About Authors: HONEY JAIN, Mr Ranjan Bairwa
M.PHARM , PHARMACOGNOSY
Even with improvements in health care, many Boomers are finding themselves overwhelmed with the stresses of modern life. Luckily, there are natural ways to relieve stress, including daily exercise, meditation, deep-breathing techniques and the use of time-honored herbal supplements.‘Stress response’ are many and varied-marriage, divorce, death of a loved one, new job, move, etc.-any intense emotion such as fear or anger, fatigue, physical injury, surgery, temperature extremes, noise, crowding, illness.
There is a definite relationship between stress and illness, although the exact nature of this relationship is not yet fully understood. The more frequent and severe the life changes, the more likely we are to become ill.Combination of key traditional anti-stress herbs may help settle down your world and step up your energy levels to dynamic new heights.
Stress is the result of conflicting internal and external pressures that causes strain and alter the effectiveness of individuals.Stress can possibly be best described as a group of body-wide non-specific responsesinduced by any number of situations or events. The body’s reaction to stress is the same, independent of the source. Nerve signals are sent from the brain to several glands and these react by secreting hormones to cope with it.Stress represents the reaction of the body to stimuli that disturb its normal physiological equilibrium or homeostasis, often with detrimental effects. As a result, the weight of the spleen, thymus, and thyroid in the immune system can be decreased by immobilized stress.
STRESS RELATED DISORDERS
There is a definite relationship between stress and illness, Some commonly stress related illnesses include:
* heart disease-stress often increase blood pressure and pulse along with altering blood chemistry such as increasing cholesterol levels;
* infectious diseases and cancer-stress reduces the effectiveness of the immune system;
* digestive disorders-the sympathetic nervous system which is activated during periods of stress, reduces production of most digestive juices, except for stomach acid
* skin disorders, the most obvious effects are the appearance of rashes and premature aging.
* In women, stress has been linked to fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, disruption of the menstrual cycle, low libido and lack of orgasm.
Wanting to eat more or not eating
Irritability Teeth grinding
Anger Headaches Smoking & drinking
Upset stomach Forgetfulness
Chronic Fatigue even after rest
What you can do to keep yourself living the good life?
Take a few minutes each day preferably at the same time. Turn on your favorite music, Sit, or lie down Place your hands with the palms up in a comfortable position. Now, close your eyes. Let yourself think of something you really like. Mine is a Blue Rose that has just opened and I can smell the beautiful fragrance.
In doing this you are taking the time your body needs to relax. Music increases the endorphin levels (brain chemicals that lift your moods).
Pamper yourself take the time to get a relaxing Massage. This will help relieve all the tension that can build up. The type of massage I highly recommended is Acupressure, and Reikie,
You will experience a whole different type of massage. They work on the meridians in your body. Through a state of energetic balance a balance which pervades the whole of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states of being. We can learn to maintain the balanced state that we experience through the acupressure treatment. You are healing your body through therapeutic healing touch. Some people are aware of Hand & Feet,Reflexology:
Following an exercise program at least 3 or 4 days a week will help in the release of stress. Exercise helps the endorphin levels. There are many types of exercise. Choose one that you would not likely give up before you start. As this is something you should do for your new "Life-Style"
The deep Hara breathing is excellent for the body. There are classes you can join. Or Video films to teach you. Check at library, bookstores & video stores.
Highly recommended. You balance the body & Mind. Can be done anywhere home, park office, get together with other people for a day or evening. Video films can be rented from Vida centers checked out in a library or purchased from
Walks, Jogging, treadmill, ET. The choice is yours " do it for your health."
Changing your "Life-Style " is getting a new education to a better way of life.
FACTS AND TIPS
· Start a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, and whole grain products. The body's increased need for vitamin A, C, and for thiamin, riboflavin, and other B Vitamins. Stress also prompts the Kidneys to increase the secretion of important minerals, like calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
· Suggestion the best way to know if you are getting all you need from your diet is to have muscle testing done buy a qualified Homeopathic Doctor.
· More than one billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day. In total, 2.7 billion struggle to survive on less than two dollars per day.
· Worldwide 10.6 million children died in 2003 before they reached the age of five.
Step 1 - Physical ways to manage stress
Balanced nutrition is the key to maintaining overall good health, but it also can affect yourcapacity to cope with stress. When you are going through a period of stress, you need more ofall nutrients, particularly the B-group vitamins, which affect the nervous system, andcalcium, which is needed to counteract the lactic acid your tense muscles produce. If you are lacking nutrients, your body will not be equipped to handle stress effectively.
Eat a variety of fresh foods to ensure that you consume all of the forty to sixty nutrients you need to stay healthy. These include vitamins, minerals, amino acids (from proteins), essential fatty acids (from vegetable oil and animal fat), and energy from carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Stay awayfrom caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate); which causes nervousness and inhibit sleep if too much is consumed. Caffeine causes a fight-or- flight response in your body and uses up your reserves of the B-group vitamins, which are important in coping with stress.
Alcohol also depletes your body's B-group vitamins, and can disrupt sleep and impair your judgment or clarity of thought. Avoid sugar, including white sugar, sugar in pre-packaged food, in soft drinks and even brown sugar. These provide no essential nutrients and can cause an immediate energy "high" followed by a prolonged energy "low."
