Adaptogens: nature's way of controlling stress and fatigue.
In recent years herbs known as adaptogens have become increasingly popular-- some of them, such as ginseng, are becoming familiar in many households. Many people consider them to be a more sustained energy boost in comparison to caffeine and sugar (and also allows you to avoid the sugar/coffee crashes!) but they can also be used to help you feel less down in the winter, less stressed at work, and-- well-- better all around.
Adaptogens are a group of herbs that are used for a variety of reasons. They are called adaptogens because of their ability to "adapt" their function to your bodies needs-- put simply, when you are too "low," they give you a boost and when you are too stressed, they calm you back down. In addition, they are used to improve your adrenal system (your bodies system that controls response to stress, among other things). Adaptogens help the body deal with anxiety and fight fatigue without "crashes" associated with caffeine or sugar. Also unlike coffee, the effect of adaptogens can take a little while to take effect, but more and more people swear that they are worth the wait.
Here are 3 of our favorite adaptogens to help you get through the winter slump!
Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to increase energy, endurance, and increase immune function. Additionally, the herb has been known to improve thyroid and adrenal functions (in plain-speak: it's an aphrodisiac!).
Found in your neighborhood health department, ginseng is said to increase your ability to handle stress. Research suggests that the herb promotes a sense of well being and might increase immune function and cell repair.
Rhodiola is particularly involved in controlling our bodies cortisol levels-- and as cortisol is the hormone that handles much of our stress levels, you can see why it's important. In addition, Rhodiola balances emotions and helps curb irritability.
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