When Hard Work and Diet Aren’t Working
Are you working hard to get healthy and not getting the results you want?
Pushing yourself to eat less, move more and altering your diet to drop the ‘bad’ foods like simple carbs and sugars without seeing a lot of effect for all your effort? If so, it may be time to consider bringing some additional support to your plan for success.
Improving immune function, lowering blood pressure, and increasing energy are all accomplished by increasing exercise for many of us. But when that isn’t enough to get a sluggish body going?
When you’ve increased your daily activity and made improvements to your diet without significant results, this healing herb, one of a class of herbs known as adaptogens, is often able to bridge the gap and help get our body’s back to firing on all cylinders.
Healing herbs have a long history of use throughout Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine practices dating back centuries, and they are becoming increasingly popular in modern western medical practice.
So, What Exactly are ‘Adaptogens’?
According to Dr. Frank Lipman, ‘The Voice of Sustainable Wellness’,
“Adaptogens work a bit like a thermostat. When the thermostat senses that the room temperature is too high it brings it down; when the temperature is too low it brings it up.
Adaptogens can calm you down and boost your energy at the same time without over stimulating. They can normalize body imbalances. By supporting adrenal function, they counteract the adverse effects of stress. They enable the body’s cells to access more energy; help cells eliminate toxic byproducts of the metabolic process and help the body to utilize oxygen more efficiently. In short, adaptogens are amazing!”
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It and is classified in the Ayurvedic system as a “Rasayana” or rejuvenative as well as an adaptogen. It’s name ‘ashwagandha’ actually translates to mean ‘the smell of a horse’ which pertains not only to the characteristics of the plant itself, but to the strength and virility of a horse. And, in fact, in Ayurvedic traditions it has been used predominantly in combating physical and psychological stress and for supporting the male reproductive system.
Ashwagandha strngthens the immune system and promotes longevity and is used to increase energy, endurance, stamina and vitality. It enhances endocrine function, notably the thyroid and adrenals. It also supports healthy joints, calms mental processes and fosters healthy sleep patterns.
In ancient and modern Ayurvedic medicine it has been prescribed for exhaustion and fatigue brought about by physical over-exertion and mental stress. Modern herbalists are known to prescribe it for chronic fatigue, insomnia, high blood pressure and anxiety and exhaustion related impotence in men.
One final note about ashwagandha, or withania somnifera: It is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family, and is therefore to be avoided by individuals who are sensitive or have reactions to this family of plants, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and tobacco.