Although herbal medicine is the first medicine having been in use since the dawn of humankind, its relevance today is as profound as it was then. Take stress, for example. Stress is very much a 21st century issue. We can perceive pressure in our everyday lives that, when experienced for prolonged periods of time, can exacerbate an existing illness or become the beginning of a new health issue. Fortunately, nature’s medicine cabinet has the answer in the form of herbal medicine.
I have a number of ‘favs’ but here are my top 3 herbs for supporting the body in times of stress and anxiety – Siberian ginseng, Withania (Indian ginseng or Ashwaganda) and Licorice. Mother Nature has packed these guys full of active ingredients that help the body better withstand prolonged stress, hence they are in a class of herbs called ‘adaptogens’.
Clinical trials show that Siberian ginseng can be used to improve mental and physical performance; to minimize the effects of stress in those subject to chronic illness, environmental or occupational stress. Therefore it is used to treat exhaustion, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritability. It is also used to assist recovery from acute and chronic diseases, trauma, surgery and other stressful episodes. Hooray for ‘Eleuthro’ (Eleuthrococcus senticosus).
I find Withania to be very uplifting without being overstimulating. Great for those that feel ‘tired and wired’. It is one of the most valuable plants in Ayurvedic medicine known as a rejuvenant botanical. It can improve the body’s ability to maintain physical effort and help the body to adapt to various kinds or stress. Studies have shown its ‘actives’ to reverse anxiety with greater score improvements than placebo in outcomes on anxiety or stress scales. Woo hoo for Withania (Withania somnifera)!
Licorice is one of the world’s most ancient herbal remedies, with a history predating written records. It was recommended for its life enhancing properties, for improving health, for cure of injury and detoxification. Today it’s used as an anti-inflammatory and immune balancer as well as an adrenal restorative. Gotta love Glyc (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
Enjoy the healing power of herbal medicine.