Adaptogens! Adaptogens are herbs that help your body adapt and respond to stress. Research has shown that with consistent daily use, adaptogens may help reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue, while increasing attention and endurance. Four adaptogenic herbs to explore:
Ashwagandha: This herb has been used in Ayurvedic Medicine for hundreds of years because of its calming and restorative properties. Taking this root can help the nervous and immune systems by balancing immune function and energy levels, relaxing the nervous system, supporting restful sleep, and balancing mood swings. Add Ashwagandha to your latte, tea or golden milk for a delightful treat.
Holy Basil: Also known as Tulsi, this calming herb supports the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems. It has an uplifting quality that many say brings a sense of peace and harmony. Typically used as a tea, holy basil has a mild, fresh flavor that can be enjoyed daily.
Eleuthero: Eleuthero, also known as Siberian Ginseng, is revered by herbalists. With its light and sweet flavor, Eleuthero supports the endocrine system, lymph, balances energy levels, promotes mental clarity, and can normalizes stress hormones. Eleuthero, like other adaptogens, is not a quick fix. Give this ally some time and you too may find it to be a welcome herbal friend. If you have high blood pressure, this herb may not be right for you.
Schisandra: Plump red berries from the Schisandra vine are known to support healthy function of the liver and kidneys and strengthen the cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory systems. The powdered berries can be steeped to make a tea or rehydrated with warm water and mixed with a dab of honey to make a spread for toast.
A Bonus Herb for seasonal support:
In Spring, one of the most beneficial herbs known to herbalists is Stinging Nettle. This herb increases energy levels, supports immune, musculoskeletal and lymphatic health, supports the upper respiratory tract (especially as Spring and Summer plants and pollens emerge), promotes kidney health, and creates a feeling of overall well-being and vitality. Nettle can be taken as a supplement or enjoyed fresh as a tea or addition to salads, soups, stews or pesto.
Safety Note: always check with your trusted doctor or medical provider to see if herbs are a safe choice for your unique health situation.