Top 9 Adaptogenic Herbs for Stress Relief – Adrenal Series #5

Adaptogenic herbs can be extremely helpful for enhancing stress resistance, strengthening adrenal glands, and reducing anxiety. They bring the body back to balance and essentially work as thermostats, intuitively sensing what it is that the body needs more of. I’m fascinated by herbs, especially adaptogens, so I’m super excited to share this information with you in today’s video.

1. Bacopa Monnieri – it’s an Ayurvedic herb used to enhance memory, learning, and concentration. It reduces anxiety and lowers cortisol levels (that’s why it’s not a good option for those with low cortisol). It balances brain neurotransmitters dopamine serotonin, and GABA. It’s great to take before an exercise session because it dampens your body’s response to physiological stress. It takes a few months to work though (just like most herbs), so you’ll need to be patient. Also it’s fat soluble, so it should be taken with some kind of fat source – traditionally a bit of ghee butter.

2. Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng) – it is the most popular Ayurvedic herb in the West. In Ancient Sanskrit “ashwagandha” means “horse smell”, but don’t worry, the root doesn’t smell bad, only the top part of the plant. 🙂 It does give you the stamina and strength of a stallion though. It’s also used to treat insomnia, hence its Latin name “somnifera”, which means sleep inducing. Ashwagandha normalises cortisol levels (good for both low and high cortisol), reduces stress. it’s great for longevity and aphrodisiac qualities.

3. Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) – it’s a gentle and supportive herb used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Russia to increase athletes’ physical performance. It’s especially helpful for those who are experiencing long term that they can’t get rid of, such as long hours at work, night shifts, stressful jobs, etc. It improves sleep quality. It also improves endurance – one study showed that it improved time to exhaustion by a staggering 500%! It also helps you recover after intense training.

4. Holy Basil (Tulsi) – one of the most respected herbs in ancient Ayurveda and my personal favourite. In Sanskrit “tulsi” means “the incomparable one”, which illustrates so well the importance of this herb. Tulsi reduces cortisol, so it’s a brilliant herb for those with high cortisol (like me), but not suitable at all for those with more advanced Adrenal Fatigue and low cortisol. Holy basil is extremely good for relieving fatigue but without any stimulating qualities like ginseng. It also makes the world’s most fragrant and delicious tulsi tea, which I love drinking almost every day. But you can also try tulsi extract or whole herb in capsules.

5. Maca (Peruvian Ginseng) – it’s a root vegetable grown in the Andes in Peru. It is used widely by the locals for both women and men for its hormone balancing, thyroid nourishing, and adrenal strengthening properties. Maca root increases energy and stamina, that’s why it’s very popular among athletes. It improves mood, relieves stress, and best of all increases libido. 🙂 You can try it as loose gelatinized powder or in capsule form.

6. Rhodiola Rosea (Arctic Root) – a lot of research has been focusing on it lately, but it’s a herb with very old traditions. It’s been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Also it was very popular in the former USSR before the iron curtain fell, and only recently the world has finally got to know about this miraculous herb. It reduces fatigue caused by mental or physical stress. It reduces anxiety. It suppresses the production of cortisol and increases the production of the proteins that protect the body from the damage caused by stress. It’s perfectly suitable for both low and high cortisol because Rhodiola works like a thermostat – it will bring your body back into balance no matter what. Be careful not to take it in the evening because it does have some stimulating properties and it might interfere with your sleep.

7. Asian Ginseng – it’s the most famous adaptogenic herb, used for thousands of years in the Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its scientific name “Panax” means “cure all” or “panacea” and that’s a very fitting name because Asian Ginseng works for so many different ailments. It improves cognitive abilities by reducing fatigue. It fights depression and increases resistance to stress. If you have Estrogen Dominance or any related health issues such as endometriosis, breast cancer, PCOS, etc. be careful with it because Siberian Ginseng is a oestrogen, which means that it acts in the body as an estrogen.

8. Astragalus – one of the most important herbs in the Traditional Chinese Medicine. Very well known for its immune strengthening properties, which makes it ideal for those with upper respiratory and urinary tract infections (also great for those with autoimmune issues because it increases the count of of T-cells). What many people don’t know is that Astragalus also raises the production of anti-stress compounds that are used to prevent and repair damage caused by stress. It can also reduce cortisol’s ability to bind to receptors, which makes it an ideal herb for someone with high cortisol (but not so much for those with low cortisol). You can try it in capsules like this or liquid extract.

9. Schisandra – it is a herb from the Traditional Chinese Medicine, considered to be a balancing herb because it contains all 5 flavours – bitter, sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. It strengthens adrenal glands, boosts liver function, improves physical and mental endurance, so athletes love it. It also boosts energy!

A lot of these herbs might not be safe if you’re pregnant or breast feeding, so please do your own research before trying anything. But used correctly, adaptogenic herbs can be extremely helpful. They certainly helped me a lot along my own journey, so I hope you enjoyed learning about them from me today.

There is only one video remaining in the Adrenal Series, so keep an eye out! It’s going to be about the curious link between estrogen dominance, hypothyroidism, histamine intolerance, and high cortisol. It’s life changing information, seriously! It took me more than two years to connect all those dots.

Other videos/blogs in the Adrenal Series:

If you found this video helpful, please consider sharing it with friends and family members who are going through lots of stress and whose adrenals might be suffering.  You might change their life! Thank you so much for watching/reading and I’ll see you in my next one!

Simply yours,
Vita xx

Disclaimer: My videos aren’t meant to give medical advice, treat, or diagnose. All I do is share everything I learn during my own healing and self-improvement journey. Please do your own research before trying anything and remember to always make well informed decisions because knowledge is power. This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. I only recommend things that I absolutely love myself and feel certain that you would love them, too. If you shop using my links, you will help keep this blog running. Thank you so much!

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