Many would consider stress to be the modern plague facing most of the developing world today. People say it’s due to the fast-paced lifestyle most of us lead and many insecurities that worry us on the daily. While stress is a given, we must also find ways unique to every single one of us to relax.
Even if stress is characteristic of the modern age, the need to relax is just as old as human civilization. Even in ancient times, people developed different ways to unwind and cool down. Some practiced yoga and meditation, and others looked to the heavens.
But somewhere along the way, many realized the potent effects of herbs to relax the body and ease the mind. In modern times, we call these herbs adaptogenic or adaptogens.
Adaptogens are essential because they assist your natural stress-fighting hormone, cortisol, reducing pressure on your thyroid and adrenal glands – both affected by stress.
Because internal and external stressors can trigger cortisol levels, if you’re in a continuous state of stress because of work or family, it can lead to adrenal fatigue, headaches, and depression. Adaptogenic herbs are critical to promoting balance and wellness in your life.
Our favorite adaptogenic herbs in South Asia are culturally and scientifically proven to help you relax – and most of all, they’re easily accessible.
A yellowish, gold-orange South Asian spice, Turmeric is primarily used in savory dishes. However, the most important active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin. This substance has many health benefits for people, and one of them is its anti-depressant properties.
Some researchers even suggest that it elevates the levels of dopamine and serotonin, which significantly influences moods. You can consume it through turmeric capsules or have it in powder form and mix it with tea, protein shakes, or in your food.
Even though it is an entirely different plan, Ashwagandha is also called “Indian ginseng.” In addition to its surplus of benefits, Ashwagandha is terrific adaptogen used throughout South Asia to assist with headaches, daily stress, and promote calm and relaxation in the body.
You can consume it in powder form as a drink mix-in with your coffee or tea, or in capsule form. It is also widely available in supplements and pharmaceuticals.
“The Queen of Herbs,” is used throughout India and Nepal as an herb vital to the spirituality of many and is known as Tulsi. Used in teas and food, Holy Basil is effective in reducing stress and allowing for your body to cope with your daily routine and relax.
You can find Holy Basil in a variety of supplements, but it is also commonly used in teas and aromatics.
These exotic herbs do much more than sooth you down and elevate your mood. They boost your immune system, help you fight off inflammations, take care of your digestion, blood pressure and much more. While they should never be used as replacements for any medicine your doctor may prescribe, they can be powerful allies in keeping your mind and body healthy.