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Lets face it, stress is something that creeps into almost everyones lives.  Some of us are aware of it while others keep moving forward without much notice of what our physical bodies may be experiencing.  The body is an amazing phenonenon that does everything it can to keep us alive and marching forth.  This allows us to keep up with the daily tasks we have on our plate as well as jugggle the moment to moment experiences that come our way.  What you may not know is how the body manages to do this. 

One of the ways the body compensates when under stress is to release the well known and much talked about hormone, cortisol.  Cortisol is released for various reasons, including; to balance blood sugar, inflammation, as well as to moderate the emotional stress response.  Blood sugar dysregulation happens when we don’t eat regularly.  The body needs somewhat of a regular eating pattern established so that it can release energy when needed, knowing it will be refueled frequently.  When we skip meals, or go too long without eating, cortisol is released to keep blood sugar levels balanced.  When the body doesn’t have proper nutrition/fuel, it puts the body under stress.

Same goes for inflammation.  Whether a new injury or chronic pain, cortisol is released to keep the healing process going and inflammation under control.  Again, this is a type of stress in the body. 

And then you have emotional stress.  The loss of someone close to you, a big work evaluation or presentation, a busy school schedule or juggling life as a parent, all of these things and many more can cause an emotional stress response.  Cortisol is often released with this scenario as well.

The point I’m driving at is that we, as Americans, are constantly pushed to keep going and in the end our balanced and appropriate cortisol repsonse is weakened.  This leads to an inability to handle stress causing an increasing list of physical symptoms.  Sleep issues, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, digestion problems and fatigue just to name a few. 

To combat these and many other potential symptoms that develop from long term “stress” I strongly recommend using adaptogen herbs to nourish and replenish the adrenal glands, the glands that secrete cortisol.  By supporting these glands you will build up reserves to adequately support a healthy and balanced cortisol release system. 

A few good choices are: Rhodiola, Schizandra, Skullcap, Wood Betony and Eleuthero to name a few.

A few good products we have at The Herb Shoppe:

  • Stress Free Tincture
  • Adrenal Tonic Tea
  • Adrenal Tonic Tincture
  • Stress Free Capsules by Planetary Formulas
  • Schizandra Adrenal Complex by Planetary Formulas
April 25, 2012 by JJ Pursell

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