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Spring into May with these Adaptogen Herbs

By Dr. Laurie Grisez, ND

Spring is a great time to give your body a boost by adding adaptogen herbs to your daily health routine. Used for thousands of years in many cultures around the world,  they bring your body back into balance, so you can better cope with physical, emotional, and mental stress. Boosting cognitive function is another way these plants are beneficial. These powerful medicinal plants assist in regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis, responsible for balancing hormones and the stress response.  

As the new spring blooms emerge, consider nourishing your body and mind with adaptogens.

The primary forms that these herbs can be taken are tea, tincture, powder and capsules at non-toxic doses. Adaptogens are generally safe to be taken by anyone, however talk to your physician to find out if they are indicated for you. There is a possibility of medication interactions, as well as contraindications for your specific health condition.

Ashwaghanda

This herb is well suited to someone that is debilitated, exhausted, and feeling agitated under stress. Studies have shown its ability to lower serum cortisol in the body. Sleep cycles can be refreshed, especially if you fall asleep only to wake multiple times in the night. Libido can be enhanced through the aphrodisiac effect of this plant.

You can enjoy calming and restorative benefits without feeling overly stimulated.

Ginseng

Having a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and considered an “elixir of life”, this adaptogen has many benefits. Ginseng can increase vitality and promotes longevity. Some people notice improvement with memory and learning and decreased susceptibility to illness. Helpful if you are experiencing low blood sugar and low blood pressure due to adrenal burnout. 

Reishi Mushroom

Known as the “Mushroom of Immortality” Reishi supports energy and stamina. Athletic performance and improved recovery can be experienced. Another benefit is enhanced immune function. Some may notice improved sleep. Reishi enhances the ability to adapt to stress and promote heart health. Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane mushrooms also have adaptogenic benefits.

Schisandra 

This herb increases brain efficiency, mental alertness, work capacity and builds strength. Additionally,  Schisandra is helpful for those with immune function deficiency.

Additional benefits include anti-inflammatory effects, liver support, and can assist with menopausal symptoms.

Rhodiola

Taking this herb can result in reduced feelings of anxiety and has a strong effect with depression and mood disorders. Rhodiola has gently stimulating effects when someone is experiencing lethargy and fatigue. There can also be improved mental focus as well as benefits with exercise performance.

Most everyone can benefit from adaptogen plants. If you are feeling fatigued, or experiencing elevated amounts of stress, recurrent infections, difficulty sleeping, or brain fog, an adaptogen formula may be just what you need to feel your best. Naturopathic Physicians are trained in the art and science of both natural and conventional medicine. If you are looking for effective patient-centered care, learn more at bluestarclinic.com

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