The Root of All Awful

Most people know someone they would consider to be in poor health.  If you asked them to describe the ailment set of their familiar, the labels would vary.  Some would speak of obesity or heart disease or diabetes or cancer.  Others would say they have an acquaintance who is just generally ill; lots of colds and coughs and aches and pains.  While the symptoms and complaints may be many, the basis of nearly every disease is the same. It isn’t some super bacteria or novel virus; but something much more familiar and plentiful.  The culprit is stress.  Coping with stress, or perhaps not coping, causes all other safeguards which keep you healthy to be weakened and penetrable.

I know what you might be thinking.  We all have sources of stress in our lives.  There’s just no avoiding it entirely.  We were even built for it.  If we didn’t have the ability to quickly react and adjust to life or death situations, our species would have died out in the day of the sabretooths.  Fight or flight is an amazing tool in our arsenal; but it has been overwhelmed.  In the absence of actual wild animals trying to hunt us down, we have created a world where much of the environment is bigger louder flashier faster more more more. Lingering in this heightened state of stress for very long starts to take numerous tolls on the body.  

Several disease states can be directly linked to stress. These include: high blood pressure, frequent colds, digestive disorders, circulatory problems, many cancers, mood afflictions and even obesity

Since I know that just the act of considering the far reaching implications of unresolved stress are making your jaw clench, let’s expand on what this means.  You have an unbelievable degree of control over your health.  That’s power. Think about it; for as effortlessly as you have contributed to your own ailments, you can begin to reverse them as well.  

Enter Adaptogens

There is a class of herbs whose members have been intuitively used for centuries, and have gained the much deserved attention of researchers in recent years.  These particular herbs are called Adaptogens.  As I’m sure you can imagine, they are thusly termed because they have a unique ability to adapt to cellular needs.  Herbs which are considered adaptogenic, can cause long-lasting effects on our hormonal and metabolic states. If nature made a magic cure all, these types of herbs would be the most likely suspects.  Adaptogens possess the unique ability to offer custom personalized treatment.  It sounds amazingly high tech but the programming was done long, long ago.  They work by balancing the many hormones that are required to keep all systems operating normally.  When our hormones become imbalanced, male or female, our bodies suffer.  The Adrenal system was designed to process small bursts of stress hormones, but not long stretches of the overstayed welcome most of us have just become used to.  This leads to Adrenal Fatigue.  Depending on the person, adrenal fatigue eventually leads to the daunting disease list we discussed earlier.  

There are dozens of plants classified as adaptogens.  Some of the stand outs are:

Asian Ginseng – AKA Panax Ginseng, originated from Asia. Several scientific studies showed the effectiveness of this ginseng in improving cognitive function, resulting in more focus and better memory.  It is also linked to increased stamina, immune function and heart health.

Codonopsis Pilosula – Codonopsis is used to treat HIV infection and to protect cancer patients against side effects of radiation treatment. It has also been observed to boost the immune system; and to treat weakness, chronic diarrhea, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, asthma, cough, and diabetes.

Maca Root – Maca contains antioxidant plant compounds called anthocyanins, which give the root its deep purplish/blackish hue.  Research shows anthocyanins may ward off inflammation and help protect against cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illness.

Rhodiola – Health benefits of Rhodiola rosea include its ability to boost energy levels, boost the immune system, relieve depression, strengthen the nervous system, improve cognitive function, aid in weight loss, and increase libido.

Ashwagandha Root – Also called Indian Ginseng, studies from India shows that those who take this herb enjoy dramatic improvements in how they handle, and feel, stress. It’s also taken to keep the mind sharp, and to boost energy.

Astragalus Root  – This Chinese wonder root has been used traditionally to encourage good health and fight stress. Its active compound, called TAT2, protects against aging, supports detoxification, and is nutrition for the kidneys.

We combine these and other incredible herbs in our new adaptogenic herbal extract High Strung.

Stay the Course

We tell you every week that herbs are awesome.  They can be instrumental in repairing the damage stress has caused our bodies.  We can further soothe a stressed system by implementing better personal coping mechanisms.  You don’t have to be a guru or a monk to employ some daily simple techniques that will make a real difference in your overall stress levels.  Hydrate, sweat, go outside, pray and edit your internal monologue to be a kind and supportive voice.  For other effective ways to process stress before it takes a toll on your physical being, visit our entry on emotional health.  Life feels like an American Ninja Warrior course some days and we are often wondering wtf is next?  Whatever change awaits us next, we will adapt.  Life truly is what we make of it.  

Make it Flourish, Roots to Remedies

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