Adaptogens, which I’ve begun highlighting one by one in articles here and here, are useful herbal supplements to consider for stress management as well as anxiety. Adaptogens have an inherent ability to support the ups and down of our busy lives and adjust to support our bodies as we encounter stress, the fatigue of a poor night’s sleep, mood cycles. Adaptogens in general are good for balancing cortisol, too, which is known to have a definite negative impact on our health over time. Most adaptogens are high on safety, but all should be researched for your specific medicines, medical conditions, possible side effects, as well as contraindications. Also note, more is not usually better with adaptogens, so stay within recommended amounts.
I am clearly a big fan of adaptogens and have been using them off and on for 15 years. Whenever I forget about them, I happily return to wonder why I ever stopped using them. With that said, they don’t always have an instant result, but, from my experience, within two to four weeks, it is much more easily to discern their benefits.
Please note that I will put an extensive list of links for addition information and research studies related to the ingredients I am about to mention. As we are all our best advocates and friends, feel free to use these resources to help encourage the expansion of your awareness of natural health options.
Adaptogen Support for Anxiety
Now, about anxiety. I have it. I have had it for as long as I can remember. Antidepressants never worked for me and natural options that boost serotonin make me very sick to my stomach. I tend towards GABA supporting options, which promotes relaxation, but as someone who has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia, too sedating is, well, too sedating. ;-) To give a bit more context to my anxiety for reference as you assess the product I am about to discuss, I’ve had panic attacks repeatedly, racing thoughts, fairly extreme social anxiety and definitely a huge amount of performance anxiety.
I will only discuss specific products that I have used extensively and really like. Gaia products in general fit this category. While some find them more expensive than other brands, they are highly concentrated, generally very effective, and ingredients (with very few exceptions) are all grown and processed on their farm in North Carolina. The company has been around a long time and I have used their products for a lot of the past 15 years.
Over the past two years, I have been exploring their adrenal support supplements because they are adaptogen-based. While previously trying adaptogens singly, Gaia’s Adrenal Health Daily Support is a blend that has had a very profound and positive, stabilizing affect on my wellbeing. I am neither pumped up or slowed down. I have finally found a very nice, calm, but energetic state that is sustained if I take the supplements twice a day (see the package for instructions).
The two main ingredients in the product are rhodiola and holy basil. I explore holy basil more in-depth in this post. Rhodiola is know to be a more energizing adaptogen that helps with fatigue, lack of sleep, and exercise. Rhodiola has also been shown to burn fat, according to this article from Dr. Axe’s website. While from my research rhodiola has often been presented as an energizing herb, I wouldn’t put it up with the ginsengs. In fact, I find it calming and energizing at the same time and in a good combination, likely because of the rosavins.
Holy basil is an adaptogen that most find towards the calming end of the spectrum. Often, people use it to help with sleep. The Adrenal Health Daily Support supplement does not have a high amount of holy basil in it and I find that to be a good thing. I like to think it is there to take any possible edge off of the rhodiola, though I don’t find rhodiola so stimulating to need a balancing agent.
The other ingredients in the product come in a blend and include another one of my absolute favorite adaptogens, ashwagandha. Ashwagandha has proven helpful for thyroid health and DHEA levels. It also help reduce inflammation and supports the immune system. I find it helpful along with rhodiola for when my thoughts are racing and it is hard for me to focus. I also feel that it helps with any tendencies towards compulsive behaviors.
As I am only highlighting a few of the ingredients and doing so at a summary level, please use the resources below, including the link to the product, to learn more about these adaptogens to see if you may want to explore the benefits of the combination in Adrenal Health Daily Support.
The End :)
I have tried many things for depression and anxiety, including - but truthfully not limited to ;-) - prescriptions, GABA, 5-htp, tryptophan, theanine, St. John’s Wort, SAM-e, lavender & magnesium (post coming soon on these last two great stress and anxiety options!!). While I have no idea what may help each/any of you, I share my story and the info on this product and its ingredients in the hopes that it will help someone. I have spent nights crying, wishing I could feel better, be more patient, happier, etc. This Gaia product has stabilized my ups and downs, allowed me to focus much more, and has put my body and mind at ease. Whether with this tool or another, I wish the same for you!
Rhodiola Research Studies & Credible Articles:
Holy Basil Research Studies & Credible Articles:
My rundown: Awesome Adaptogens: Holy Basil
Ashwangandha Research Studies & Credible Articles: