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Managing Stress with Herbs

Medicinal Herbs - low resby Angela Counsel

Last week on the blog I spoke about subconscious triggers that can cause stress in your life. This week, I’m going to carry on with the theme of managing stress because, let’s face it….most of our lives have a heavy dose of stress. The more we recognise it, the more we can work on minimising it and managing it.

So, let’s start with what is stress?

Stress is a chemical reaction that occurs in our body. It releases hormones and physical reactions to different parts of our body.

Why do we actually have these reactions? I’m here to tell you it’s not your fault. It’s there for a reason. Let’s go waaaaay back….

When cavemen were walking on this earth we needed to be able to get away from stress. Getting chased by a sabre-toothed tiger? That’s a little stressful, no? We needed to RUN! This is called the fight and flight response which you may have already heard of.

Physically, this is what happens when you are running your patootie off trying to get away from that sabre toothed tiger:

–       Our heart pumps harder.

–       Blood is pushed into our arms and legs so we can run like the wind!

–       Digestion shuts down

–       Sleep is impossible. We got to be awake to keep an eye on that tiger!

Now, the initial response is the adrenaline response. It’s what gets us up the tree away from the tiger. I’m sure you’ve all experienced an adrenaline rush and understand how that feels in your body.

But after some time, adrenaline shuts down and cortisol takes over. This is a long-term stress hormone that is released every twelve seconds as long as our body perceives it is under threat. And that could be years! And that’s not good.

Why? Because this is what cortisol does:

–       Increases blood circulation

–       Shuts down digestion

–       Lowers our immune system

–       Stops us from sleeping

–       Stores fat around our abdomen

Sound familiar? Now, this is all fine if you are a caveman and would go for long periods without food. We needed cortisol back then to store our food for us during periods of famine, so we still had a relative level of energy.

Now? Not so much. We can pop into the local 7-11 if we’re hungry!

But think about it. The engineering of our body hasn’t changed from when we were cavemen but our lifestyle has. And this is where the problem lies.

Back then it was about survival. Now, it is long term stress that is actually responsible for short term and chronic health problems. Chronic fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, the list goes on….

We are bombarded with information, taking on so much, we have so many choices and there is constant white noise! We can take steps to change that which I thoroughly recommend. But we can also take steps to manage stress naturally.

There are lots of ways to manage stress but today I am going to focus on herbs and how they can help. Here is a list of herbs that you can find at health food stores or supermarkets.

  1. LICORICE (not the lolly! Licorice roots)
  2. WITHANIA
  3. RHODIOLA
  4. SIBERIAN GINSENG
  5. PANAX GINSENG

These herbs are fantastic for helping to support the adrenal glands.

You can drink them in tea form or if you want higher doses and high concentration, visit a naturopath or herbalist who know the right type of herbs and right type of doses to use. They can actually mix you a formula that suits your specific circumstances.

I find herbs really work for managing stress. They make a big difference. You need to get the right ones for you and your situation though.

Are you a fan of using herbs? What’s worked for you?

 

Infinite Love and Gratitude.

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