Stress Less! Address the Root Cause with this Holy Solution
“It is believed that as much as 80% of all disease and illness is initiated and aggravated by stress.”
– The National Safety Council
Wow! A statement like this gives good reason for us all to ponder the role stress plays in our lives—and more importantly, what we can do to neutralize it and minimize its ill effects on our bodies… and brains.
A first step is to understand the physiological response our bodies have to stress. We’ve all heard of the “fight or flight” response. It’s our built-in system for dealing with threats, real or perceived. For instance, let’s say you encounter a danger—you are on a hiking trail and you see a rattlesnake crossing your path. Immediately, your hypothalamus at the base of your brain sends an alert signal out to your body. A combination of signals triggers your adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
The adrenaline gets your heart rate and blood pressure up and gives you a rush of energy to escape the danger. In a flash, you step back to a safe distance. Cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone, releases glucose into your bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and signals substances to be on the ready for tissue repair. It also puts your body in survival mode, reducing nonessential functions—altering immune responses and suppressing the digestive and reproductive systems and growth processes.
Mentally, your body’s natural alarm response communicates with the area of your mind that manages mood, motivation, and fear.
Overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt almost all your body’s processes and lead to:
No wonder so many of us lie awake at night, report fatigue, headaches, ongoing irritability and unexplained mood swings because of feeling stressed out. Studies are now showing that overall stress levels have increased, with greater percentages of adults reporting extreme levels of stress. Adults report that stress has a negative impact on their mental and physical health.
Address the Stress
While you may know about managing stress through lifestyle choices—exercise, diet, meditation, pursuit of hobbies, etc., you may not be addressing the underlying physiologic issue. If you suffer from everyday stress, you can supplement with herbs and nutrients that support your body’s natural return to calm. And that can make a huge difference.
A Holy Solution
If you’ve got stress, get holy…basil that is. (It’s not the basil you find in your favorite pasta dish.) Holy basil is an adaptogenic herb native to the Indian Subcontinent with a fitting name, as it is highly revered in the Hindu religion. Widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, clinical research suggests that it may help support the body’s natural response to stress:
• A six-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled human study examined subjects with stress symptoms. Those who received a holy basil extract formula showed a 39% greater improvement in stress symptoms than those who received placebo.
• Additional research showed that after a period of introduced stress and elevated stress hormones, the introduction of holy basil extract supplementation was correlated with a return to normal corticosterone and other stress hormone levels in the test subjects.
It appears that holy basil may play a role in helping your body to turn off the “stress alarm.”
When you address the stress response in your body, you’ll also be supporting the health of your brain, too.
The Amen Clinics biomedical evaluation is part of The Amen Method “Four Circles Approach” to mental and physical health. We treat each patient as an individual, and take a full personal history before beginning SPECT imaging or recommending any treatment program. Call us today at 1-888-288-9834 or schedule an appointment online.