Stress and fatigue. Judging from the proliferation of coffee and cupcake shops popping up these days, clearly caffeine and sugar are what a lot of folks are using to try to fight back. The problem is, they don’t actually work. Sugar and caffeine do offer a quick lift, but the crash is never far behind – so it’s back to Starbucks to start the cycle again, turning your day into a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. Fortunately, there are healthier ways to get through the day – and one of my favorites is with “adaptogens,” the special herbs that help your body adapt to stress and resist fatigue. Here’s my adaptogens-at-a-glance guide:
Adaptogens are a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. They help strengthen the body’s response to stress and enhance its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue – slowly and gently, without jolts or crashes. They’re called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs. Though the effects may initially be subtle and take time to make themselves felt, they’re real and undeniable.
Where have they been all my life?
Unlike big pharma drugs, adaptogens weren’t born yesterday. In fact, they’ve been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, to boost energy and resilience in the face of stress. Recently, several studies have found evidence to support what those of us in the sustainable wellness field already knew – that adaptogens offer positive benefits —and are safe for long-term use. (Take that big pharma!)
How do adaptogens work?
Adaptogens work a bit like a thermostat. When the thermostat senses that the room temperature is too high it brings it down; when the temperature is too low it brings it up. Adaptogens can calm you down and boost your energy at the same time without over stimulating. They can normalize body imbalances. By supporting adrenal function, they counteract the adverse effects of stress. They enable the body’s cells to access more energy; help cells eliminate toxic byproducts of the metabolic process and help the body to utilize oxygen more efficiently. In short, adaptogens are amazing!
Which adaptogens should I use? Why Meg Recommends the ones below (Because they ROCK!)
I prefer a combination of herbs to really reap the benefits and address all areas of stress in the body and mind. My go to blend is found in the HPA Adapt supplement at www.wellconsulting.org Here is the direct link: http://www.npscript.com/wellconsulting/hpa-adapt/IT0098PAR Below are the ingredients at the specific health benefits they offer.
Ashwaghanda: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb historically used in Ayurveda to enhance well-being, support restful sleep, and reduce occasional anxiety. A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial (N =39) evaluated the adaptogenic effects of ashwagandha. Compared to placebo, the extract exerted an anti-fatigue effect that increased mental performance, particularly the ability to concentrate, and decreased cortisol response to stress in people with burnout.
Eleuthero: Eleuthero is an adaptogenic herb that helps reduce fatigue, supports attention and cognition, and helps the body cope during periods of stress. Animal research has shown that eleuthero supports healthy cortisol production under stress, though this has not yet been demonstrated in human clinical trials.
Holy Basil Leaf: A member of the mint family, holy basil enhances the body’s natural response to physical and emotional stress. Compounds isolated from the herb’s leaves were shown to normalize plasma cortisol levels in an animal model. Another animal study found that extracts of holy basil decreased serum concentrations of cortisol. A clinical trial with 35 subjects demonstrated a decrease in stress and occasional anxiety after 60 days of supplementation with holy basil. The participants also showed improved attention and an increased ability to adapt to change.
Maca Root: Preliminary human research suggests that maca may have a positive inﬂuence on mood, feelings of occasional anxiety, and libido. This root is actually a natural way to boost those testosterone levels, and build muscle tone. Research has also documented a positive effect of maca on cognitive function and occasional fatigue.
Rhodiola Root: Various extracts of Rhodiola have been shown in human clinical studies to reduce fatigue, while improving mood, attention, and cognitive function, particularly during times of stress. Possible mechanism of actions include interaction with the HPA-axis, protein kinases p-JNK, nitric oxide, and defense mechanism proteins. A systematic review of 11 randomized clinical trials concluded that rhodiola may have beneﬁcial effects on physical and mental performance. Another preliminary human study suggests that rhodiola supports the body’s response to physical exercise and also improves the recovery process.
HPA Adapt: A GAME Changer for your STRESS
HPA Adapt -Supporting the Stress Response System with Adaptogenic Herbs~ The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis, is the central part of the stress response system. It involves a complex set of interactions and feedback loops between the hypothalamus, the pituitary, and the adrenal glands. The HPA axis also plays a role in the regulation of other systems of the body, including the gastrointestinal, neurological, and immune systems. Therefore, supporting optimal HPA axis function is important to maintaining overall health and wellness. HPA Adapt combines five powerful adaptogenic herbs to help the body better respond to both mental and physical stressors. HPA Adapt: Is a non-stimulant formula. This combination reduces mental stress and fatigue, improves mood and calms anxiety, and supports cognitive function. It is truly a WIN-WIN for your daily needs. Order your bottle today and start the process of adapting to STRESS and helping your body to COPE with the STRESSES that encounter daily. http://www.npscript.com/wellconsulting/hpa-adapt/IT0098PAR