Life goes on and piles up anxiety and stress. That is the bittersweet truth of life. We as human beings are predisposed to feel stressed, because this is your body’s natural mechanism to keep you physically safe. “Stop stressing!”’ “Relax and take a deep breath!” “Everything will be okay!” These words of comfort are all too familiar and can often be annoying. While these statements never work there are easier ways that help us cope with stress. One of them is called adaptogens. For example, when you get stressed, cortisol levels go up. Adaptogens generate the ability of the body to adapt or adjust to stress and bring that back to normal.
What are Adaptogens
Adaptogens are actually plant compounds, not fruits or vegetables, but compounds extracted from medicinal herbs and roots. They’ve been used from the start of civilization, through Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, and have made a full comeback today. Revered for their balancing effect on the glands that regulate stress response in the body like the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands, they help your body adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stress. Adaptogens may tweak hormone production and physiological responses to stress to ensure that your body—from your mind to your immune system to your energy levels—functions as it should.
Here are a few adaptogens that you must include in your diets to help cope with stress on a daily basis:
Panax Ginseng: Also known as Asian or Korean Ginseng, this adaptogenic root is rich in active nutrients and the most potent compounds are ginsenosides and gintonin. Ginseng has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine for its therapeutic effects on the body. Consuming this root has been known to enhance physical endurance, balance blood pressure, resist stress and reduce anxiety and depression by balancing the stress hormone into a relaxed state.
Tulsi or the Holy Basil: Daily consumption of Tulsi can prevent disease, promote immunity, and reduce stress in the human body. Its ability to protect the body from toxin-induced damage is attributed to its antioxidant properties.
Ashwagandha: It is commonly known as ‘Indian Winter cherry’ or ‘Indian Ginseng’. It has powerful adaptogenic properties and anti-anxiety effects to help reduce stress levels. Ashwagandha boosts testosterone and increases virility in men.
Although these are all available in the market, there are also many natural and plant-based supplements that are formulated with the right quantity and quality of adaptogens to help you cope with stress and anxiety. Anxiety and stress are serious issues that need to be dealt with care and attention. Other than adaptogens and supplements, it is important to talk to a clinical therapist who will help you identify triggers and cope with any symptoms and issues better.
(The writer is Founder — Caim by årelang)