Chronic stress is our biggest nemesis. Some stress is needed to keep your body strong and help you react fast in life-or-death situations. But prolonged, nagging stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, mood disorders, inflammatory conditions, insomnia and a slew of other health problems.
Many of us are worn out from long hours at work, traffic, health problems, and relationship issues.
The truth is, you can’t avoid stress entirely. Yet the key to avoiding its negative impacts on your health is to learn how to minimize it naturally.
Adaptogens are herbs that have been used for thousands of years in traditional Asian medicine, due to their ability to boost energy and relieve stress. Adaptogens work by balancing your hormonal response to stress – ‘hardening’ your body and mind in the process.
More than just a hyped buzzword, they could be the ancient solution to our modern-day epidemic of stress that leads to adrenal burnout.
Here are the 5 best adaptogenic herbs that help relieve stress and fatigue naturally.
1. Rhodiola Rosea
Feeling sluggish without coffee? Rhodiola has been widely used as a natural and clean energy booster. Athletes and those who regularly exercise gain massive benefits from Rhodiola because it enhances physical endurance and strength. In addition, this herb helps regulate your mood by optimizing serotonin receptors. The Chinese have long used Rhodiola to invigorate the Blood and nourish Qi.
Schisandra fruit is one of the most effective natural remedies for energy and kidney function, opening up your detoxification pathways for better whole-body performance. The Chinese have often used Schisandra fruits to tonify Qi. Western herbalists believe that Schisandra also has strong anti-aging qualities. It may also balance your blood sugar levels, and it’s especially beneficial for female health.
Maca is a root vegetable superfood and an adaptogen. Native to the Peruvian highlands, maca is extremely high in protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and amino acids such as arginine and glycine – the latter of which supports your liver’s detoxification processes (by replenishing glutathione).
Maca is best known for its benefits on libido, fertility, and mood, but it’s also been shown to be effective for people who’re suffering from low energy and adrenal fatigue. As an adaptogen, Maca supports your body’s natural hormone production when it overproduces or under-produces hormones. Over time, this can boost the function of your pituitary gland and the hypothalamus to restore youthful energy.
Chronic stress can contribute to a variety of ills by diminishing our immune response and hormone balance. All types of Ginseng – but especially the Asian Red Ginseng -are known for their ability to modulate your body’s HPA axis which governs the stress response.
According to studies, Ginseng has been shown to support your body’s inflammatory pathways during conditions such as stroke, asthma, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. As far as its nootropic and brain benefits go, Ginseng is a potent cognitive booster – alleviating brain fog and protecting neurons.
If you’re even partially up to date with the world of health and fitness, you’ve likely heard of Ashwagandha before. Translated, Ashwagandha means “horse smell” due to its strong taste, which is why many people prefer to take it as an extract or in a supplement.
Ashwagandha is best known for calming the mind. It also supports your body’s inflammatory response, improves serotonin levels, and helps you feel better about yourself. Not only that, Ashwagandha can optimize your blood pressure and boost the activity of your natural killer cells that keep pathogens at bay.
Ashwagandha is currently the only known adaptogen that supports thyroid function and the production of the T3 and T3 hormones. Is adrenal-boosting effects are thanks to the reduction in cortisol levels, which in some studies was up to 30% with Ashwagandha.
Anything Else to Consider
Obviously, these herbs will work best if you combine them with a lifestyle that supports optimal hormone production and energy levels.
Here are few additional tips on how you can better deal with stress and fatigue:
- Meditate daily
- Go to sleep at the same time every night (no later than 11PM)
- Avoid blue lights 1-2 hours before bed to allow for normal melatonin production
- Get some direct sunlight early in the day, if possible
- Do 30 minutes of moderate-pace walking or another light exercise every day
- Take nootropics that help optimize mood and mental outlook
So there you have it. These were the 5 best adaptogenic herbs that help relieve stress and fatigue naturally.
Remember – these are by no means a replacement for a healthy lifestyle. They can’t do all the lifting on their own.
But combined with the right kind of lifestyle, these herbs can really make a difference in how much energy you have and how you react to stress on a day to day basis.