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3 Powerful Adaptogens Help Reduce Weight Gain From Stress
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Often when people, especially westerners, first learn about herbs that are adaptogens they are amazed and a bit incredulous. How could one herb do so much? In some cases the same herb that can help you lose weight, is also the one to try if your goal is to gain weight. At the same time it may also help prevent cancer, balance blood sugar, calm digestion and help you sleep. To westerners this seems amazing because we are used to thinking about finding unique solutions to specific health issues and are accustomed to thinking about individual body parts rather than a whole system.

Our Western approach to weight loss has been along these very logical lines. If someone has too much weight it must be because they eat too much and the solution is to reduce the number of calories. Period. While this is technically true, it doesn't take into consideration the fact that your body doesn't function as a collection of individual parts, it works best as an interconnected system in which the different parts cooperate with each other.

Excess weight is often a symptom of imbalance and the solution may be more about restoring the balance so all the different parts can work harmoniously together than it is about pinpointing the one thing that needs fixing and zap it with the perfect drug or the best diet. While this means there may be many solutions, it also means that one of the holistic adaptogenic herbs known for an ability to balance your system may be a good addition to a weight loss program that includes a healthy diet and exercise.

To be called an adaptogen an herb must help the body adapt to stress and must have three specific traits.

  • It must be nontoxic.
  • Its effect must be non-specific, affecting the body as a whole rather than targeting a specific organ or system.
  • It must help create a state of balance in the body, bringing it back to normal.

Most adaptogens have been recognized and used by traditional healers for centuries, and today, many of their benefits have been verified by scientific research. If you are interested in natural remedies for weight loss they are worth consideration. Some examples are:

  • Rhodiola rosea is native to cold regions of the world such as Scandinavia and Siberia. Russian scientists discovered it helps reduce fatigue improve endurance in athletes making it a popular supplement for those looking for improved performance. It may also have a role as a general stress reduction tool. The website RhodiolaRosea cites animal studies which have found that rhodiola helps lower the stress hormone cortisol, high levels of which contribute to obesity in a number of different ways.
  • Ashwaganda is an herb used by traditional Ayurvedic healers in India. Like Rhodiola it helps relieve fatigue, increase stamina and boost strength. It is known for its calming effect and may be useful for people suffering from anxiety or depression, conditions that promote weight gain. It is also associated with significant reductions in the stress hormone cortisol according to a 2006 article in the Life Extension magazine.
  • Reishi is a Chinese mushroom used for centuries by traditional healers and said to have miraculous health benefits through its ability to restore balance and prevent disease. Like the other adaptogens, reishi is know for its ability to restore healthy cortisol levels and promote health through reduced stress and anxiety.

Whether your goal is to lose weight or just enjoy great health and more energy, adaptogens may be worth a try.


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