Essential Adrenal Support
Saturday, January 1st 2005
Ashwagandha for Stress
Ashwagandha is one of the most highly regarded and commonly used adaptogens in the Ayurvedic (Indian) pharmacopoeia for over 3000 years. It helps maximize the bodies' ability to resist stress, it enables the body to reserve and sustain vital energy throughout the day while promoting sound, restful sleep at night. Used by both men and women, it maintains proper nourishment of the tissues, particularly muscle and bone, while supporting proper function of the adrenals. This potent herb is also used as an anti-inflammatory to support comfortable joint movement.
Ashwagandha prevents or minimizes imbalances that may lead to disease, whether from poor diet, lack of sleep, mental or physical strain, or chemical toxins in the environment.
This combination of activities makes adaptogenic herbs ideal for rejuvenating the body - they help to prevent problems mistakenly thought of as "ageing" - and they can help to rebuild the youthful vigour.
John Douillard, an Ayurvedic physician in Boulder, Colorado, USA, reports in his clinical experience that "Ashwagandha fortifies our ability to cope with stress, reduces anxiety, and also improves mental acuity, reaction time, and physical performance.
A Mood Enhancing and Anti-anxiety Herb
Ashwagandha is used in India to treat mental deficits in geriatric patients, including amnesia. A study in 1991 at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center confirmed its anti-anxiety effects.
Ashwagandha Research Update
Clinical trials and animal research support the use of Ashwagandha for anxiety, cognitive and neurological disorders, inflammation, and Parkinson's disease. Ashwagandha's chemopreventive properties make it a potentially useful adjunct for patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. It may also prevent or decrease the growth of tumours in humans.
Toxicity studies reveal that Ashwagandha appears to be very safe with little or no associated toxicity.
This herb is available as Nature's Way Standardized Ashwagandha 500mg capsules (purple label.
Help the Adrenal Glands and help your Anxiety
While Kava and Ashwagandha help relieve the symptoms of anxiety it is important to try and eliminate the cause of the anxiety. Long term stress, poor nutrition, fatigue and worry all play their role in creating an anxiety state. The adrenals are essential for life and ling term stress can exhaust them. They have many functions including they synthesis of hormones to help counter stress.
Stress has always been a problem. The late Dr John R Christopher, American Master Herbalist, over 50 years ago developed a formula which he used extensively to help patients with adrenal exhaustion. His formula is now available in vegetarian capsules as Dr Christopher's Adrenal Formula.
Do You Have Problems with your Adrenals?
The profile of someone with underactive adrenals often includes a person who is meticulous in all their work, perfectionists who often drive themselves to exhaustion because they are unable to "relax". Many find it difficult to fall asleep, but find reading in a semi-reclining position for fifteen to twenty minutes to be very helpful. Swollen ankles which are worse in the afternoon and at night and return to normal after a good nights sleep are another indicator.
Other symptoms found in 75% of people with adrenal insufficiency:
Fatigue, nervousness and irritability, mental depression, muscle weakness, lightheadedness and headaches, craving for salt, premenstrual tension, allergies, poor memory, confused states, feelings of frustration, fears.
Additional Natural remedies to help
Dr Christopher's Adrenal Formula is particularly helpful when used in conjunction with Radiance Kava or Nature's Way Ashwagandha and Radiance B100 Complex which provides a high strength of all the B group vitamins.
Reproduced unabridged from the January - March 2005 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for treating Stress and immune weakness:
Avena Comp. Relaxing drops
Ginseng 5 Exhaustion Relief
Inner Health Plus
Recharge and Relax
Stress & Well-Being
Vitamin B Complex 60's
Related health information can be found here:
Related articles can be found here:
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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