5 Stress Relieving Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogens are ancient medicinal plants that help to counteract the effects of stress on the body and work to bring the body back into balance after periods of stress. Stress can negatively impact the major systems and functions within the body. Usually stress most heavily affects the immune system, as well as the neurological and endocrine systems. Adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms have stimulant properties, and work to stabilize the physical body.
These types of botanical medicines can also help to regulate your circadian rhythm, and promote and support a more restful and restorative sleep. Adaptogens are some of the most effective natural remedies to relieve stress. They work by supporting the body in the state of stress and maintaining balance in order to prevent the “crash” or exhaustion that can often follow a period of stress. When used over time, adaptogens build up in the body and help our body cope with stress and anxiety. These powerful herbal remedies help to restore internal balance and regulate our reactions to stress.
Our 5 favorite adaptogenic herbs for stress relief are:
Ashwagandha is known for its gentle and calming properties. This strengthening adaptogen is used to nourish the nervous system, and bring relief to those suffering with ongoing stress and/or anxiety. Ashwaghanda has been used for over 3,000 years as an Ayurvedic herbal medicine to increase energy levels and ward off depression. The word “Ashwagandha” comes from the Sanskrit words “ashva” which means horse and “ganda” which means smell. It is called “smell of horse” because of its ability to conjure the sexual energy and vitality of a horse.
Shatavari is an ancient medicinal plant used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to increase energy and vitality. It is known and celebrated as “she with 100 husbands” for its ability to boost fertility and calm the nervous system. Shatavari is known to have such benefits as strengthening immune response and boosting stamina. It also has a high antioxidant content which helps to reduce symptoms of depression, as well as prevent cellular damage and oxidative stress.
Schisandra is a popular adaptogenic herb that has been used in traditional medicine throughout Asia for generations. It is known for its ability to balance the body’s functions and benefiting the “Qi” or life force that drives all living things. The berries from the schisandra plant are known as “five flavor berries” because they contain the 5 fundamental flavors of Chinese herbal medicine: sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and bitter. Possessing these 5 flavor properties, the berries are also believed to benefit and support all five corresponding yin organs: the heart, lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys. Schisandra is also known for its ability to increase emotional, physical and sexual stamina as well as boost mental alertness and general feelings of wellness.
Holy Basil is a sacred herbal plant that is known for clearing energy blocks from the chakras, cleansing karma and helping one to let go and move on from attachments to the past. This dynamic plant is both an adaptogen and a nervine which means that it works immediately by calming the nervous system and also works over time, to help restore balance to the body after experiencing a period of stress. Holy basil also replenishes exhausted adrenal glands that may have been weakened by stress, trauma, depression, or anxiety. It has an uplifting quality that works to reduce congestion and heaviness throughout the body and mind, and to conjure spiritual clarity and a lightness of being.
Reishi is an adaptogenic mushroom that is widely known as the “Queen of Mushrooms” and has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Also often referred to as the mushroom of immortality, reishi is used to support the immune system, and increase wellness. It also works to support the cardiovascular system and encourages a healthy stress response. Reishi is used regularly by modern herbalists to increase focus and attention, as well as prevent fatigue and stress.
Adaptogens are powerful plant allies that help the body cope with stress, and in turn preserve our energy and vitality. They work as an herbal tonic to restore balance and rejuvenate the body as a whole.