Are you felling exhausted? Is your concentration shot, are you becoming increasingly irritable and catching colds easily? However, you keep going because that’s what you’ve always done and you feel you have to. For those who frequently run themselves ragged before they crash and burn, rest assured there is a way to break this vicious cycle!
How stress affects your body
A little bit of stress can give you the motivation you need to achieve your goals. However, suffering from prolonged, chronic stress can have a negative effect on your health. Chronic stress and low mood are generally characterised by lack of mental energy, sleep disturbance and low self-esteem. Chronic stress can deplete the body’s energy supply beyond its capacity to refuel. Think of it as a car revving its engine before a big race: when you are stressed it’s like driving around with your foot constantly on the accelerator. If you keep driving like this you’ll run out of fuel quickly and eventually ruin your engine. With prolonged chronic stress, your body is constantly gearing itself up for a fight, increasing your heartbeat, telling your lungs to work faster and your muscles to contract in preparation. No wonder people who are stressed have tense muscles!
Rhodiola a herbal superstar
The herb Rhodiola rosea (also known as Golden Root) was first used in classical Greek medicine more than 2000 years ago and was traditionally used to stimulate the nervous system, lift poor mood, enhance work performance, improve sleep, combat fatigue and prevent high-altitude sickness. It is even believed that Rhodiola was responsible for the mighty strength in the Greek mythological tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece. Originally grown in the cold climates of Siberia, Alaska and Scandinavia, the herb was so valuable that the Siberians secretly transported it along ancient trails to Georgia to trade for wine, fruit, garlic and honey.
Give yourself a break
Just like applying your car brakes to slow things down, Rhodiola acts as your body’s circuit breaker. By switching off your body’s stress response system, it prevents the excessive release of stress hormones (such as cortisol), thus inducing a calmer, more stable state of mind and allowing your body to replenish its energy supply. Rhodiola is also thought to influence key brain chemicals such as serotonin and norepinephrine, and natural feel-good opioids such as beta-endorphins.
Rhodiola is further enhanced when combined with other premier brain tonic herbs, such as Gotu Kola and Withania.