our bodies, the body becomes more and more imbalanced, until eventually it is unable to cope with the chronic stress and it snaps. When this happens it is like the opening of a chasm and disorders such as severe anxiety, depression and sleep issues can begin to manifest themselves.
Considering stress is such an ubiquitous part of modern society, it is unusual that very few of us possess the stress management knowledge, or tools required to cope with it. It appears that society in general is content to take a very passive-submissive approach to dealing with stress; it is ignored like it does not exist and only treated if it becomes critical- by reaching for the quick-fix synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. For those of us who are not content with the ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff” approach, Nature has given us some pretty remarkable natural alternatives that would make excellent additions to our stress management methods.
Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Rhodiola, Astralagus, and St. John’s Wort are five plants that are considered to be among the best stress relievers provided by Mother Nature. These herbs, used since ancient times are still prized today for their amazing ability to support and regulate our bodies from all kinds of mental, physical, environmental, and emotional stresses. These herbs belong to a class of potent plants called adaptogens which work subtly in our bodies to alleviate anxiety and fight fatigue and stress by lowering, suppressing, or regulating the stress hormones that our bodies produce in the face of stress.
Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withania_somnifera
Ashwagandha is a small shrub bearing red fruit that is native to India. Broadly used in Unani, African, and Ayurvedic medicine, the herb’s other known name is Indian Ginseng. Its special properties act to reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol, therefore it’s beneficial in easing anxiety and stress. It has great potential to relieve fatigue, stimulate concentration, tranquility, relaxation, and to boost energy levels in a natural way.
Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) isn’t just the ordinary basil that you use for your culinary purposes. Also known by its Hindu name Tulsi, holy basil is a herb originating in India. Its leaves, stems and seeds are widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. Besides its anti-ulcer properties, this special herb is said to help fight fatigue and stress by boosting brain functions and mentality. Though more research is needed for further conclusions, science suggests that holy basil holds potential for relieving more mental ailments like dementia and convulsions. Holy basil also offers cholesterol-lowering, anti-diabetic, and antibacterial properties.
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Rhodiola Rosea also known as Golden Root is a herb native to the mountainous regions of Northern Europe and Central Asia. Being highly prized, Rhodiola is recognized as a super-herb. It is said to suppress the production of the stress hormone cortisol, and is therefore beneficial in combating anxiety, relieving stress, depression, and tiredness, that’s why nowadays, this one of a kind plant is used as an effective natural antidepressant, a psychological activity booster, and can influence good on memory disorders. Besides that, rhodiola also packs other valuable qualities, it is a strong antioxidant with anti-cancer effects, improves the reproduction health, and can be a natural remedy for erectile-dysfunction.
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Astralagus is a herb that is native to China, Mongolia and Korea. Its roots have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, and are said to help our bodies prevent and repair stress related damage.
St. John’s Wort
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Also known as tutsan, St John’s Wort’s leaves and blooms are used for the making of medicine, most commonly used for anxiety, stress, tiredness, depression, appetite loss, and insomnia. Scientific studies hint that the herb is most effective in alleviating mild or moderate depression. St. John’s Wort is also possibly efficacious in treating menopausal symptoms, more specifically when combined with black cohosh (Remifemin; Gynoplus, Jin-Yan Pharm). Tutsan may also improve wound healing, as well as relieve skin redness/irritation when applied as ointment or liquid.
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs that remain in the body, and often do harm and produce undesirable side effects, the medicinal compounds in these plants go about their task gently, and are eliminated or absorbed by the body without harm. These plants are a holistic powerhouse and help fight fatigue and stress naturally without or with minimal side effects.
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