Five Pillars Yoga

Adaptogenic Herbs

Ancient herbal remedies for total body wellness

School is back in session. The bustling energy of late summer and early fall is upon us. Alongside this change of pace comes a swift and stealthy imposter called stress. We touched upon this in our recent article Our Top 3 Ways to Reverse Stress and Balance the Adrenals. Yoga is an incredible practice to maintain wellness during transitions or stressful life events.

Beyond yoga, there are additional steps we can take to reduce inflammation & stress in our bodies & increase our wellness naturally. Alongside Right Nutrition, there are herbal supplements we can take to promote total body wellness, without the dramatic side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

Discover the world of adaptogenic herbs.

True to their name, adaptogenic herbs help our bodies to adapt. They restore balance in our bodies. Their name comes from their ability to adapt to their surroundings. And they do the same thing for our bodies. Adaptogens help our bodies to adapt and adjust when we are faced with new environments, change & stress.

What’s amazing about these herbs is they have the capacity to restore balance regardless of where we begin. They have been likened to a thermostat for wellness in the body. Regardless of whether you are too hot or too cold, too up or too down, too dry or too oily, these adaptogens will help to bring you back to your ideal, stable state of being.

Humans have been using adaptogenic herbs to alleviate stress, inflammation & disease for thousands of years. They are central to Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Adaptogenic herbs include plants such as Ginseng, Licorice Root, Holy Basil, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus),  and Rhodiola rosea. These non-toxic herbs are non-specific in that they do not alleviate specific symptoms in the body, but instead strengthen the body’s capacity to respond to stress. They are incredible energy boosters and stabilizers.

Are you ready to discover which adaptogens are right for you? Before taking any supplements, consult your preferred medical professional. Read on to discover some general guidelines and our three favorite adaptogenic herbs.

1. Rhodiola Rosea

Feeling overworked, fatigued & depleted? This stimulating adaptogen, also known as “golden root,” is used to boost energy & focus while fighting depression & fatigue. Beyond these incredible attributes, Rhodiola may help with fertility issues, immune function & can balance your blood sugar, naturally. Some people may find that Rhodiola causes insomnia, similar to the way caffeine consumption can keep people awake at night. People with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart problems, fibromyalgia, & type 2 diabetes may benefit from this incredible adaptogen.

According to Tori Hudson, N.D., “Rhodiola was observed to act in humans as a tonic, increase attention span, memory and work performance. Two human studies were able to show that individuals with fatigue, irritability, insomnia and decline in work capacity responded favorably to a Rhodiola dose of 50 mg three times a day.” Learn more: Click Here

2. Ashwagandha

Do you suffer from anxiety or a nervous disposition? This calming adaptogen is prized in Ayurvedic medicine & can help you restore balance on every level of your multidimensional being. The physical effects of Ashwagandha include muscle relaxation & thyroid stimulation, supporting the overall balance in the body. People find they can focus & calm their minds with the support this ancient, healing herb.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “Animal studies have found constituents of the herb, including alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins, to reduce inflammation and calm the nervous system. In one clinical trial of people with moderate to severe anxiety, researchers compared the effects of a mixture of 300 mg standardized to 1.5% withanolides, prepared from root, to psychotherapy. After the eight-week trial, the group that received the ashwagandha mixture had decreased anxiety and fatigue and increased concentration, compared to those who had psychotherapy.” Learn more: Click Here

3. Holy Basil

Considered a mild adaptogen, Holy Basil also has antioxidant & anti-inflammatory effects on the body, supporting a healthy response to stress. Plus it helps aid digestion by preventing gas & bloating, while balancing blood sugar levels. Another herb commonly prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine, Holy Basil is known for its capacity to support mental concentration & focus. Additionally, this incredible herb has antiseptic properties & it does wonders for the respiratory tract. Holy Basil has been used for centuries to fight colds, the flu & other respiratory disorders.

According to The Chopra Center, “Holy Basil promotes purity and lightness in the body, cleansing the respiratory tract of toxins, and relieving digestive gas and bloating. Holy basil leaves offer a rich source of essential oil, containing eugenol, nerol, camphor, and a variety of terpenes and flavonoids. The oil is a strong antiseptic against many kinds of disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, fungi, and parasites.” Learn more: Click Here