The truth is that a lot of us are overworked, sleep-deprived, anxious, and highly stressed right now. Unfortunately, the bad news is that all of this stress and anxiety can take a serious toll on our health and well-being.
Stress is actually more detrimental to your immune system than you could possibly imagine. It may directly contribute to weight gain, heart damage, premature aging, weakened immunity, insomnia, and more. This makes stress management one of the most essential priorities when it comes to staying healthy.
So what can we do to reduce stress?
The health benefits that come from actively choosing to reduce stress can be astounding. So, if you've decided to be proactive about reducing stress from your life, you're on the right track to better health.
Some people find that meditation, journaling, exercise, or even just reading a book or watching a TV show can help reduce stress. Everyone is different when it comes to activities that help alleviate stress. However, there are certain supplements that have been known to work for most people.
For example, natural adaptogens! These natural substances help the body combat stress holistically by exerting a normalizing, calming, and balancing effect. They reduce stress and anxiety by supporting cognitive function, creativity, and mood.
There are also natural spices and herbs (some might be lying around your kitchen!) that can help lessen the negative impact of stress. Nature provides us with some pretty incredible natural healing ingredients that we all too often don’t take advantage of.
Let's dive deeper into the herbal remedies we can use to calm down.
This incredible herb, also known as winter cherry and Indian ginseng, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2,500 years to help balance low mood, nervous tension, fatigue, and stress.
Researchers have found that when 300 mg of this root was taken daily for 60 days, study participants’ stress levels decreased by 44%. Their levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, also dropped by 28%.
Ashwagandha can be taken as an herbal tea, or in capsules, tablets, or a liquid tincture for fatigue and sleep concerns. It can also be added as a powder to warm milk one hour before bedtime, as a comforting remedy for sleeplessness.
Ashwagandha also pairs wells with turmeric and is often seen added to delicious “golden milk” or “moon milk” recipes for a relaxing end to any stressful day. It helps relieve symptoms of anxiousness by enhancing the body's resistance to stress.
Furthermore, it enhances the function of the brain and nervous system and improves memory. Its potent antioxidant properties are also useful when it comes to promoting general protection from free radicals.
Ashwagandha is generally considered very safe for use, but some healthcare professionals advise pregnant or breastfeeding women from taking it. When in doubt it's always best to consult with your healthcare provider.
Turmeric has been a staple in ancient Eastern medicine for a long, long time. You may be familiar with the taste if you like curries and other Middle Eastern soups. What you may NOT be familiar with are the many health benefits that come from this golden superfood.
Curcumin, the main active compound found within turmeric, is a wonderful natural remedy for a variety of aches and concerns, including stress, worry, and fatigue. Not to mention it also helps with the inflammatory response.
One study found that 500 mg of curcumin extract taken daily with fenugreek significantly reduced symptoms of worry, stress, and fatigue, and increased quality of life for those suffering from occupational stress.
In another study published in the Journal of Pharmacology, healthy adults between 60 to 85 were given a single dose of 400 mg of curcumin. After an hour, participants showed improved scores on memory and mood tests. They also reported feeling more content and calm overall.
Since the body isn’t able to efficiently absorb curcumin, the help of black pepper extract (like BioPerine) is required in order to experience the full benefits of this powerful compound.
High-quality supplements with curcumin extract, like our Turmeric Complex, contain special patented ingredients that can help increase bioavailability and absorption.
Turmeric is known to boost serotonin levels and provide cognitive support as well. It also contains a healthy amount of antioxidants, like Ashwagandha, that can help combat free radicals in the body and support overall immunity. Essentially, there's no reason NOT to be taking a turmeric supplement.
Valeriana officinalis, commonly known as valerian, is an herb native to Asia and Europe. The US and China also grow valerian. The root portion of this herb has been used in traditional medicine for over 2,000 years.
The compounds in valerian roots such as valerenic acid, isovaleric acid, and a variety of antioxidants, have been known to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. One of the best ways to naturally reduce stress is to get a good night's sleep.
When you're tired throughout the day your body has to work twice as hard and it can cause you to feel more anxious and run down. Herbal tea with valerian root and lavender is a great way to calm down before bed.
Valerian root also helps to reduce stress and anxiety by interacting with a chemical messenger that helps regulate impulses in your nervous system. By doing so, helps alleviate anxiety and promotes relaxation.
Valerian root also contains hesperidin and linarin, which are said to have sleep-enhancing properties. These properties limit overactivity in the amygdala part of the brain where stress and worry are prevalent.
One study showed that adults who were given a series of mental tests were able to lower their anxiety during the tests with a combination of valerian and lemon balm. Lemon balm is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family which is considered a calming herb.
However, too much valerian and lemon balm can add to overactivity in the brain, so you want to make sure to consult a doctor or do plenty of research on how much you need to be taking.
Herbal treatments and supplements can help you reach your health goals naturally. What we have listed are just three of many excellent choices for natural stress reducers.
Essential oil diffusers can help make your space calming and easier to relax as well. Try a eucalyptus or lavender oil in your bedroom for an added layer of relaxation. They are also a great gift to unwrap for the upcoming holidays!
Herb supplements also make a superb gift for those wellness-obsessed friends and family in your life. They are the perfect stocking stuffer!
You could go one step further and get your loved ones a subscription to the supplements they want to try, so they can continue on their health journey well after the holidays.
Stress and anxiety are something that we all have to deal with on different levels. It's unfortunately part of our human experience. The best thing we can do is look for answers that will holistically get us to a place of comfort.
If you find yourself struggling with stress and anxiety to the point that it is unbearable (you are sick all the time, you have no motivation, or you can't sleep at night) it's always best to consult your physician.