Feeling stressed out? Maybe you have a high-pressure deadline at work, laundry and dishes piling up at home, or an empty bank account.
In today’s hectic society, there’s just no way to escape stress. In fact, some studies have found that 90% of all visits to primary care doctors are related to stress!
But that doesn’t mean you must simply grind your way through life – that’s no way to live! You can (and should!) fight back.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to naturally deal with toxic levels of stress. And in this article, I’ll reveal a not-so-secret weapon for reducing stress: adaptogenic herbs. If you’re a fan of using food as medicine, then this one’s for you!
Bonus: Keep reading all the way through to find out the easiest ways to start including adaptogens in your daily diet and routine, so you can hit stress with a knock-out blow!
Is Cortisol the Real Culprit?
Not only is stress well, stressful, it also causes lots of very real physical problems in the body. Let’s look at stress itself by going right to the culprit – cortisol.
Ok, I just called cortisol the culprit, but maybe that’s not entirely fair. Despite its bad reputation, cortisol is a very necessary hormone with dozens of purposes within the body. So, let’s get to know cortisol a bit before making a judgment call on whether it’s truly a bad guy.
Cortisol is responsible for our “fight or flight” response – it’s sort of like a built-in alarm system. Let’s look at some of the positive things that you can thank cortisol for:
- Keeps you alert and boosts energy when you need it
- Controls your sleeping cycle
- Keeps your metabolism up and running (and burning fat for energy)
- Balances blood sugar levels
- Reduces inflammation for faster healing
- Balances fluid levels in your body
- Helps regulate your blood pressure
- Aids in learning and boosts your memory
See, cortisol doesn’t seem like such a bad guy, right? And in fact, normal cortisol levels are great! When you’re dealing with stress, cortisol jumps in to save the day by putting your body on high alert. Once the stress is over and the danger has passed, your cortisol levels return to normal.
But what if you’re constantly under stress? It’s these elevated cortisol levels over the long-term that you need to worry about, as this can have catastrophic effects on your body.
Here are just a few nasty side-effects of constant high-levels of cortisol:
- Excess fat and weight gain
- Anxiety and depression
- Heart disease
- Trouble sleeping
- Compromised immune system
As you can see, it’s absolutely essential that you get your stress under control to live a healthy life.
The crazy world we live in isn’t going anywhere, so it’s up to you to take control of your health. Keep reading to find out how to do this.
So, What Are Adaptogens Anyway?
Now that you understand why you should work to reduce stress, let’s look at how you can do just that.
As you probably guessed from the title, adaptogen herbs help reduce stress. But what exactly are adaptogens?
Don’t be scared off by this weird word that you (may) have never heard. Adaptogens are a natural, herbal medicine.
Basically, they’re just plants with some awesome health benefits – scientifically proven health benefits, at that. Adaptogens have been around forever but were first researched heavily in the 1940s.
Since that time, there have been tons of studies and extensive research done on adaptogens, and most scientists seem to agree – adaptogens do indeed help reduce stress.
This unique class of healing plants helps balance the body and its response to stress by normalizing and regulating your cortisol levels in both directions.
For example, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, they can help calm you down. If you’re feeling down and out, they serve as a pick-me-up.
This makes adaptogens a powerful yet natural way to relieve stress and reduce those dangerous long-term cortisol levels.
But there’s more! There are a whole host of ways that adaptogens improve your overall health, including:
- Increase your tolerance to stress
- Help reduce inflammation
- Work as a natural antidepressant
- Combat fatigue
- Balance blood pressure and blood sugar
- Increase focus and mental clarity
- Little to no side effects
While adaptogen herbs won’t completely wipe out stress, they’ll definitely give you the advantage in the battle to get your cortisol under control.
My List of Top Adaptogen Herbs
More than 15 proven adaptogenic herbs that help lower cortisol and reduce stress. Here are just a few that appear to boast the biggest benefits when it comes to reducing stress.
This is the most popular and widely used adaptogen herb. And it’s the most extensively researched as well.
Not only does it have all the benefits of an adaptogen herb, it also strengthens the immune system and enhances stamina, which is great for a grueling workout.
In this article, you’ll find lots of reasons why you should start including Ashwagandha in your daily routine immediately!
This is another adaptogen herb that enhances your athletic performance and makes it easier to deal with all the stressors in your life – including tough training sessions.
Learn more about how rhodiola helps you burn fat and beat both depression and stress in this article.
This herb is widely considered the most effective and useful for people with chronic fatigue and low physical or mental performance.
Another awesome benefit of schisandra is that your body doesn’t build up a tolerance to it – so there’s no need to constantly increase your dosage.
Need more reasons to love this herb? Then read on here.
Also known as tulsi, or “the queen of herbs,” this adaptogen is a member of the mint family. It’s great for relaxation and gives users a calming energy and general sense of well-being.
Read about all the benefits of holy basil (including its powerful anti-aging capabilities) here.
Tumeric contains curcumin, which provides a vast range of health benefits. In fact, many believe turmeric may be the world’s most important and beneficial herb! Check out all those benefits here.
Quick and Easy Ways to Use Adaptogens – Starting Today!
Adaptogen herbs sound amazing, right?! And you’re totally sold on using them to help you battle stress.
But wait – how do you actually use them? Do you just pick some plants? Sprinkle some powders? Do they even taste good?!
Most of these herbs can be used as a tasty tea. But if tea isn’t your thing, then check out Cort RX from ATP Science.
Cort RX is what I personally use to manage my cortisol levels when experiencing stressful situations. You can see below a picture of me holding a empty bottle of Cort RX.
This supplement includes several of the stress-reducing adaptogens I mentioned earlier, plus lots of other mega health benefits – all packed into one convenient capsule.
The reviews for this product are stellar: Regular users report everything from better sleep to sharper focus to increased energy.
For even more information on this powerful supplement, read this article from ATP Science. Then, try Cort RX and experience for yourself how adaptogen herbs may help you battle against stress.
THE WRAP UP
We live in a state of overwork, overwhelm, and overstimulation – all of which can lead to higher and higher levels of stress. And this is disastrous for our health!
There are lots of ways to naturally reduce stress and regain your health – you can change your diet, exercise, meditate, etc.
But when it comes to you vs. stress, why not give yourself an advantage? It helps to take on the fight with a secret weapon on your side – adaptogen herbs.
Adaptogens aren’t some new, trendy magic pill. They’ve been studied for decades and are proven to help the body respond to stress.
Sway the odds in your favor in your battle against stress by incorporating adaptogen herbs into your daily lifestyle.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Ricky is the Founder of Exercise With Style with over 10 years of healthy lifestyle experience. He dedicated a website with the best information on health, fitness, weight-loss, muscle growth and product reviews. Rick is always looking for expert contributors to better serve his loyal readers.