THIS WEEK ON MYSTICAL MONDAY
by Adriana Ayales
STRESS OH STRESS. Why on earth do you even exist?! It creeps in through thick and thin —changing the workings of our innermost tissues. Oftentimes we get intensely triggered, reminding us of its power over us, then it sometimes disappears, making us think its not there anymore. Its so common how many of us just keep coping with it, and living our lives being “alright”. Our body’s are so capable at finding balance, that we just keep maneuvering through our day-to-day balancing on a pile of unmanaged stress.
Our beloved adrenal glands are the key helpers in managing stress. Emotionally, physically and spiritually, they are our little purifiers, making sure stress is abolished enough to keep us running. They actually help us channel stress when we actually need like. If we are in danger, for example, the stress response sent to the adrenals is what boosts our adrenaline, and optimizes our engine to deal with the present moment with a phenomenal ability. The real issue here is, if we permanently live in this place, triggering the living heck out of our adrenals then we live in the classic “flight or fight response.” This is exactly where we would contract the infamous adrenal fatigue.
DONT RUN YOURSELF TO THE GROUND!
Its almost addicting to live on adrenaline. Our body gets used to the high’s and low’s and compensates with poor dietary habits (even if they are “healthy”), mood swings, and hormonal imbalance. “Over time, repeated activation of the “flight or fight” response takes a toll on the body. Research suggests that chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction. More preliminary research suggests that chronic stress may also contribute to obesity, both through direct mechanisms (causing people to eat more) or indirectly (decreasing sleep and exercise)” (2)
— Feeling tired for no reason.
— Trouble getting out of bed, even when you’ve had a decent night’s sleep
— You constantly feel overwhelmed and anxious
— Unable to handle stress, becoming a constant trigger.
— Low libido. No sexual apetite.
— Low immune function. A difficulty recovering from being sick
— Intensely craving sweet or salty snacks
— Overuse of stimulants like caffeine, sugar, tobacco.
— Seemingly unexplainable weight gain
— Recurring brain fog, lack of creativity and focus.
ADRENAL FATIGUE is a term often used by health practitioners to define the adrenal glands running on empty, and the state of mind and body a person feels. It’s usually associated with high (and unmanaged) levels of stress. Our glands release high levels of cortisol during stressful periods, which is the most important hormone we have to help the body deal with stress. Prolonged stress is our biggest enemy and when these glands become overworked, with zero maintenance, they do not keep up with the demand and basically collapse. As a result, cortisol levels crash and our body can’t respond accordingly anymore.
WHAT DO ADAPTOGENS DO?
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that are natural compounds known as immunomodulators, which have been used for thousands of years in traditional eastern medicine (Chinese medicine, Daoist, Ayurvedic medicine, etc.) In a nutshell, they meet your body where it is, whether it’s high, for example an overactive immune system, or low, in the case of chronic fatigue, and help bring it back to balance. Sometimes your immune system is working too hard (think an autoimmune flare, chronic inflammation, or very high cortisol when your body is in constant fight-or-flight mode), and sometimes your body isn’t sending the signals that the immune system needs to fire (as in the case of adrenal fatigue and very low cortisol outputs). Immunomodulators and adaptogens help bring the body back to homeostasis (balance) by guiding the body’s messenger signals (in the case of adrenal fatigue, on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal-Thyroid axis) to either boost certain activity or calm it down.
Isn't this incredible?
These plants seem to have a natural intelligence TO KNOW exactly what YOU NEED, and tackle it directly. This category of plants work “non-specifically”, meaning it can help multiple functions in the body, physically, mentally, and biological
Last but not least...
ADAPTOGENS & THE HYPOTHALAMUS
The hypothalamus is the command center of the brain. This area of the brain communicates with the rest of the body through the autonomic nervous system. It triggers the fight-or-flight response, providing the body with a burst of energy so that it can respond to perceived dangers. A major role of the hypothalamus / pituitary gland (HPA axis) is expansive, and its primary function relates to how we respond to stress.
In the first stage of the stress response the hypothalamus releases a hormone that signals the pituitary to “activate” the adrenal gland to release cortisol. Cortisol release is a normal and healthy response to normal levels of stress. This is certainly true for acute stress. However, chronic exposure to stress like any of the ones mentioned above, boosts up cortisol production. Chronic stress seems to be a hallmark of modern life and can cause dysfunction in both the HPA axis and cortisol secretion patterns. A prolonged stress response can negatively affect one of the most important organs in your body, your brain-as a result, the individual may experience decreased cognition, anxiety and poor mental performance.
The bioactive substances within adaptogens can help by functioning like “stress vacciones” by reducing the over-exaggerated response to a stressor by helping maintain healthy levels of cortisol. They multi-target several organs and systems, yet their common denominator is working directly with the HPA axis (hypothalamus + pituitary)— which essentially is our adrenal cortex, the amygdala (where we process emotions) and the rest of the hormonal dragons. Once again proving how they regulate stress physically, emotionally, and mentally.
ESSENTIAL ADAPTOGENS FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE:
Ashwagandha - find in our Qi energy & Protein formula, Happiness Tonic
Bacopa - find in our Cerebrum Tonic & The Mind superherb blend
Chaga - find in our Adaptogenic Tonic & superherb blend, Soma Elixir
Cordyceps - find in our Adaptogenic Tonic & superherb blend, Soma Elixir
Reishi - try our Reishi powder, Adaptogenic Tonic & Superherb blend + Soma Elixir
Rhodiola - find in our Energia Tonic and Happiness Tonic
Suma - try our Suma superherb, and our Energia Tonic
Tulsi - find in our Cerebrum Tonic & The Mind superherb blend
- - -
Be part of our newsletter to occassionaly receive great information on herbs long with ongoing promotions on our medicinals. We guarantee to deliver only the best!
Sign up below.
and! if you're in NYC come and visit us!
We aim to host all kinds of DIY plant based workshops at our Brooklyn apothecary. Join us for intimate high vibrational happenings, from yoga to herbal classes to breath work.
35 NOBLE ST. BROOKLYN
R E A D U P
<< sign up here >>