Tough work deadlines, stressful exams, stupid drivers honking at you for no reason, having a big speech to prepare for and wait… you just realised you forgot to pay the bills.
Your heart is no doubt racing, you’re breathing heavily and you are finding it difficult to concentrate. We have all been there, and sometimes we resort to smoking a cigarette, having a coffee or just smashing the plate from across the room. But there is another way to distress, in fact a better way and it’s through natural adaptogens.
What is an Adaptogen?
Adaptogens are used in herbal medicine and they help your body counteract to daily stresses of life and restore your body to homeostasis. The place of peace and tranquillity. Prolonged stress causes physical changes to the body and can negatively affect the immune system.
How Adaptogens work?
Adaptogens work by regulating the body’s glands which release our hormones. The body goes through three stages when stressed:
- Alarm phase
- Resistance phase
- Exhaustion phase
Imagine you have to give a speech in front of 100s of your peers, and you are feeling nervous as you approach the stage. Our body will enter the ‘resistance phase’ and release adrenaline through your body, which will help you concentrate and give you a boost to complete the task. Our body is naturally reducing the stressor and once this is over we get tired and enter the ‘exhaustion phase’ and we crash out.
Adaptogens work by extending the resistance phase longer which helps us adapt better to stress.
Ashwagandha is the ultimate adaptogen
Native to India, this ancient herb has been used for centuries in Ayurveda medicine. It has many benefits for the mind and body, here are some Ashwagandha root powder benefits:
- Help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. When we are feeling stressed our body releases the cortisol hormone in the body which can make us feel anxious. Chronically high levels of cortisol can cause anxiety in the mind. Ashwagandha powder has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in the body, which help reduce anxiety, stress and depression.
- Reduce blood sugar levels – Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, which helps regulate weight
- Sleep aid – as Ashwagandha reduces our cortisol levels, when consumed before bed it helps us unwind so we can fall asleep faster and improves our quality of sleep making us feel fresh when we wake up in the morning.
- Boost testosterone and fertility – studies have shown that Ashwagandha improves sperm quality and quantity in men, as well as boost testosterone levels in men.
- Fight cancer – animal studies have shown that Ashwagandha kills cancer cells, though not proven in humans, it could potentially help fight cancer.
Organic Ashwagandha benefits are incredible and itis truly an amazing herb, and as a natural adaptogen it can help us deal with daily stressors. Though this should be used as a supplement and not a replacement for other mental wellbeing practises such as meditation and other forms of relaxation.