A Detailed Look at Adaptogenic Herbs

A Detailed Look at Adaptogenic Herbs
A Detailed Look at Adaptogenic Herbs
Last week, Zen and Tonic's Clinical Herbalist April briefly introduced us to two types of herbs which can have powerful influence on managing anxiety: Adaptogens and Nervines. In this segment, April dives deeper into Adatogenic herbs, and outlines two of her favorites: Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Root. Read to learn how these incredible herbs can help boost cognitive functioning and concentration, alleviate fatigue and stress, and improve overall health and well-being.

Last week, Zen and Tonic's Clinical Herbalist April briefly introduced us to two types of herbs which can have powerful influence on managing anxiety: Adaptogens and Nervines. (If you missed it, be sure to go back and check it out). 

In this segment, April dives deeper into Adatogenic herbs, and outlines two of her favorites: Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Root.

As a brief reminder, Adaptogenic herbs:

  • Support your body’s innate ability to deal with stress
  • Reduce the body’s reaction to stressors
  • Support immunity and tonify the whole body.

Continue reading to learn how these incredible herbs can help boost cognitive functioning and concentration, alleviate fatigue and stress, and improve overall health and well-being.

 

  1. ASHWAGANDHA (Withania somnifera):

This powerful root is famous in ayurvedic medicine (one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems) for its ability to:

  • Alleviate fatigue
  • Ease stress
  • Improve general well-being.

Ashwagandha is a wonderful tonic herb to restore health to the entire nervous system. Many negative side effects can occur when there are multiple demands on the body, you are suffering from mental exhaustion, or are exposed to various external stressors. Ashwagandha can be effective in mitigating these negative responses. 

Ashwagandha is also a key herb to:

  • Boost immunity
  • Support recovery
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Strengthen your body after times of illness

 With all those benefits how could you not love this herb!

 

HOW AND WHEN TO USE:

 How to Use:

  • Ashwagandha tincture
  • Ashwagandha powder added to smoothies, soups, stews and more
  • Ashwagandha capsules

When to Use:

Take during times of stress, during illness and to support your body through recovery.

2.  RHODIOLA ROOT (Rhodiola rosea):

Sometimes called “Arctic Root” or “Golden Root”.  This root comes from Rhodiola rosea, a naturally growing rose found in wild Arctic regions of the world. It is an invaluable flowering herb for so many reasons.

Most commonly, it is used for its ability to support the adrenals (remember those important glands we discussed in the first article?)  and the body’s resistance to stress.

It also protects our nerve cells by regulating serotonin and dopamine production, two very important neurotransmitters*. To add, Rhodiola has a specific use in enhancing cognitive function, specifically through boosting concentration & memory!

*Now I know we just threw some very large words at you, so if you are confused let me explain further. If not, skip this next section and read on.

 

Our bodies are made up of millions and millions of cells. In our brains (or nervous system), these cells are called nerve cells, or neurons.  These nerve cells are what carry messages which need to be sent throughout the body, in order to tell it what to do.  Now these messages are delivered by neurotransmitters (think of them as our messengers). They are critical to ensure our daily functions and processes of body happen (ie. sleep, digestion), and that they happen correctly. 

 

Alright, let’s get back to the rest of the article.

Rhodiola also has the power to increase physical endurance, which is not only great for stress relief, but also for athletes and prolonged energy output, such as exam season.

HOW AND WHEN TO USE:

 How to use:

  • Rhodiola tincture
  • Rhodiola capsules
  • Rhodiola root in soups & stews

 

When to Use:

Use during times of adrenal fatigue, chronic stress, when in need of cognitive support and use before 5p.m. Use for no longer than 3-4 months at a time.

**As herbal effects vary individually, Rhodiola can be both stimulating and calming depending on dosage. Understand how your body reacts. **

As helpful as these herbs can be, their effects vary individually, and they cannot be 100% effective unless the cause of the stressors are also reduced. As you introduce adaptogenic herbs to support and strengthen our bodies during times of stress, be sure to also make a point of understanding why you are stressed, the causes, and how you can decrease them. Some key stress management techniques to introduce into your weekly routine can include:

Supporting our body and adrenals with Adaptogens through times of stress is imperative, however, reducing anxiety and calming the mind is just as, or maybe even more important. Nervine herbs are nature’s answer.

Stay tuned for the final Zen & Tonic segment when April discusses Nervines.

 

 

Curious or have any questions for the Zen & Tonic team? – ask away  [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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