[Reprinted from NaturalNews by Dr. David Jockers]
Chronic, low-grade stress is a modern-day epidemic that creates sluggish metabolism, chronic inflammation and abnormal immunity. Elevated stress hormone levels can create digestive problems, leaky gut syndrome, increased appetite, weight gain, thyroid disorders and accelerated brain degeneration. Adaptogenic herbs are critical for adapting effectively to the chronic stress of the 21st century.
Adaptogenic herbs and your stress response
One of the key components that adaptogenic herbs offer is their ability to lower and stabilize stress hormone levels. Elevated stress hormones such as cortisol can drain the precursors to major hormones such as testosterone, progesterone and estrogen.
With less-than-adequate raw materials, the body becomes sex-hormone-deficient. This condition rapidly accelerates the aging process and makes an individual’s life miserable.
The body’s ability to effectively adapt to stress is the hallmark sign of successful health. There are certain performance aids that help our bodies modulate the stress response and adapt effectively. These substances are called adaptogens for their remarkable ability to enhance stress adaptation.
Ginseng has remarkable adaptogenic qualities that benefit individuals no matter what phase of life or stressors they are encountering. Research has shown that ginseng has the ability to stabilize blood sugar by improving fatty acid metabolism. (1) This reduces stress on the adrenals and improves stamina, energy and physical performance. The compounds in ginseng also improve oxygenation throughout the body and improve the immune system. (2)
This exotic herb has powerful antioxidant properties that protect the brain and nervous system. In a study, animals exposed to chronic stress had 85 percent of their cells showing signs of chronic degeneration. When ashwagandha was administered to another group of chronically stressed animals, the number of damaged cells dropped by 80 percent. (3)
In the largest human trial using ashwagandha, the herb was shown to reduce cortisol levels by up to 26 percent. Chronically elevated cortisol increases inflammatory and degenerative processes in the body. Additionally, the participants had a lowered fasting blood sugar level and improved lipid profile patterns. (4)
This herb has been shown in studies to have as strong an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effect as leading name brand medications. Ashwagandha has been shown to support the regeneration and reconstruction of nerve cells and synapses. This suggests that ashwagandha could help reverse states of brain and nervous system degeneration. This makes it a potent defense against dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. (5)
Holy basil is rich in aromatic essential oils that have powerful effects on the body. These phytonutrient-rich oils include ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, caryophyllene and eugenol among others. These oils have a great smell that naturally boosts mood and spirit. Eugenol has been shown in studies to combat stress and enhance mental clarity.
Studies have shown that holy basil helps prevent the rapid increase in blood cortisol in response to both chronic and acute stress. It also reduces the build-up of histamine and supports normal blood sugar levels. It modulates the HPA pathway, increases physical endurance while modulating the immune system and enhances the strength the of the gut membrane. (6)
Rhodiola contains a number of powerful antioxidants including glycosides and flavonoids. The unique array of phytonutrients in rhodiola allows it to adapt to stressful environmental conditions, and it helps modulate our ability to withstand daily stressors. (7)
Rhodiola is known to help people calm their emotions and stimulate cognitive processes that improve memory and creative thinking. Several studies have shown that rhodiola improves associative thinking, speed of audiovisual perception and ability to perform complex calculations. Researchers also found that it significantly reduced stress-induced fatigue after just two weeks of regular usage. (8)
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.
His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain – the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 42,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.
Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com