In my studies due to my ever-increasing curiosity of the gifts given us by the Master of all sciences have led me to the course of what brings the body into the balance or homeostasis that it was created to have. Without even trying any of us can think of a dozen or more items, situations, substances, food sources and atmospheric contagions that can impact us negatively. It’s not only a question of keeping balance, rather it is getting back to a state of homeostasis as we go throughout our daily tasks.
When we let the wear and tear build up and do nothing to replace what is being used naturally by our body to adapt to what is in it, on it, around it, or putting stress on it can cause additional and chronic problems that need to be dealt with. One way you can replenish your systems and get back to the balance our bodies crave, is get a regular dose or intake of Adaptogens.
When your body is stressed or out of balance, your cortisol levels go up, these crazy things called plants have compounds, Adaptogens, which generate the ability for the body to adjust to the stress and bring it back to normal once ingested. Yes, Adaptogens compounds that are found and can be extracted from herbs and roots.
These specialized plants and their parts have been used for ages in all sorts of different types of civilizations, via the Ayurvedic, Chinese, or Native peoples across the globe to address the ills that beset our ancestors for millennia. It is only in the last 500 or so years that western thought has made it a byword and a cause to hurl vile accusations of heretic and witch at those who dared to learn and keep the knowledge how plant life could affect which type of system in humans. And it has been in the last 200 or so that we have let others with specialized degrees take what was natural and synthesize it’s affects with all the imperfections that cause a myriad of side effects sometimes much worse than the original ailment.
More and more are awakening to the fact that gaining that homeostasis our bodies crave cannot necessarily be mass produced and dumped into a size fits all pill to be taken twice daily. For example, certain herbs and roots can have that balancing effect on the glands that regulate stress responses in the body like the hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal glands – all of which help your body adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stresses placed upon it. Which impact things from your mind to your immune system to your energy levels to regain the Balance.
Here are a few Adaptogen plants that can be included in your regular intake to better assist you in that fight to keep yourself balanced.
Indian Holy Basil or Tulsi – A daily dose of Tulsi can prevent diseases taking hold in your body, boost immunity and help to reduce stress on the body. Its ability to protect the body from toxin-induced damage is attributed to its higher antioxidant properties. Drying the leaves and the flowers to powderize them or leaving them more whole for a tea blend is the best way to ingest Tulsi. There are a couple types of the Holy Basil to choose from.
Panax Ginseng – Also known as Korean Ginseng this adaptogenic root is rich in active nutrients with potent compounds of ginsenosides and gintonin. Ginseng is a main staple in a number of natural homeopathic recommendations. Consuming this root has been known to enhance physical endurance, balance blood pressure, resist stress’ effects and reduce anxiety by balancing the stress hormone into a relaxed state.
Make sure it is the Ginseng seeds, plants or roots from Asia, because although named Ginseng, the American version of it has different properties that affect the body in other ways. The full efficacy is found in the roots of the plant, once harvested the drying and powderization of it or putting it into a hot tea is an excellent way to get your fill.
Ashwagandha – It is also known as the Indian Winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng. It has a powerful adaptogenic set of properties and anti anxiety effects to help reduce the stress and anxiety experience in the body. It has multiple other applications as well, that can help with inflammation and testosterone levels.
This Adaptogen alone has many different uses and deserves an in-depth article all on its own. Suffice to say here that it can be your favorite for a plenty of reasons as you are seeking to keep all your systems of the body in sync. Depending the part of the plant you have i.e. the fruit thereof, the leaves or its roots you can grow your personal apothecary chest right in your back yard.
All these you can get at your Whole Foods stores in powder form, and as you start out your individual journey for whole body balance that is a place you can start. However, as mentioned with the Ashwagandha, the other too also do well in the right climates and are able to be sprouted from seeds in your own flower pots and Aquaponics Systems. Once ready to try, make sure you begin with smaller quantities and adjust the levels as your body show it needs.
Like always, I must state that I am in no way a doctor, pharmacist, or even a certified practitioner in herbalism. I am a student looking for answers in this modern world that have escaped the general public and what may work for me. Please consult your doctor (if you are currently on any big pharma drugs) and a certified herbal practitioner for your place to begin with these types of things.