We are living in a high stress, crazy world right now. Every therapist I know is inundated with calls from new referrals and old clients looking to restart their work together. All this stress and anxiety takes a toll on our bodies and mental health. Exercise, meditation, surrounding ourselves with our loved ones and taking breaks are all amazing self-care strategies. However, sometimes we need a little extra firepower in our arsenal to combat stress. Adaptogenic herbs can be one tool in your toolbox to help alleviate some of these feelings of overwhelm. Adaptogenic herbs work with our bodies to help them cope with stress by aiding in regulating our hormones. These powerful herbs and roots have a long history of use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. If you are feeling the effects of this pandemic, check out the following four adaptogens for a little relief.
- Ashwagandha: Studies from India show ashwagandha is excellent at helping calm our minds and bodies and balance our hormones after long periods of stress.
- Holy Basil (also called tulsi): Not only is holy basil another super star stress fighter, it has also been shown to support heart health, fight diabetes and reduce inflammation.
- Rosemary: Most of us know rosemary as a tasty herb we add to our food. However, rosemary has been found to support liver, heart, and digestive health. Studies have also found it to be effective at boosting mood and memory.
- Rhodiola rosea: This adaptogen has been shown to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and increase energy.
Adaptogenic herbs are not a magic cure all and you will have to take them for a while to reach therapeutic levels. However, they can be an effective helping hand in this time of stress.
Photo from flickr.