We’ll never be able to altogether avoid stress. Unfortunately, all those traffic jams, bills, work deadlines, relationship issues, and frustrating lines at the grocery store are just part of life. But day after day, they can make you feel tired and zapped with energy. Stress can also cause hormone imbalances, depression, poor sleep, head and body aches, weight gain, and poor immunity. And if that’s not enough, over the long-term, stress can have serious adverse effects on your health with symptoms like ulcers, GERD, high blood pressure, heart disease, and
worse. Eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, meditating, and even doing fun activities can all positively affect our health while reducing the effects of stress on our minds and bodies. But even if you’re technically doing everything right, it may still not be enough for your body to reset day after day of stress. Fact: Currently, about 77% of Americans regularly experience physical and emotional symptoms caused by stress, and the CDC estimates that stress is the culprit behind 75% of all doctor visits.
That’s where beneficial herbs and botanicals known as adaptogens come into play. These robust plants contain unique compounds that can naturally help regulate our hormones and metabolism. Still, one of the most essential benefits of adaptogens is how they help our body adapt to stress and protect us from the damage it can cause on a cellular level. With their excellent benefits and ability to make you feel more like yourself again, adaptogens are becoming the new “must-haves” in the wellness world for combating the effects of stress.
What are the Health Benefits of Ashwagandha?
With use dating back over 3000 years in Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine, Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian Winter cherry” or “Indian Ginseng,” is one particular adaptogen that is especially good at helping our bodies cope with stress and its effects while also giving us more energy throughout the day. And unlike many other adaptogens which can be stimulatory, Ashwagandha has a soothing and relaxing effect.
One of the most essential benefits of Ashwagandha is its ability to support the adrenal glands and balance the body’s “stress hormone,” known as cortisol. Usually, our cortisol starts out high in the morning and then slowly decreases throughout the day. But when we’re chronically stressed, cortisol can spike at odd times of the day, causing us to feel tired when we should be awake and wired when we should be winding down for bed. Having high cortisol can also cause us to have weight gain (especially around the midsection and upper back), problems with focus and concentration, as well as cause anxiety, muscle weakness, and burnout.