Herbal medicines are used to treat illnesses by natural doctors with well-known systems of herbal medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. The belief and philosophy are that there should be an emphasis on health rather than on disease.
By using healing herbs and spices, people can thrive and focus on their overall conditions, rather than on a particular ailment that typically arises from a lack of equilibrium of the mind, body, and environment.
*Not only will these herbs and spices boost your health, but these seasonings will also give flavour to your food, and simply make it taste better.
So, what are you waiting for? Start cooking with fresh herbs. Make your own seasoning blends that provide therapeutic components you probably didn’t realize were there.
There are herbs and spices that can be found in teas, extract, capsules, and tablet for specific conditions, for example:
- For everyday dietary supplement
- For healthy skin, hair, and nails
- For normal function of the heart
- For normal bones, muscles, and connective tissue.
- For stress
Herbs for Stress
Natural medicine has long appreciated the benefits of herbs and food as medicine. One such example of this is adaptogenic herbs which can positively impact one’s response to stress (1).
Your body is built to release the hormone cortisol when faced with stress, but elevated cortisol levels over long periods of time (chronic stress) can affect every physiological system in your body, including your thyroid and adrenal glands.
Researchers and doctors agree that an approach to reduce chronic stress is many-layered, and I believe that one powerful approach to naturally relieving stress as well as reducing long-term cortisol levels is by using adaptogenic herbs.
Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants, including certain foods and herbs. Today they are mostly consumed as supplements and herbal products, such as capsules, powders, and tinctures.
Their main purpose is to help balance, restore and protect the body. They are used as part of a “phytotherapy” approach to healing, which refers to the use of plants for their therapeutic abilities.
Research suggests that they are in fact good at promoting restful sleep, boosting energy during the day, and helping with things like athletic performance, recovery, and concentration while at work or school.
Just like the name implies, adaptogens help you adapt to various forms of stress. Another way to describe how they work is that they “normalize” many of the body’s processes and help keep the body in homeostasis.
When cortisol levels rise, you experience the “fight or flight” response, which stimulates your sympathetic nervous system and your adrenal glands.
People who experience the fight-or-flight response on a regular basis, many times a day, may experience a state of constant stress, which can put pressure on the adrenal glands, tax the digestive tract, and cause several issues like fatigue, weight gain, low libido, and acne.
Examples of adaptogenic herbs are:
- Holy Basil
- Panax ginseng
- Astragalus root
Written by: Anna Ingwardo, Bachelor of Nutritional Physiology.
Since 2008, she has worked as a nutritionist at Dr Fedon Lindberg’s clinic in Oslo. Anna is particularly interested in functional medical principles and has immersed herself in the treatment of digestive-related imbalances and ailments, food hypersensitivity and leaky gut. She has also expertise in the treatment of other lifestyle-related conditions such as obesity / overweight, insulin resistance / diabetes and other hormone-related imbalances in the body. Anna is the co-author of 3 books. www.annaingwardo.no/ @kostterapianna