« BE ACTIVE
Exercise is medicine; it is one of the best things you can do for your body. Apart from making you fitter, stronger and more flexible, exercise will make you happier, more confident and smarter! It enhances concentration and can make you more alert. Establishing a regular exercise routine is the best way to stay motivated with a healthy eating program;
Step 2 - Emotional Stress management
« IDENTIFY YOUR STRESS
« WORK OUT YOUR PRIORITIES
« SET YOUR SELF REALISTIC AND ACHIEVABLE PERSONAL GOALS
« AIM FOR PERFECTION BUT ACCEPT THAT 90 PER CENT IS OK
« THINK POSITIVELY
« IDENTIFY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
« LAUGHTER STIMULATES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
HERBS FOR STRESS
Herbal help for stress depends on four categories of herbs
1. Adaptogens - These are herbs that demonstrate a non-specific activity-like increase in power of resistance against physical, chemical or biological agents, and it has a normalizing influence, independent of the nature of the pathological state.
Examples are Siberian Ginseng¸ Aswagandha, Shitake and Schinzandra
2 Nervines - A herbs that have an effect on the nervous system in some way-there are nervine tonics
Examples Skullcap, Gingko; nervine relaxants such as Lemon Balm, Lavender, Lobelia and Hops and nervine stimulators such as kola nut, coffee, rosemary and peppermint.
3 Antispasmodics - these herbs affect the peripheral nerves and muscle tissues and have an indirect relaxing effect on the body.
Examples are Black Cohosh, Mugwort, Linden, Damiana and Hyssos
4 Hypnotics - this group of herbs aid in inducing a deep and healing state of sleep. (they do not cause hypnotic trances
Examples are Chamomile, Linden, the medium ones include Motherwort , Skullcap and the strong hypnotics include Valerian, Hops and Passionflower
Other medicinal herbs for stress management are
Zizyphus is a Traditional Chinese herb that has been found to have sedative and hypnotic properties. It has traditionally been used to help relieve anxiety, insomnia, nervous exhaustion, irritability, palpitations and excessive sweating in the nervous individual and during menopause. It may also help to relieve insomnia due to nervous exhaustion and anxiety.
Hops has been found to have sedative and hypnotic properties. Hops has traditionally been used to help relieve sleeplessness, excitability, and anxiety and is often used specifically for restlessness associated with nervous tension headache and/or indigestion.
Schizandra has traditionally been used to assist physical performance, endurance and resistance to the effects of stress. It can also be used to help relieve nervous system disorders such as sleeplessness and irritability.
Vervain is a tonic and relaxant that has traditionally been used as a calming restorative for debilitated conditions and particularly for nervous exhaustion.
Oats is considered to be a restorative to the nervous system as well as being nutritive. It is considered to be specific for nervous debility and exhaustion, and to strengthen the nervous system
Chamomile – traditionally used by the ancient Egyptians for easing the discomfort from overindulgence in food and alcohol, this plant can be used as an aid to digestion which is often aggravated through stress. Additionally it offers mild tranquillizing effects and will aid restful sleep making it a good quality anti stress herb.
Kava– tonics prepared from the roots of this plant will act as a general relaxant which will relieve stress, insomnia and anxiety. It has been used as a medicinal plant by Polynesian cultures for thousands of years.
Lavender– this plant is one of the kings of the herbal medicine world, containing a huge array of compounds which work in a multitude of different ways to promote good health. Clinical studies have shown lavender to be a highly effective stress reliever and alleviator of insomnia especially when it results from stress.
Lemon balm– there are many active compounds within this plant including terpenes which is known to have soothing properties and eugenol which will relax tension in the muscles. Studies have shown that it can be effective as a stress reliever and mood enhancer. Additionally lemon balm has powerful antioxidant properties as well as possibly acting as an antiviral and antibacterial medicine.
Passion flower– the leaves and roots of this vine are used to produce anti-anxiety medicines shown to be as effective as highly developed pharmaceutical drugs and with none of the side effects. This plant will soothe, balance and act as a general tonic for overwrought nerves and for the relief of the sleep disturbances which occur as a result.
Rosemary– this anti stress herb is a member of the mint family and has a multitude of benefits for mind and body. It is a great tension reliever and works to relax the muscles and the mind.
St John’s Wort– the benefits of this plant are now well documented and although there were some efforts made to discredit its efficacy, led mainly by the hugely powerful pharmaceutical giants, it has continued to grow in popularity simply because it is a wonder plant. It can be used for stress relief, anxiety disorders and depression.
Valerian– this plant acts like a sedative and as such may cause some drowsiness. Studies have shown that this plant has an incredible two sided benefit – sedating where the patient is agitated and stimulating where the patient is fatigued thus bringing about balance and harmony. It is perhaps no surprise that one of the old folk names for this plant is ‘all-heal’.
Stress is a common phenomenon that is experienced by every individual. When stress becomes extreme, it is harmful for the body and, hence, needs to be treated. . If the stress is extreme, the homeostatic mechanisms of the organism become deficit and the survival of the organism is threatened. Under these conditions, stress triggers a wide range of body changes called General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). Stress management programs which emphasized on specific stressors and coping mechanisms are importantat at both personal as well as organizational levels to ameliorate the impact of occupational stress on job-related strain and health.
* Scientific Research and Essays Vol. 5(9), pp. 883-886
* Biological Pharmacological Bulletin, 26(5), 691–694.
* Planta Medica, 64(4), 353–356.
Reference ID: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1015
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