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Get a Herbal Helping Hand When The Going Gets Tough
Stress without a doubt is the modern day plague.
Nutritionist and Wellbeing expert
While our ancestors used to experience acute bouts of stress when running from a wild animal or chasing after their dinner, now we are fuelled with stress hormones from dawn to dusk.Emotional stressors such as arguments, deadlines, financial issues, relationships, and physical stressors like lack of/poor quality sleep, blood sugar imbalances, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, too much caffeine/alcohol/nicotine, and bad posture soon add up and you can find yourself feeling below par most of the time.To really get the balance back, it is important to address the root causes of your stressors. But thankfully there are some wonderful herbs that can help along the way.
This herb is great at both relaxing and energizing as it prolongs the effects of cortisol by preventing its breakdown. Cortisol is often referred to as a ‘bad guy’ but really it is the hormone that helps us handle stress. When we are in a constant ‘fight or flight’ mode, cortisol over-production can be harmful. By prolonging cortisol’s life and keeping it in the bloodstream for longer, we give our adrenal glands (tiny endocrine glands that sit on top of kidneys and produce cortisol in times of stress) a rest and can handle stress better.
Ginseng can help energize the body and increase the resilience to daily stressors. It does not necessarily have relaxing properties, but it helps to increase the body’s resistance to damaging effects of stress. If you feel worn out – Siberian Ginseng can be great at gently boosting your energy levels. Also known as Indian Ginseng, is a very popular adaptogenic herb, which means that it helps the body to cope with stress. It can have a dual relaxing and energizing effect, but the best results are achieved with long term use for chronic stress.Rhodiola This is a great partner for Ashwagandha, a combination of these two herbs tends to be very effective. Rhodiola is also an adaptogenic herb and helps the adrenal glands to handle the daily stressors. It has an energising, anti-fatigue effect and can help increase stamina. Like Ashwagandha, it is suggested to take Rhodiola for a few months for best results.
Instant RelaxersMight be one of the oldest relaxing herbs, used since the Hippocratic times. It is one of the nature’s gentlest, non-addictive tranquilizers. Valerian is one of the most popular herbs for sleeping issues and insomnia, but can also be used for anxiety during the day. However this herb can be sedating and it is suggested to be careful and not drive or use any technical equipment when taking Valerian. It might be best to keep it by your bedside for those times when your internal chatter does not switch off.
Tulsi (Holy Basil) – another cherished Ayurvedic herb traditionally used for general wellbeing, now it is commonly known for its adaptogenic effects and seems to be helpful for general anxiety. A very mild soothing herb that helps to relax and reduces nervous tension without sedative effects. Chamomile is especially beneficial when nervousness upsets the digestive system, as it both calms the nerves and soothes the digestive tract.
Agentle ‘feel good’ herb used for mild nervousness. It has a gentle balancing effect and is great for type A personalities that push themselves too hard and find it hard to relax.
Just like smelling a rose can have an immediate sense of calm, taking English Rose tincture internally is also gently soothing, calming and uplifting.Oat Seed has long been known as a nerve restorative and a brain tonic herb. It helps to build and rebalance the nervous system, aids recovery after exhaustion or illness, and can be supportive in times of anxiety. It can also be useful for people experiencing tension and irritability due to overwhelming schedules and busy lifestyles. Passion Flower is a relaxing herb used for insomnia, anxiety and nervousness. It can help soothe nervous excitability and over-active brain. It is a sedative and anti-spasmodic, thus Passion Flower is useful for gastrointestinal complaints which may have a nervous origin such as IBS. Scientists believe Passion Flower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.
This herb needs a category of its own due to its unique anti-depressant properties. The active ingredients hypericin and hyperforin are thought to contribute to the effects of the herb on the nervous system. It is suggested that St. John’s Wort works similar to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, by making the mood-uplifting neurotransmitters more bioavailable. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin carry messages from one nerve ending to the next. Once the message is delivered, the neurotransmitters are reabsorbed and inactivated. St. John’s Wort can help and prolong the effectiveness of the feel-good neurotransmitters, uplifting the mood and wellbeing.
Herbs can be an amazing helping hand when the going gets tough, but it is also very important to identify what is disrupting peace in your life and address those factors. Additionally, a healthy balanced diet, relaxation techniques (mindfulness meditation, deep breathing) and gentle exercise like yoga are essential for reducing the stress load.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you Emiliano for your comment. In this blog we are referring more to oils, more so than butters and while we agree with you Shea is an excellent emollient for hair, it's consistency is more buttery and it is used more as a leave-in remedy to smooth hair texture. We have suggested Coconut oil as it helps slow down hair loss by penetrating deep into your hair shaft to prevent protein loss, which in turn prevents breakage. When applied to your scalp, it simultaneously moisturises and removes build-up around your hair follicles to encourage hair growth and is one of base oils always used in Ayurveda for hair treatments. As this post is more focused for hair and not for skin, the comedogenic scale applies to skin/pores and not hair follicles. Thank you again for your feedback.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Hello Zu, yes hair loss can be very stressful and this in turn amplifies the cause almost.. Perhaps with Covid, your system may have been depleted of nutrients and fighting the virus can take its toll on your immune system, so sometimes our hair and skin suffer when we have been ill. We really believe in oils for scalp massage as the best way to revive the growth and help regenerate the follicles. It may be also worth at looking at internal supplements and making sure you are getting enough of omega oils, perhaps plant based such as nuts and seeds in your diet. For external oil treatment, would recommend the Really Good Hair oil which we create with Brahmi, this herb is known to help bring the scalp back to health and improve growth. Biotin is also a good vitamin to take as a supplement to help with hair growth so do look into that. So hope these tips will be helpful for you.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?I, am very surprised that your article did not include Organic Shea Butter and that coconut oil, is your number one choice for hair growth and thickness. According to the comedogenic scale, coconut oil, has a rating of (4), on a scale from (0), to (5), on clogging your pores. Why would anyone put coconut oil, on their hair or skin knowing the pores will get clogged up. Shea Butter, on the other hand has a (0), rating on the comedogenic scale, which is great for dry hair and skin and won't clog up your pores.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you for your very informative article. I suffered COVID in December, 2020, and in February I started experience extreme hair loss and all my hair jus falls like a person who is under going Chemo therapy. It's very depressing. Had to cut off all my hair and even the little that is left is falling off daily not sure what to do. Please suggest something.
- Carrot Oil for Face Hello :) You can use carrot oil only in small drops on your skin in the morning/during the day since it is highly potent. Carrot oil is rich in vitamins and is a very effective moisturiser. You can also mix a few drops of Carrot Oil with your favorite face cream. You can do that at least twice a week or include it in your daily skincare routine. Hope this helps.
- Carrot Oil for Face Can I use the carrot oil in the day time? Because I am using Vitamin c serum in the night. Please advise. Thanks