How Adaptogenic Herbs Can Help Your Body Fight Stress

Organic Merchant

Thoughtfully curated over time, Organic Merchant‘s hand-blended range of teas and cacao blends are carefully crafted to enchant the senses, heal the body and soothe the mind. 

The ingredients in their loose leaf teas have been carefully selected for their rich therapeutic properties and fulsome flavour, and they are presented beautifully in sustainable packaging. The Organic Merchant range includes herbal teas that support health, wellness and nourishment for both men and women. 

Here they look at the health benefits of adaptogenic herbs in reducing stress and anxiety.

‘Adaptogens’ are phytochemical substances found in certain herbs and plants that can help improve our ability to cope with stress. They do this through various mechanisms that work together to bring the body back into homeostasis, or a state of balance. 

Adaptogenic herbs have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine and in the Indian healing practice of Ayurveda. Adaptogenic plants used in treatments include liquorice, Siberian ginseng, shatavari and holy basil, among several others. 

How adaptogenic herbs help mitigate the stress effect 

We all experience varying levels of stress in our lives, possibly coping better on some occasions than others! 

There are three phases to the stress response: 

  • Alarm – where your adrenal gland produces ‘fight or flight’ hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. 
  • Resistance – the stage where your body acts in response to the stressful situation and attempts to return the body to normal. It’s during this phase that our ability to adapt, concentrate and perform gets a boost. 
  • Exhaustion – end stage of chronic stress where the body attempts to repair and recover but is not able to do so effectively. 

Overall, the stress response is a remarkable mechanism that helps us respond to and survive threatening events. It can even improve our performance. For example, athletes deliberately put themselves under stress in order to improve their strength and speeds. 

However, chronic negative stress in our lives can be detrimental to our health and lead to the exhaustion phase. This is because when cells are under stress, they can suffer damage from free radicals and nitrous oxide. The production of cortisol can also inhibit the immune system. 

In addition, the constant production of stress hormones from our adrenal glands can lead to depletion of micronutrients, adrenal fatigue and mental and physical illness. 

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