Herbal remedies for Stress
In this article the discussion is about herbal remedies for stress and to find out the usefulness of different herbs.
Every one deals with stress and its related problems on a regular basis. Stress is always concerned with the mind. As per Ayurveda, not only a healthy body but a healthy mind is also required to enjoy a healthy life. Its only in Ayurveda, that the concept of a ‘healthy mind’, anxiety and stress relief is discussed.
All branches of Indian Philosophy believes in the existence of mind. Ayurveda also accepts that the presence of a mind is essential for perception. It is said that even in the presence of soul (Atma), Senses (Indriyas) and objects placed before us, we cannot perceive objects, if the mind (manas) does not participate.
Catastrophic events can create severe stressful conditions. In such cases, immediate medications i.e., pharma products are required. But it is observed that standard pharmaceutical therapy is not indicated for management of daily stress because of the side effects.
The common anti-anxiety medicines like benzodiazepines and buspirone can be given only for a short term as these medicines produce side effects like drowsiness or lethargy. Pharmaceutical drugs work only after the problem has developed, they do not try to prevent problems.
Herbal remedies for stress that work-
Ayurveda is particularly helpful in treating chronic metabolic and stressful conditions. To avoid or to overcome stress related problems, herbal alternatives are always helpful. Certain herbs are also clinically proven for this stress relieving activity. Modern science has also accepted this fact.
Stressful conditions, whether long term or short term, produce a series of emotional symptoms such as a feeling of personality disintegration, anxiety, irritation, phobia, poor concentration. Stress also creates exaggerated emotional responses such as depression, confusion, disorganization depression, forgetfulness, lack of motivation etc.
The herb Ashwagandha acts as an Adaptogen. An Adaptogenic herb means, an agent that improves the body’s natural ability to fight emotional and physical stress. The active constituents of Ashwagandha are known for stress attenuating activity. Cortisol is a hormone related to stress. Ashwangadha delays the release of cortisol by the adrenals, which prevents the negative effect of long term cortisol production and prevents exhaustion of adrenals. This is the direct anti stress effect, recognized by the scientists.
Seeds of Ashwagandha or Withania (100mg/Kg. Ip) showed a sparing effect on stress- induced adrenal corstisol and ascorbic acid depletion and on adrenal weight increase. They also show protective effect against aspirin and stress induced ulcers. Ref: Singh N etal: Int J crude Drug Res 2029(1982)
A recent pharmacological comparison of Withania and Panax ginseng, Demonstrated that Withania had similar potency to Panax in terms of adaptogenic tonic. Ref. Grandhi, A et al: J Ethanopharmacol 44, 131 (1994). It also boosts immunity.
Bacopo Monniere or Bacopa increases concentration ability and creativity. It decreases fluctuation of attention and distractibility.
Nardostachys Jatamansi or Spikenard promotes awareness, relaxation and strengthens the mind. Jatamansi is known as one of the best herbs for nervous disorders. It calms the muscles reduces spasms and is effective in relieving stress and strain during menopause.
Anxiety disorders may include restlessness, feeling tense, impatience, irritability, muscles’ tension, disturbed sleep, dry mouth, chest tightness etc. There is a harmless way to minimize the negative effects of anxiety or stress and strain i.e., through Ayurveda (Herbal remedies).
Neurostransmitters are the substances (as norepinephirine) that transmit nerve impulses across a synapse. Serotonin – a phenolic amine neurotransmitter – is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in brain blood serum.
I thought that all the herbs which relieve stress, strain related problems can support a healthy neurotransmitter balance. But what is the mechanism? How do these herbs provide energy to the brain cells? How do they keep the mind healthy? All these queries are an area for research in the Ayurvedic field as well as in the Pharma field. There are so many herbs which Ayurvedic practitioners use for stress and strain as there are no side effects, but the mechanism is unknown. Plenty of Research work is required for this.
I hope this artilce on herbal remedies for stress relief helps one and all.
By Julie Solomon
Julie Solomon is one of the co-founders of Herbal Destination and is the editor of this page; originally written by an Ayurveda expert. Please email her with any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
All the information provided above and opinions expressed above should not be construed as medical advice. This information is provided for educational purposes only. Any statements made above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products discussed above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.