Sunday, November 8, 2015

Stress Free Holidays: Herbal Adaptogens

Although Fall and Winter are traditionally a time to go within and nourish ourselves, it is often quite the opposite.  The holiday season, with its sweets, holiday parties, and increased activity can lead to imbalances in the body that manifest as fatigue, stress, and illness.  To enjoy the holiday season amidst the chaos, consider adding a few adaptogenic herbs into your daily routine.

Adaptogens are herbs that help to provide balance, as well as restore and protect the body from every day stress.  While they don't alter our mood, they do enhance our bodies ability to adapt to emotional and physical stress, allowing us to approach each day with vitality.

If you start to feel run down during the holiday season, these herbs might be for you.

1. Ashwagandha: Revered for millennia in India, Ashwagandha is known to boost the immune system and ease anxiety.  It tonifies our entire system, while calming and strengthening the nervous system. Extremely useful if traveling to visit family!

Holy Basil: Also known as Tulsi, Holy Basil is another sacred herb in India.  A member of the mint family, this herb is famous for balancing out the body, mind, and spirit. It's a powerful antioxidant, and has been shown to have antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Schisandra: This astringent berry has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Known as a tonic herb, it helps to reduce fatigue and increase physical performance as well as endurance.  Perfect for those long and draining trips to the mall.

4.  Rhodiola: This powerful adaptogen of the West has been studied in depth for its anti-stress and fatigue fighting properties.  It also acts to protect the heart and liver, as well as improve memory.

5. Eleuthro:  Commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eleuthro is also known as Siberian Ginseng.  Considered an exceptional tonic herb for thousands of years, Eleuthro helps to increase longevity and vitality during times of stress.

Of course, be sure to consult your doctor or qualified healthcare practitioner for proper dosage before adding any herbs to your daily regiment.  And enjoy the holiday season with vitality!

Be Well!

Kristin Henningsen MS, CH, RYT


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