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Ancient Plants with Healing Powers By Lynn Wood, ARNP Refined Aesthetics Med Spa, pllc


We lead such busy and full lives, and many of us who live in this fast-paced, around-the-clock, technologically connected world feel weighed down at times, overwhelmed by a nagging obligation to do it all. When we are constantly stressed, we can get stuck in survival mode and our stress response never turns off. All this unrelenting pressure takes a toll on our health, yet so many of us continue to push through it. Is it any surprise that so many of us are battling physical and mental fatigue brought on by stress?

Our body's ability to adapt and handle that stress is provided by our adrenal glands. These two tiny glands sit on top of our kidneys and play a critical role in our overall health. When adrenal glands are overstimulated from prolonged stress, they can become fatigued. When we are stressed, our body produces cortisol—the “fight or flight” hormone—but if stimulated over and over again, cortisol levels can become chronically elevated or eventually begin to drop, leading us to feel exhausted. Impacts of this can include constantly elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, weight gain, poor digestion, chronic inflammation, lowered immunity, brain fog, fatigue, and hormonal imbalances.

What if there was something you could do to improve your energy, increase your resilience, help you sleep more deeply, and prevent burnout?

A group of intelligent ancient plants called adaptogens have been utilized for thousands of years by healers all over the world and encourage your body to resist the harmful effects of stress, helping to balance hormones, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, increase energy and improve mental clarity. They relieve stress by stabilizing your cortisol levels and steadily guiding your body back to equilibrium again. These herbs work gently with your body to help your system remain balanced—which is what it desperately strives for.

One thing all adaptogens have in common is their ability to help the body better adapt to stressors and challenging environments, working both in the immediate moment and with long-term use—all without the side effects that most other stimulants exhibit. As with anything in the health and wellness world, adaptogens are a piece of a bigger picture. Eating nourishing whole foods, spending time outdoors, exercising and getting adequate sleep are all crucial for a thriving mind, body and spirit.

Quick guide to adaptogens:

Energizing: ginseng, rhodiola, goji, eleuthero, changa

Relaxing: ashwagandha, cordyceps, reishi, schisandra berry, gotukola

Mental focus: ashitaba, rhodiola, lions mane, ginseng, cordyceps, schisandra, holy basil, bacopa

Immunity improving: astragalus, he shou wu, cordyceps, turkey tail

It is wise to do your research and to use common sense when taking them. It’s a good idea to rotate the adaptogens in your routine every few months.

This article is intended as a general information resource. Consult your doctor before starting any supplement.

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