Modern life — and the stress that comes with it — have the ability to sap energy and weaken the immune system, leaving the body more vulnerable to illness and disease. For people suffering from this, adaptogenic herbs may be answer. Traditionally used in Chinese medicine, these herbs help increase the body’s resistance to stress and thus reduce the risks that stress can bring with it. The following herbs can help to reduce stress, boost energy levels and support a robust immunity.
Also called Indian ginseng or winter cherry, this plant belongs to the nightshade family (which also includes peppers, tomatoes and potatoes). Its roots have been used throughout Asia and Africa for generations to treat a number of conditions, including sexual issues, joint inflammation and digestive upset. Modern science has also found it effective in reducing stress, exhaustion and insomia caused by emotional or mental upset, according to an article in Alternative Medicine Review.
This mushroom is a mainstay in Traditional Chinese Medicine and practitioners of this ancient art use it to treat patients seeking to restore emotional and mental calm. In a Chinese study from the Journal of Medicinal Food, 123 patients suffering from fatigue were treated with an 8-week course of reishi supplementation, researchers found that these patients reported less fatigue and a greater sense of well-being after treatment.
Another common component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, these berries have a positve effect on a number of bodily systems. They support the digestive system by normalizing bowel movements and slowing loose stools; they also have shown to support and nourish respiratory and hepatic health. Even more remarkable it is ability to boost physical and mental ability by stimulating the central nervous system. Studies have shown, for instance, that it enhances the performance of athletes and lessen their recovery time when taken before an event.
4. Panax Ginseng
Perhaps the best-known of these Chinese herbs in the West, ginseng has long been valued for the array of health benefits it bestows. It improves both cognitive and physical function by boosting energy levels, supporting the immune system and generally increasing a feeling of vitality. It is highly effective for those with chronic fatigue.
Also known as Siberian ginseng (though it is not botanically related), eleuthero was originally used to reduce edema and ease muscle spasms. However, it has also been found to be a an effective remedy for reducing the incidence of flu and colds and improving the mental and social health of geriatric patients. New research is also coming out to study it as a treatment for chronic fatigue.
With the exception of ginseng, these adaptogenic herbs are only starting to become well-known in the West. However, further research is likely to ensue as modern medicine becomes more aware of the variety of chronic conditions that can be treated by herbs like those listed above.
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