What Are Adaptogens?
Well, if you’re like me you’re asking yourself this same question?
What are Adaptogens?
What do they do?
Why are they necessary? Or are they?
As I began to study what adaptogens are all about, I’ve
found that for me, it what I’ve needed all my life.
Because I seem to have always had lots of the conditions
Not just covering or treating the symptoms, but treating the
actual “root cause”.
I grew up with allergies and even had daily shots to combat the
battle I faced with sneezing and blowing and sneezing more and
Not only that, my recent study on stress and cortisol has opened
my eyes to even more need for adaptogens.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that “85% of disease is caused by EMOTIONS” AND “Up to 95% of the doctor visits in the USA may be triggered by a stress-related illness.”
We all have stress, but we can learn from the animals because they too have stress.
Picture this… A deer is standing around in a field eating grass and just totally at peace.
Then…along comes a wild animal that starts chasing the deer. The deer immediately gets a shot of cortisol (known as the STRESS HORMONE) into its system and goes into the “fight or flight” mode. The cortisol floods into the deer’s legs so it can move quickly to get away.
Under extreme conditions epinephrine is also released, causing the blood vessels to constrict and heart rate to increase.
The deer runs and runs and finally gets away from the wild animal chasing him.
What does the deer do next? He goes back to grazing in the field.
He is totally at peace…the brain stops releasing the cortisol and the deer is no longer in a state of panic.
In fact, the deer is so, at peace, that his brain starts releasing Serotonin which is the key hormone of happiness, since it regulates mood, prevents depression, thwarts irritation and makes you happy and sociable. In addition, other “pleasure” hormones are released that produce a healing effect on the body.
Now, I’m moving away from the deer (animal) to YOU and ME…the human or homo sapiens.
Did you know that we, as humans have a CHOICE? We can think back on bad situations in our lives or we can think on things we LOVE… Things we enjoy.
When we do this (the positive thinking, or as the Good Books says, think on things that are True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovey, and of Good Report), since GOD made our bodies to be self-healing, we produce healing chemicals throughout our bodies by way of the BLOOD!!!
Remember the Good Book also says, “Life is in the Blood”…So
It’s up to us to produce the chemicals in our bodies that produce healing in our bodies… and we do this without thinking.
Here are some of the healing hormones that we can produce with our thinking.
SLIGHT SIDE TRACK FOR INFO on HORMONES OF HAPPINESS!!!
All of our feelings and emotions are a result of chemical reactions taking place in your body. These reactions are responsible for making you feel emotions, both negative and positive emotions like love and happiness.
Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers since they block pain. Most people are aware of the fact that exercise releases endorphins, but they don’t realize the reason for this. Way back in the stone ages, endorphins were important to our ancestors because they enabled them to keep running through the pain and escape predators. Today, we don’t need to escape predators anymore, so we only produce endorphins when we perform anaerobic exercises since endorphins help us to keep going even after we deplete our oxygen stores.
Ways to increase your endorphin levels:
• Exercise to cope with chronic pain.
• Eat spicy food, since your tongue has receptors that react to spice by sending messages to your brain that are similar to pain signals, causing your brain to trigger the release of endorphins.
Serotonin is the key hormone of happiness, since it regulates mood, prevents depression, thwarts irritation and makes you happy and sociable.
Ways to increase your serotonin levels:
• Spend time in the sun, since sunlight causes your body to produce Vitamin D, which triggers the release of serotonin.
• Think happy thoughts, since your brain produces serotonin when you remember happy memories or think about things that make you happy.
• Do a low-intensity workout, since your body produces serotonin when it is performing aerobic exercise, as opposed to the endorphins it produces during anaerobic exercise.
Dopamine is a pleasure hormone that is released when you strive towards a goal. Dopamine motivates you to work hard so that you can achieve the satisfaction of reaching that goal. It also keeps you mentally alert and helps you focus.
Ways to increase your dopamine levels:
• Set daily or monthly goals, since they give you something to strive towards.
• Set exercise goals, since dopamine increases in tandem with serotonin and endorphins when you exercise. Setting goals will increase the production of dopamine even more.
• Eat foods that are rich in protein.
Oxytocin is the love hormone and is released in large amounts during sexual intercourse and childbirth, but also during other types of affectionate physical contact, like hugging. Oxytocin also increases feelings of love and trust.
Ways to increase your oxytocin levels: • Get a massage, since it relaxes your muscles and the prolonged physical contact triggers the release of oxytocin.
• Show your friends and family that you love them by touching them affectionately. You can hug your parents, throw an arm around a friend or cuddle up with your partner.
Now back to the blog…
So, you might say…the cortisol saved the deer’s life.
Yes, that’s right… the brain released just enough cortisol to get the deer out of trouble… and the deer goes back to grazing.
Think about that…
What do we humans do after a startling event?
We escape but instead of relaxing and enjoying and having our “pleasure and happy hormones” flood our bodies, we GO TELL SOMEONE of our experience. Thus, re-living the event and recreating all that stress hormones AGAIN…over and over each time we relate the story of how we almost had something horrible happen to us
This “overflow” of stress hormones which moves from our lungs and hearts and inner parts of our bodies to our arms and legs to help us “escape”… is no longer helping our vital organs function as they are supposed to function.
Limited blood flow and constricted vessels then cause a damaging effect our out bodies when prolonged.
SO STOP DWELLING ON THE NEGATIVE…
So… Just WHAT ARE ADAPTOGENS?
Adaptogens are natural substances that work with a person’s body and help them adapt; most notably, to stress. Adaptogens are a natural ally in dealing with persistent stress and fatigue because they work with regulating important hormones.
Adaptogens offer several other health benefits, including…
- A boost for the immune system
- Support for managing a healthy weight
- Increased physical endurance and mental focus
- Reduction in discomfort caused by poor health
- Encouraging a balanced mood
All these benefits can come from something as simple as adding adaptogens into your regular diet. While there are a number of ways to increase your adaptogen intake, consuming adaptogenic herbs is arguably one of the best. [Other than controlling our THINKING]
Ok… that’s it for today.
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Until Tomorrow, B-Blessed!
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