With these stressful times, it is important to have a set of tools to help manage the stress that many are experiencing right now. Common tools include time outside, movement, conscious breathing, and meditation to name a few. Stress can be detrimental, not only to your current health, but to your autoimmune disease if left unchecked.
Of the stress-relieving tools, my favorite is herbal medicine. Herbs that are specific to helping us manage stress are called adaptogens. They help us to adapt to physical and emotional stress. Here are a few common adaptogens, some detail about each one, and some options for how to use these herbs.
Holy basil, also called tulsi is a gentle yet effective herb that is also nourishing.
This herb has also been shown to lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. It can be taken as a tea or tincture.
To make a tea: add 2tsp of dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 5 min. Drink 2-3 times a day.
For the tincture: Take 2-4ml (40 – 80 drops) 2-3 times a day.
Shatavari is an adaptogen that is considered a tonic especially good for balancing female hormones.
It has also been shown to support the liver, memory and the reduction of blood sugar.
For tincture: Take 2-4ml (40 – 80 drops) 2-3 times a day.
Ashwaganda is calming adaptogen that can also reduce inflammation and be supportive to brain health.
It can aid in athletic performance and will reduce bone degeneration.
It can also be taken before bed to help with sleep and helpful if you have racing mind keeping you awake.
Those with a nightshade allergy should avoid ashwaganda.
To make a tea: Add 1 Tbsp of dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 5 min. It can be taken 2-3 times a day.
For tincture: 2-4 ml (40 – 80 drops) 2-3 times a day.
For powder: mix 1-2 grams of powder into smoothie or water 2-3 times per day.
Schisandra is an adaptogen with a sour flavor that is good for vitality, has liver supportive properties and is a antioxidant.
It is also neuroprotective, supports the immune systems and supports athletic performance.
For tea: Add 2tsp of dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 5 min. You can drink this up to three times a day.
For tincture: 1-3ml (20 – 60 drops) 2-3 times a day.
For powder: 250mg of powder mixed into a smoothie or water, 3 times a day.
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