How difficult is it for you to maintain the work-life balance? How much more difficult for you is it to achieve a life-energy balance? And does it not seem that there is never enough time in the day to achieve any balance at all? Join the club! You’re not alone!
Anyway, I do believe that the balance is always there and always achievable. It doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult, but a few extraordinary herbal “shots” will naturally help you achieve the balance you never deemed possible. Skip your daily sugar boost, coffee or red bull because in the long run they will let you down.
What are adaptogenic herbs?
Adaptogen herbs are one of the most important groups of herbs to take into the 21st century.
Adaptogens not only increase the resistance to the adverse effects of accumulated stress, but also the majority of them are energizers, immune-stimulators and mood-boosters. Adaptogenic herbs will give you sustained energy and vitality while allowing your mind to think freely, calmly and without excessive stimulation.
Adaptogenic herbs demonstrate a nonspecific enhancement of the body’s ability to resist a stressor. They increase your resistance overall against physical, chemical and biological stressors.
Modern herbalists say that adaptogenic herbs are plants with properties that exert a normalizing influence on the body, neither habit-forming, over-stimulating, nor inhibiting normal body function, but rather exerting a generalized tonifying effect.
Herbal formulas found in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine restore a healthy stress response. However, each herb can be taken on its own in the appropriate dosage depending on your specific needs. For the exact dosages, please consult a master herbalist or natural health practitioner, who is well-versed in herbal formulas to increase energy and vitality.
Here Are The 9 Best:
Astragalus has a long history of use as a herbal medicine in traditional Chinese medicine. Either alone or in combination with other herbs, it has potential benefits for the immune system, heart, and liver, as well as an adjunctive therapy for cancer treatment.
It has been found to help restore compromised immune response due to excessive stress and toxicity from the environment. Cited as being extra beneficial for those with chronic immune deficiencies, it is recommended more than Echinacea to those who have consumed large quantities of antibiotics and have become prone to infections. Astragalus is consumed through capsules, tinctures, or in a tea cup. For best results, it is used for several weeks to several months at a time.
Rhodiola rosea (or Golden Root, Roseroot, Aaron’s Rod) is effective for improving mood and alleviating depression. Its effects are potentially due to the changes of serotonin and dopamine levels.
Although, incredibly versatile and used for centuries in Asia and Scandinavia, Rhodiola is still relatively new to the Western market, but its popularity is steadily growing, especially because it relatively inexpensive.
Lepidium meyenii or Maca is an annual plant, native to the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia. It has been harvested and used by humans in the Andean Mountains for centuries back.
Darker colored maca roots (red, purple, black) contain significant amounts of natural iodine: a 10-gram serving of dried maca generally containing 52 micrograms of iodine.
It is highly beneficial for reducing fatigue, enhancing energy and endurance, as well as being a superlatively effective adaptagen for everyday living. Maca contains 55 phytochemicals that are known to have vitality-enhancing effects in the body, in addition to its mineral density and nutritious composition.
Maca has the ability to heighten libido and improve semen quality. Its favorable effects on mood, may decrease anxiety and improve sexual drive. The effects of Maca are due to the root’s unique nutritional profile, which provides optimum levels of nutrients utilized by the body’s endocrine system. It may even alleviate medication-induced sexual dysfunction, primarily caused by pharmaceutical antidepressants.
Withania somnifera or Ashwangandha is one of the premier restorative herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known to help stabilize mood and support optimal physical and emotional well-being. It is also known to improve memory, focus and endurance. It is believed to reduce the effects of stress on the body. The berries and leaves of ashwangandha are locally applied to tumors, tubercular glands, carbuncles, and ulcers.
Schisandra chinensis or Schisandra is a deciduous woody vine native to the forests of Northern China and the Russian Far East. Its berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. They are most often used in dried form, and boiled to make a tea. Medicinally, it is used as a tonic and restorative adaptogen with notable clinically-documented liver protecting effects.
It supports the immune system, relieves anxiety, increases energy, and it can improve mental clarity too.
It’s sometimes called the “five flavors berry” because it tastes sour, bitter, sweet, salty and acrid – all at once!
Cordyceps sinensis or Cordyceps are considered the “ginseng of mushroom.” They are known to have a truly awesome effect on endurance and stamina. Research has shown that Cordyceps are highly effective in treating respiratory ailments, enhancing aerobic performance, increasing sex drive, strengthening the immune system, as well as having anti-stress properties. Researchers have also noted that a polysaccharide isolated from Cordyceps has a hypoglycemic effect and may be beneficial for people with insulin resistance.
7. PANAX GINSENG (ASIAN GINSENG)
Panax ginseng roots are taken orally as adaptogens, aphrodisiacs and nourishing stimulants. It is perhaps one of the most studied medicinal herbs in the world – and might as well be one of the most widely used. It is a proven anti-inflammatory herb, can regulate blood sugar and can even inhibit some characteristics associated with cancer.
It is most commonly used to promote a sense of well-being and endurance, as an anti-depressant, for memory and calmness, and it is one of the ingredients in most energy drinks you buy.
8. HOLY BASIL
Ocimum tenuiflorum or holy basil has been found in many studies to be equivalent to many modern painkillers. It is also known to protect from radiation poisoning. Within the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine, it is used to alleviate stress, headaches, colds, digestive problems and inflammation. Recent studies have also shown that it is also a powerful antioxidant and may even be able to reduce blood glucose levels and cholesterol.
9. GREEN TEA
Instead of reaching for a cola mid-day treat, try brewing a cup of green tea. Green tea drinkers experience an increase in activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with working memory, which you always need for problem solving and focus.
Green tea is made solely from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. It has become the raw material for extracts which are used in various beverages, health foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetic items such as shampoos and tonics. Users should be aware that some sources of green tea may contain excessive levels of fluoride, so it is important to purchase it from companies that do not use sources irrigated with fluoridated water.