When the mind and body goes through emotional issues the stress factor can and does leave us vulnerable to low energy, foggy mind, and binge or emotional eating/drinking…..
Our gut connects to the brain through the vagus nerve. This connection delivers nutrition (or toxins) to the brain based on the state of your inner ecology. So, if your intestinal system is loaded with trash…then your thoughts will directly reflect the same. However, if it is healthy and balanced, that will send positive vibrations to your noggin, and allow you to better handle adverse situations and circumstances so you don’t stress out.
(Reishi), also known as ganoderma lucidum, has been on the planet far longer than we have, and has adapted to situations that have left other plants, and animals, extinct.
Perhaps we can learn and benefit from this miraculous herb?
Reishi is a powerful grounding herb, and provides an adaptogenic quality that is passed on to those who consume it. So even though you don’t plan on adapting and surviving for the next 200 years, it could very well help you adapt and handle the stress of your morning commute, or that surly family member.
Some of the other positive effects of reishi, which may explain its benefits to stressed out individuals, is it’s antibacterial, viral, fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these conditions that are often found in the gut directly affects your ability to think correctly and therefore handle situations in a calm manner. When reishi helps eliminate them, that leaves a cleaner connection from your gut to your head, which enables you to think more clearly.
The leaves and roots of many passion flower varieties contain compounds called beta-carboline harmala alkaloids. These alkaloids act as natural monoamine oxidase inhibitors that aid in the metabolism of the feel-good neurotransmitters, serotonin and norephinephrine.
This helps produce a sense of calm and well being, and helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress by raising the levels of these happiness promoting chemicals.
Passion flower often comes in tincture or liquid form (tea), and has very few known side effects, which makes it a desirable way to relieve anxiety naturally.
Chamomile is a commonly known herb for its calming and mildly sedative effect. It has been used for hundreds of years by natural healers to help reduce stress and induce sleep.
Part of chamomile’s positive effects comes from it’s antibacterial nature, and another part comes from the simple engagement of our smell receptors and how it affects our brain.
Chamomile can be taken largely in tea form, but there are also significant benefits from inhaling its natural oils through essential oil products. This is effective because our 50 million smell receptors inside our nasal cavity connect to our brains limbic system – which is responsible for emotions, memory, and sexual arousal.
Lemon balm is a perennial herb in the mint family native to the southern Europe and Mediterranean regions. It has been studied for centuries and has been known to relieve anxiety, promote sleep, and sooth agitation.
In a 2004 human study, lemon balm was examined for its effect on laboratory-induced stress in humans. 18 healthy volunteers took a single dose of lemon balm extract or a placebo, and their mood was assessed before the dose and one hour after, via a standardized stress-simulation test.
The higher dose ameliorated the stress induced by the test, and produced significantly improved self-ratings of calmness and alertness. Even the lower dose produced a significant increase in the speed at which the subjects could do math problems, without any reduction in accuracy.
Work in some of these healing foods and herbs for stress, and watch your mind and body start to heal itself.
Lemon balm and Passion flower are my go to favorites when I feel less than energized and joyful…..they really do work far beyond a quick pick me up!