This week, as we are all struggling through the last vestiges of winter, many people I speak to are feeling a bit tired and really ready for the spring. I have noticed my own levels of energy have dropped too, and so have been thinking about the best ways to boost these and how we can get some bounce back in our step.
I have tested my family’s Vitamin D this week, it’s easy to do a finger prick test at home and it has only taken a few days for me to get the results back, not surprisingly myself and my sons are all low and so I have increased the dose of our supplements…. low Vitamin D is a very common cause of fatigue and recurrent infections at this time of year. I have also been trying to cut back on refined sugars, this can make a real difference to energy levels and help with clear thinking and reducing brain fog. Herbs that can support energy are called adaptogens, they contain phytochemicals which regulate and support our adrenal glands and by replenishing our deeper immunity and regulating our response to stress, adaptogens replenish our health and vitality and are true rejuvenate tonics. They literally help the body to adapt, adjust and recalibrate itself depending on our emotional and physical surroundings. So, for example, they can help calm in times of stress, restore balance to our hormones, optimise the functioning of organs and give us energy when we are tired.
The term adaptogen was introduced into scientific literature by Russian toxicologist Nikolay Lazarev in 1957 to refer to ‘substances that increase the state of non-specific resistance’ in stress, adaptogen herbs must have the four ‘Ns’ :
Is one of my favourite adaptogenic herbs, as it is such a useful herbal ally. Able to nourish the body and calm the mind, strengthening our hormone systems, adrenal glands and energy while aiding sleep and reducing anxiety.
Rhodiola is another wonderful nourishing adaptogen, which I often use in chronic fatigue, it helps to boost energy and clear brain fog, improving clarity and focus.
This is an Ayruvedic herb, which translates as ‘ she who has a hundred husbands’ referring to the fact that this herb has been used for centuries to boost energy, stamina and balance hormones! …. Shatavari is a wonderfully nourishing and balancing herb, especially good for menopausal women.
I love how herbs like adaptogens can be nourishing and replenishing to our bodies, helping to strengthen us and build stamina, and offsetting the effects of stress …..they just might be a useful tool we could all benefit from in our busy lives, particularly as we come to the end of winter…..