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By Rachel Hynd
Adaptogens: Natural Food Remedies For Anxiety
Adaptogens are medicinal plants, unaltered from nature, used by herbalists to remedy ailments.
Adaptogens have a remarkable ability to balance and stabilize the body by strengthening the hormonal, immune, cardiovascular, nervous and muscular systems in order to bring the body back into homeostasis. They also provide us with natural remedies for anxiety.
As Western medicine flourished and professionalized in the last century, we forgot about the powerful effects of adaptogens on our bodies. However, today, many of us are returning back to old remedies and are using these tonifying agents.
Adaptogenic substances know intuitively what and how to target specific areas of the body that need them the most. They provide energy but do not overstimulate the body, they are non-toxic, they have no side effects, and they improve one's overall vitality. The name "adaptogens" refers to their ability to help the body adapt to environmental and internal stress or trauma, whether it be from a physical, chemical or biological source. Is there anybody who could not benefit?
Adaptogens come from all parts of the world and are widely available.
Here are some adaptogens that are easy to include in your diet. I urge you to continue with your own research, since the health benefits of adaptogens listed below are just the tip of the iceberg. Many are well-known in the raw-food world and used in smoothies and various elixirs. Add them into your day and find your balance.
A cruciferous vegetable that grows in the Peruvian Andes of South America at altitudes of up to 14,000 feet, Maca is known for its beneficial affects on fertility, hormonal balance and libido.
A bright red berry that grows abundantly in Asia and North and Central America, Goji berries are believed by the Chinese to significantly extend life. They are an immune booster, increase alkalinity and vitality, protect the liver, improve the eyes and blood, and deliver anti-aging benefits.
Originally found in nature on plum trees, reishi mushrooms were extremely rare and only consumed by royalty in China and Japan for thousands of years. Today, the reishi is widely cultivated in Japan, China, North America and other parts of Asia. Reishi is primarily used to enhance the immune system and improve blood circulation.
A remarkable herb used in history for various health purposes, rhodiola's main uses are to strengthen the nervous system, fight depression, enhance immunity, boost energy, improve memory, aid in weight reduction and increase sexual function.
Ginseng root is available in a variety of types, including Siberian, Panax and American. It was documented being used in China over 2,000 years ago. Healers have used it as a tonic to cure lethargy, arthritis, impotence, diabetes and to calm the mind. Ginseng is also known to be one of the most effective anti-aging supplements.
A potato sized fruit that grows from a tall perennial evergreen tree, noni has a peculiar odor and is sometimes referred to as the "cheese fruit." The juice is consumed and used as a pain killer, laxative, wound healer, immune strengthener, anti-inflammatory agent, as well as to lower blood pressure, treat arthritic and joint pain, level blood sugar, and increas energy.
The sweet flavored root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant, licorice resembles plain wooden sticks. It is used to nourish the adrenal glands, for auto-immune conditions, to treat viruses (particularly herpes), for ulcers and for digestive troubles.
An aromatic plant native to the Old World tropics, holy basil is dubbed the "elixir of life" and believed to promote longevity in Ayurvedat. It is excellent for coping with stress, boosting immunity, and to help treat stomach disorders, heart disease, poisoning and malaria.
The root of a short, flower bearing scrub cultivated in the drier regions of India, ashwagandha is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an aphrodisiac, sedative, rejuvenative and life-prolonging herb. It is used in treating chronic fatigue, nervous exhaustion and weaknesses in the body.
A medicinal mushroom that has a parasitic relationship with the larva of a caterpillar, this fungus germinates inside the living organism, killing it and then growing from its body. It is highly prized by Eastern practitioners and very new to the West. Chinese studies reveal cordyceps to improve the immune system, increase the production of sex hormones, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, reduce fatigue, and to build physical endurance and strength.
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Adaptogens - Natural Food Remedies For Anxiety - Healthy Eating Habits
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