Adaptogens: Nature's Stress Relief, Part II
Why Care About Adaptogens?To recap, adaptogens are powerhouses in fighting the stress reaction in the body. Stress reactions can result from the traditional, emotional stress that may first come to mind when you think of stress. However, they also fight the effects of environmental stressors such as poor diet, pollution, and overexertion, as well as the internal negative effects of oxidation. Each adaptogen has its specific strengths and are, therefore, taken for specific results—but all of them have multiple positive health benefits and reduce the impact of stress on the body.
AstragalusSerious research is just getting underway on astragalus and its ability to increase the production of telomerase. Telomerase is an enzyme having to do with the replacement of DNA. The research being done suggests that the function of telomerase may have a lot to do with a cell's response to viruses such as HIV as well as those in the case of cancer. Besides fighting bacterial and viral infections and cancer prevention, astragalus has also been used as a tonic to clean the liver. It is a good way to combat a cold, fight fatigue, fight high blood pressure, and strengthen the kidneys as well as the immune system. In Chinese medicine astragalus has long been used in increase vitality and improve energy.
Licorice RootYou may only think of black licorice candy when this root comes to mind. Besides flavoring foods, licorice root is helpful for soothing stomach and digestive conditions. Additionally, it is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and helps prevents autoimmune disorders. It has been used in Chinese medicine, in combination with other herbs, to strengthen the adrenal function—which in an important way to fight the effects of stress.
Eleuthero Root/Siberian GinsengNot strictly a ginseng, eleuthero root is more commonly known as Siberian Ginseng. Though the misnomer is common, it is not to be confused with Panax ginseng, which is commonly just called “ginseng.” People take this root for anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidepressant effects. It is also thought to improve immune function, increased memory and cognitive function, as well as to fight against fatigue.
Gojo BerryThe goji berry, or wolfberry, originally comes from China. This adaptogen is packed full of nutrients, making it a “super food.” It has been used in Chinese medicine for heart health and protect eyes sight from age deterioration. Additionally, it has been used to combat fatigue, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Goji berries are being studied for their preventative effects from cancer. They are also a strong antioxidant, fighting against free radical damage in the body—a major cause of aging.
This list of adaptogen is a stepping off place to get started researching the benefits of these potent herbs. The benefits vary for each. What all adaptogens have in common is a wide range of health-boosting benefits. The long list of benefits makes them well worth looking into.
Posted In: Stress