If you didn’t already experience stress and anxiety before this year, it’s likely that you do now—and people will do just about anything to help alleviate these uncomfortable, distressing feelings. The World Health Organization predicted that by 2020, stress-related conditions would be the second leading cause of disability, and it’s easy to see why. From economic woes to the constant barrage of the 24-hour news cycle, the modern world has plenty of pitfalls right alongside its perks.
Stress is unavoidable, but when you experience chronic stress it can have a highly negative impact on your health. You can manage stress in a variety of ways, including prescription medication, lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and more. One interesting new way to reduce the impact of chronic stress is by adding adaptogens, vitamins and supplements in Humble, TX to your diet.
What is an adaptogen?
Adaptogens help our bodies recover from both temporary and long-term stress. These herbal pharmaceuticals have stimulant properties that help counteract the damage that stress causes to the body, whether to the immune system, neurological or endocrine systems.
Adaptogens have been used since World War II—researchers were hoping to find ways to help pilots excel at their duties (and work longer). According to Healthline, “Adaptogens work at a molecular level by regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal glands.” That’s because stress has three stages: alarm, resistance and the exhaustion stages. Adaptogens help us in the resistance stage (where our bodies and minds resist the stressor) by dragging that part out longer. This gives us the ability to work against stress for a longer period of time.
These herbal pharmaceuticals have anti-fatigue, anti-depressive and neuroprotective elements, plus they stimulate the central nervous system so you’re awake, alert and better able to cope with stress.
How can ashwagandha help with my stress?
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. This herb (which smells similar to a horse) has been studied in several pre-clinical and clinical trials to gauge its efficacy. Preliminary results indicate that ashwagandha has strong anti-stress properties, including reduction of the patients’ cortisol levels. (Cortisol is “the stress hormone” that your body releases when you’re in fight-or-flight mode.) Even better, the subjects did not report any adverse side effects when using ashwagandha for their stress.
The herb may also have anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, which aid in keeping your body operating in peak condition. Right now, research is limited on humans, but it looks to be a safe and effective way of keeping your stress levels under control.
If you’re thinking about incorporating ashwagandha supplements into your health routine, be sure to talk to a doctor first. While no one has discovered any medical interactions or adverse effects, it’s still wise to ensure that your doctor knows what you’re taking and why. Then be sure to call or stop by A Gift of Health to pick up your favorite vitamins and supplements in Humble, TX today!