Stress is a part of life that we can’t avoid. Just about anything that goes wrong can trigger anxiety. Very traumatic events in our lives certainly cause stress, but something as small as getting to a meeting or appointment on time can cause us to feel pressured and anxious. Unfortunately, stress is a detriment, not only to our emotional health but to our physical health as well. Stress inhibits our bodies from fighting illness, whether it is a bacterial infection or a virus, because our immunity is weakened from stress. There are many things we can do to alleviate stress and improve our overall well-being. An herbal adaptogen is one of those things.
What Are Adaptogens? What Do They Do?
An adaptogen is an herb that helps the body fight this harmful stress. It isn’t meant to eliminate stress, but it is an aid to the way the body responds to the stress it encounters. It makes us less vulnerable to illness. It boosts our immunity to fight a virus or an infection. When we’re stressed, we often feel tired and run down. An herbal adaptogen increases energy that has been lost due to the way our hormones react when stress is present. Because it supports the system, which is otherwise weighed down with the effects of debilitating stress, the body’s state of resilience is restored from its vulnerable state.
What Properties of Adaptogens to Consider
When deciding which adaptogens to use, it is important to make sure they meet specific criteria for your body’s needs at any given time. If you find that you’re prone, for instance, to a cold virus, adaptogens can effectively help your body fight it. I can help you choose the ones that are right for your particular situation. Though the following list is not all-inclusive, it is a guideline summary for you to follow in general.
- They must be nontoxic.
- They must be nonspecific. Although all of these herbs are helpful with certain conditions at various times, they are not to be associated solely with any particular ailment, any specific virus, or other particular condition, but they are a help to the body’s entire system from conditions arising from multiple sources of stress, promoting healthy response from the body, increasing its immunity and resilience.
- These herbals must normalize bidirectional. This means that they can work in seemingly opposite ways to stabilize the body’s condition. For instance, while the herbals are associated with a body’s increased energy, some can also help promote better quality sleep.
- They must produce homeostatic metabolic regulation. A stressed immune system is in an unbalanced state. These herbals help to restore the balanced, homeostatic condition of the body.
The adaptogens I have used in my practice for many of my clients’ immunity support, all having the properties described above, are the following:
Like other adaptogens, this herb is used to stimulate the body’s immune system. My clients who have had herpes virus outbreaks had many fewer incidences of them and, when they did occur, the virus attacks were not as strong, and they did not last as long.
This can be helpful in fighting the common cold virus. Germs that invade the body with a cold virus are on just about everything we touch. While good hygiene habits are very important, without a strong immunity to these germs, as careful as we are, it’s easy to contract a cold virus. If someone sneezes or coughs, those germs are in the air, easily assimilated into your system with your next breath. The only real weapon your body has is a strongly developed immune system.
Especially when stress is the cause of tossing and turning and not being able to get a good night’s sleep, Ashwaganda has been a useful herbal sedative. It reduces the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the bloodstream.
This herb is one that works to help the body combat anxiety and depression. The vitality lost with depression is regained as, once again, that nasty, cortisol, is reduced. As with all of the others, this one also helps the body’s overall immunity response.
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Some people might say that they’ve tried one herb or another without seeing or feeling any real difference. The reason is that, unlike a medication used to alleviate pain, for instance, these herbs address the root of the problem. A pain medication only addresses the symptom of pain, and it addresses it almost immediately, so the effect is realized soon after someone has ingested it. However, the medication to address and ease the pain is only a temporary effect because it is not also addressing the root issue.
When addressing the core of the problem, increasing the body’s immunity and making the system less vulnerable, it is a longer process. The body is a complex system, and there is no one pill you can take to simplify the matter of making it work at its optimum level. Every person’s situation is different, and not everyone responds the same way. There are times when some herbs may be more effective than others to combat various issues, including a virus. Varying dosages and combinations of herbs may also be factors in seeing beneficial results over the long-term for any particular individual.
Increasing the body’s immune response to stress and its negative effects is a dynamic process which requires several steps that need to be followed. I can help you through this process and make sure you get it right so that you will see and feel the benefits. We’re currently living in one of the most stressful times in history when a body’s ability to handle that stress to fight illness is vital to mental, physical, and emotional health.
To get more insight into how adaptogens can be one of the ways you can fight stress that causes illness and make your body a resilient system, booking a session is the start of the process. I can answer your questions on what adaptogens are right for you and what strategies we will use to achieve the wellness you deserve.