If you’ve been into herbs for any amount of time and think about stress your mind likely goes to…
After all the definition of this, is an herbal substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.
That’s all well and good.
In essence, the adaptogenic components of the plant stress your body out…in a way that the body becomes better able to handle it.
That’s called hormesis.
By taking adaptogens consistently over time your capacity for handling stress increases.
Some of the main adaptogens are rhodiola, eleuthero, cordyceps and schisandra; all four of which are included in our Spartan Formula.
However, everything has its time and place. Adaptogens may NOT be the best herb to reach for when you’re stressed out.
Because adaptogens tend to stimulate energy, many people take them, continuing to drive harder and faster, and end up burning themselves out even more.
That is not what we want. We want herbs that help with stress; not make it worse!
For an even more balancing approach it is great to use nervine herbs.
In Chinese medicine, these are the shen herbs.
Some of these are stronger. Some are more mild.
These act on the nervous system to lessen the tension on it, much of it having come from stress in the first place.
Unfortunately, we’ve only got a couple of nervine herbs at Lost Empire right now. These include:
We’ve almost exclusively talked about ziziphus for its ability to help you stay asleep longer, with more deeper restorative sleep. But it is a great nervine herb for keeping you calm and relaxed, even if you don’t need help with sleep too.
Reishi is often touted for its immune system effects which are heavily researched. Perhaps even stronger are its shen calming effects. It has long been known to increase your sense of well-being, reduce stress, and even enhance your personal evolution. (I don’t think I would be were I am today if it weren’t for reishi medicinal mushrooms!)
This has long been considered an anti-stimulant. An ancient pairing was cacao or chocolate (a stimulant) with mucuna pruriens, to balance it out. A rich source of the neurotransmitter L-dopa, mucuna has far reaching effects on the nervous system and body.
There are many other nervines too. I’m super excited that we’re expanding our line. We’ve got three different nervine tonics in various degrees of production/getting ready to launch in the next few months, and even more coming after that.
Probably the best way to increase your capacity for stress is by using both adaptogens and nervines together.
Calm down now…and increase what you can handle in the future.
For more information on this topic read the related article on cognition and nootropics and stay tuned as we’re currently researching a new in-depth article on the best herbs for stress.