Cortisol Stress Hormone

Cortisol The Stress Hormone

The benefits of ADAPTOGENIC herbs for chronic stress, immune support and Corona Virus!

By Tom Tunstall

As you know we are in the grips of an unprecedented global health crisis that will affect each of us in a multitude of ways! With the spread of the Corona virus as well as the heightened levels of fear, anxiety and stress that are byproducts of the virus we need to do all we can to foster a strong and vibrant immune system!

Living a life of health, vitality, energy and wellbeing is a process of continuous learning and adapting to the environment that surrounds us in order to adapt, survive and thrive. Maintaining homeostasis in the face of internal or external challenges called stressors requires constant adjustment of hormonal, behavioral and autonomic functions.

Stressors can be chemical, external stimuli, environmental, biological, psychological or physical. These stressors trigger the hypothalamic-pituitary – adrenal – axis (HPA) stress response.

Work, health, finances and relationships are some of the primary causes of chronic stress disorders. Overtraining in the gym can lead to chronic stress disorders as well.

Some of the symptoms of chronic stress include:

Fatigue

Frustration

Frequent headaches

 Insomnia Weight loss or weight gain

Weakness

Body aches and pains

These symptoms of chronic stress are also linked with

Depression

Anxiety

Hypertension

Cardiovascular disorders

Diabetes

Stroke

Cancer

Stress causes an elevation of the steroid hormone cortisol. Cortisol is referred to as a stress hormone and is associated with the term (fight or flight). The release of cortisol from the HPA axis in response to chronic stress can have toxic effects on your health.

Some of the symptoms of elevated cortisol include:

Anxiety

Depression

Hypertension

Osteoporosis

Fatigue

Insulin resistance

Obesity

These symptoms can create feelings of exhaustion, burnout and loss of interest in work, family, friends and working out. Cortisol is catabolic and will feed on the healthy lean muscle mass you have worked hard to build if you work out.

Adaptogens are plants that help your body adapt and adjust to stress. Adaptogens help the body raise it’s ability to resist a variety of physical, emotional, chemical, and biological stressors by counteracting internal stress signals thus allowing the body to adapt to intense circumstances of stress. They also contain high levels of antioxidants that aid in oxygen efficiency and cardiovascular health.

The first studies into the physiological effects of ADAPTOGENS were conducted by the Russian scientist Dr Nikolai Lazarev in the 1940s. He was the first to use the term ADAPTOGENS. He described them as medicinal plants that can enhance the resistance of an organism to stress.

True ADAPTOGENS are nontoxic, protect against stress, stimulate mental performance and normalize body functions as well as boost recovery and enhance physical prowess. Numerous studies have shown how these herbs have been beneficial to people experiencing chronic stress.

ASHWAGANDHA, also known as Withania somnifera or Indian Ginseng is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for over six centuries and is credited for its anti-tumor, antiarthritic, cognitive enhancement, anxiety reducing, energy increasing, cortisol balancing, anti-inflammatory effects and immune enhancing functions. Ashwagandha is known for its stress lowering effects by lowering cortisol levels and supporting healthy Adrenal function.

RHODIOLA, also known as Rhodiola Rosea or “golden root” originated in Asia and contains a phytochemical known as salisdroside which is its main factor in lowering cortisol levels. Rhodiola has been used for its antioxidant, cardioprotective and anticancer properties as well as for its resistance to physical, chemical and biological stressors.

ASHWAGANDHA and RHODIOLA are powerful ADAPTOGENIC herbs individually. They support a healthy immune response to a variety of external factors that can wreak havoc on your biochemical system.

Adaptogens are protective of the body on many levels and against many variables. Adaptogenic herbs are protective in their ability to support internal homeostasis. Ashwagandha and Rhodiola act as recovery enhancers that allow the body to perform on a higher level without being wiped out by the rigors of stress!

Charles Darwin spoke of Natural Selection as the process where all species arise and develop through a natural selection process that increases an individual’s ability to compete, survive and reproduce.

It is important to remember that having a winning mindset will go a long way in creating abundant health and vitality in your life. Use common sense, follow safe living practices and use good hygiene procedures to protect yourself and your family during these challenging times we are in the midst of.

Adaptogens can help you adapt and thrive in any environment. It is imperative more than ever that we take the time to invest in our health. So, protect and strengthen your immune system so you can take your life to the next level!