I am about to let you in on one of my biggest anti-stress secrets, brace yourselves. It all began few summers ago when I was hit with a brutal case of Mono. If any of you have ever had Mono you will feel me on this one - the world stops and you are in a dark place for longer than socially acceptable. I was taking Tylenol for over two weeks straight trying to get my fever to subside. Eventually one of my mom's co-workers convinced us that I needed to try "Tulsi" drops which I later learned was also known as "Holy Basil." We were both very skeptical but I was desperate to feel at least a little better. Now, call this magic, but after I started putting a few drops of Holy Basil in my water twice a day my Mono virtually disappeared. I did not even have the typical long recovery and or added fatigue. This was my first experience using adaptogens and my love for them has only grown. I learned that fevers and colds are not the only thing that Holy Basil can combat. It is actually something you can take on a daily basis even in good health to reduce any stress you may have, or even headaches. Let me tell you why Holy basil has become an important staple in my daily routine.
I will start by explaining exactly what an adaptogen is. Gaia Herbs CEO and founder, Ric Scalzo, describes them as "a class of herbs and mushrooms that offer heavy-duty support for the body’s natural resistance to 'adverse influences.' They may seem knew to the healthy trend scene, but they have been around for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. They work by assisting your adrenals, the home to your hormone glands, to find balance. They are generally used as a healthy and natural way to help reduce stress and anxiety. The name adaptogens stems from the notion that they help your body "adapt" to situations. They can be taken in liquid form called "tinkturs" (this is my favorite, it adds to the feeling of magic potion), capsuls, or powder to be used in smoothies or cooking. Some adaptogens you may have heard of are maca powder (often in smoothies), ginseng, licorice root, cinnamon, and turmeric. I am no expert in this field by any means, I am only here to tell you about my experience and review of the adaptogens I incorporate into my life.
Although the anti-stress benefits I have experienced when drinking Holy Basil each morning feel like magic, there is actually a science behind it! It helps your body combat the physical response to the emotion of stress at the hormonal level. Whether I am going through a very overwhelming time or a typical day I see a noticeable difference in my calmness with Holy Basil. It makes me happier and more open minded. I put 5-10 drops in my water each morning and occasionally take days off. It is safe and natural, it is really just a concentrated liquid form of strand of basil leaf.
There's a new member to my daily herbal routine, ashwaganda! I love to say "ashwaganda!" This one has become even more popular in the health world lately. It has very similar benefits to Holy Basil, stress management being high on the list. It is also said to increase energy and productive sleep.
These can usually be found in the nutrition aisle of your grocery store. If you have not ever thought about herbal supplements before this may seem a little out there. Feel free to comment or message me if you have any more questions about my experience. I would also love to hear if you have any other favorite adaptogens!