What’s my take on managing stress with herbs after years of using plant medicine personally for almost two decades? Well, it’s not as complicated as you might think. I believe in creating a sustainable holistic lifestyle practice that is rooted in the healing arts primarily relying on a plant-based diet and various herbs to maintain my health.
But first, let’s touch on what is happening to our physiological system when we experience stress. Under stress, the body diverts energy away from the immune system because immune activity is perceived as nonessential for short term survival and well being, unless the stressor is pathological, such as in the case of an acute infection. When stress becomes chronic, our immune function becomes compromised as the body’s natural protection from disease and foreign invaders is affected, with the body’s natural protector the immune system shifting to a proinflammatory catabolic state. This situation is conducive to the onset and promotion of chronic disease.
You might be wondering what is catabolic state? A completely normal question, this is the phase when complex substances are broken down into simpler compounds to provide metabolic energy necessary for functioning. Catabolism normally takes place during the day, anabolic is at night and is restorative. When imbalanced a catabolic state can manifest into cognitive issues, fatigue, dry skin, menstrual problems, an overall loss of vital essence and muscle tone.
The maintenance of healthy metabolism is vital for longevity and vitality, by understanding the factors that influence metabolic function we are able to restore it. And by understanding which plants contain the compounds that provide stability to the body, we create systemic positive change within the body.
So let’s get into some herbal recommendations and a few lifestyle recommendations that create a stable base for the body to draw on so that when we do experience stress our bodies have the reserves it needs to maintain itself properly.
You know I love me some. primary adaptogens, meaning all prerequisites have been established for these herbs providing ATP at the mitochondria level. And have been scientifically studied to improve adaptive stress response.
RHODIOLA | has extensive clinical, pharmacological, and toxicological testing. known as a “kingly adaptogen” one of its greatest attributes is its ability to enhance mental and physical performance. A well-known cardioprotective it normalizes heart rate after intense exercise. Controls stress-induced carsiovascular-related conditions. Possesses significant antioxidant activity. Known to improve the nervous system, memory, byincreasing blood supply to the muscles and brain.
Wild Russian Grown tincture extract is the premier standard, 2-5mls per day, with H2o combined with other adaptogens for best results.
ASHWAGANDHA | this root is classified in Ayurveda as a Rasayana, one of a group of elite herbal medicines reputed to promote physical and mental health. Ashwagandha is one of the most revered herbs in ayurvedic medicine. An excellent overall tonic that should be incorporated into everyone’s daily routine. A premier herb for all negative conditions associated with aging and stress.
Tincture extract take 4-8mls with H2o daily for general maintenance
GINGER | called the universal agent much valued for a strong digestive aid, and respiratory conditions shortening their duration. Ginger is a well-known synergistic herb that harmonizes and improves the deep circulation and bioavailability of other herbs reinforcing the therapeutic activity of the herb formulations. Ginger has a mild diaphoretic and antipyretic effect making it useful for treating the flu and reducing fever.
Tincture extract 2mls with H2o taken 2 x daily before meals.
I could go on for pages about the benefits of all three of these herbs alone. But I feel it’s best to take it slow and introduce you to these allies slowly and allow some time to familiarize yourself with them.
Of course, for best result, we want to look at our diet as well to bolster the effects of the herbal remedies.
I just ask you to be conscious of what we put in your body and ask yourself if the food you are choosing serves you, meaning does it create balance within your body and mind. Most of you are aware of my advocacy for a plant-based diet. All I can say is both myself and my husband changed our diets when we decided to dedicate our lives to the practice of Yoga and Yogic living.
When I started Yoga there was no debate my teachers taught me, Yogis don’t eat animals, and practice Ahimsa do no harm, period. It really wasn’t up for a conversation at that time.
I can say though that when I changed my diet my health dramatically improved to the point where my MD is constantly surprised at both of our blood work, unfortunately, he is surprised that we aren’t on medications at our age we are in our 40’s BTW. I feel like we should be surprised because he thinks we should be on something.
Disease and imbalance cannot manifest in an alkaline environment, I tell him. Plants provide a cascade of antioxidants and free radical scavengers. They provide a veil of immense protection via numerous chemical compounds. He looks at me with a confused and baffled look every time I tell him this. Not really surprising he doesn’t have a background in nutrition and herbalism. So he has no point of reference for this and assumes medications fix things they don’t, they cover symptoms. Very different than healing the body. Herbs may take longer, but listen, most people don’t go into imbalance overnight. It took time to get there and it take s time to correct. It’s energy after all.
In my opinion, everyone is capable of managing their health through proper diet, exercise, and herbs. It’s unfortunate that the medical community relies so heavily on pharmaceuticals instead of implementing truly healthy lifestyle regimens.
My Ayurveda training though takes into consideration that one diet doesn’t fit everyone and my only suggestion is to eat whole foods mostly plants as long as your eating about 80 percent whole plants everything should get a whole lot better.
EXERCISE | hiking, biking, yoga asana, walking, anything just move your body. Several times a week.
RELAXATION | my favorite and no you’re not being lazy, this is simple 20 minutes a day lay down in corpse pose with some sound bath music on Spotify. Why because relaxation cures the body, yes that’s’ right relaxation cures the body because it relaxes the mind. Whenever the mind is still the body is healing, repeat after me whenever the mind is still the body is healing,
MEDITATION | the best thing you can do to improve your life and health is to start a meditation practice. All that mental trauma and just deep-rooted fear, emotional baggage is trapped in your body and mind. And it’s impacting our emotional state, meditation helps us to release the past from our astral and physicals body. It allows us to be more present and stop the loop, you know what I mean thinking all day on things that don’t serve us anymore. It allows us to become more aware of our thoughts and to stop the mind from the endless projections of constant chatter. And become more peaceful and grounded in the higher Self.
Well if you paid attention to the end thank you so much this comes from the bottom of my heart. Please take care of yourselves you are your own health advocate. Inside of you is immense power and beauty waiting to be uncovered.