We kick this one off with a general but great question…
“Which herbs are the best to reduce stress?”
My top pick for this is probably going to be Ashwagandha. Unlike most of the other adaptogens, that I’ll talk about in a bit, this one is more relaxing than the bunch. In fact, many people use it to aid in sleep.
And of course, stress can dramatically impact sleep in negative ways.
It has not just a long history of use, but quite a bit of scientific evidence showing that it works in lowering stress.
What many people comment is that things that used to stress them, just don’t seem to have the same effects on them once they start taking Ashwagandha.
Adaptogens are a class of herbs with dual-direction activity that help the body to better respond to stressors, both physical and mental.
If you’re looking to fight stress, then this is a good place to start. By combining multiple herbs you’re going to have a slightly broader effect.
I’ll mention one other herb today. And that is Blue Vervain. This bitter nervine is great for reducing stress specifically on the nervous system. Many people notice a feelable effect right away from this one.
It can be especially helpful for those that get stuck in their head with worries or frustrations and need a little help in getting back into their bodies.
There are of course many other possibilities than these, but these are some of my top picks.
If you’re looking for a powerhouse combination, then you can combine these.
Take Spartan in the morning and/or early afternoon when you need a boost.
Then take Ashwagandha and Blue Vervain whenever you need to chill out, even before going to sleep.
Maybe we should even put together a stress-buster package including these three.
This next question relates to stress and its effects on testosterone.
“I’m an older weight lifter now 58yr but still lifting great but this year notice due to stress/cortisol that my testosterone has dropped so as it relates to Jing for men “”What is the best two best chinese tonic herbs to take to raise my T levels? I’m looking online at He Shou Wu and Cordyceps. Please explain what you know to be best. I have taken Cistance before and got little results.”
Are you looking only for Chinese herbs for a particular reason? My first go to based on what you said is Ashwagandha. This root from Ayurveda is considered a strong on for Ojas, which is essentially the Ayurvedic equivalent of Jing.
Specifically it helps testosterone in that it tends to decrease cortisol. Since these two exist on an inverse ratio, less cortisol will often mean more testosterone.
Second to that I would say Pine Pollen, which has been used in Chinese medicine for a long, long time.
He Shou Wu is one of my favorites. But I see it more so about anti-aging then specifically for testosterone. Cordyceps can help in these areas too, but I see it as more focused on energy and endurance. As already mentioned, it is a great adaptogen, so it certainly does help with stress.
As always, you’ve got to experiment and find what works for you.