The start of this decade has been less than desirable for most of us. The burnout is real, and the residual effects are too. Studies show that the effects of long term stress lead to disease in the body, and fragment the mind. Feel spacey, tired, sore? Well, welcome to the end of 2022.
The question is: How do we cope? Or rather, how do we cope in a healthy way; so that maybe, just maybe, we come out of this time a bit stronger than before.
It might be easy to find yourself on an alcohol/caffeine hamster wheel; stress eating, or turning to other substances that zone you out. After all, the last couple years have probably not created the best of memories.
But there's an alternative, right? There's always a choice. We can choose health, we can choose wellness and we can choose ourselves. We can choose to have peace in our bodies and in our minds; especially with a little help, some encouragement and knowledge of HOW to do so.
The stress management system of our bodies does the best it can alone, but with some external aid it can go farther, work better and be more efficient.
Certain lifestyle practices like proper sleep, meditation, breathwork, physical exercise, water & mineral intake and exposure to sunlight help TREMENDOUSLY when it comes to mitigating stress.
Ayurveda teaches us that a healthy routine, proper diet and appropriate herbs encourage an overall well being. So what are these appropriate herbs?
There is a special classification of plants called adaptogens that work specifically with our bodies stress response by regulating stress hormones and creating homeostasis. Not only helping us to feel calmer, but also alleviating the amount of energy our bodies put into combating said stress. You see, if the body is running in a more efficient manner, it frees up the energy in the body to utilize in other ways. All adaptogens work in this way, but a couple favorites of ours that we have used in our Energy shot formulations are Eleuthero and Cordyceps. They happen to be very good at freeing up the body's energy in a sustainable way. No jitters, no crash, just coastable clean energy. Perhaps this is why they are so famously used amongst athletes to improve performance and energy and by soldiers to overcome mental and physical fatigue.
“At a cellular level, stress affects the body’s ability to transform glucose into energy. Adaptogens counter the effects of stress and stimulate the liver to convert glycogen to glucose, providing more energy for the body to use” - David Winston
In the 1930s, 40s, and 50’s, a man named Dr. Nikolai Lazarev pioneered the historic research around this class of herbs and how they may help the body without causing harmful side effects. As a matter of fact, the exact definition of an adaptogen consists of 3 criteria;
- Adaptogens are non toxic
- Adaptogens produce a non specific response in the body
- Adaptogens have a normalizing impact on the body.
Deeper research since then has proven that this genius class of herbs should be moved to the foreground when we discuss stress effects in the body.
Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in America and one of the main lead up factors to these illnesses is stress. One way that adaptogens serve the body is that all adaptogens contain antioxidants, and one of the major uses for antioxidants is to help prevent cancer. WOW! Why are we all not taking these everyday?! At least a maintenance dose for health’s sake!
People tend to think of energy as a roller coaster; you spike, you crash and so on and so on. But here’s the thing, your body is always always always making energy, and of course, always using it as well. A lot of this energy gets tasked in places where it doesn't necessarily need to be. So if the body is always making this incredible energy, how do we FREE it up?
“The theory behind using adaptogens to relieve or prevent stress holds that adaptogenic herbs will lessen the reactions of the alarm phase and thereby, delay or minimize the onset of exhaustion. Research has shown that adaptogens can reverse the depletion of adrenal cortisol associated with adrenal dysfunction.” - David Winston
So given the choice of the spike / crash energy roller coaster of something like "a typical gas station energy shot", or even coffee (when taken inappropriately, which most of us do) - OR - using adaptogens that actually increase your resistance to stress and therefore create more usable energy while preventing exhaustion, well, I know which one I’d choose!
Looking deeper into Adaptogens used for Energy we find Cordyceps, Eleuthero, Asian Ginseng, Rhodiola, Holy Basil and Shilajit. All very wonderful in their own, unique ways, but we chose Cordyceps and Eleuthero for our organic energy shot formulations because they work very well together to increase endurance, energy and stamina, while combating fatigue. Additionally, their positive effects on stress, aging, the immune system, and tonic abilities on systems throughout the body are incredible.
If you made it this far, hopefully you’ve learned a bit about energy and adaptogens, and how we just can't afford to not have them as part of our daily ritual. So with that, let me leave you with this thought of the day: “When we know better, we do better” - Maya Angelou