Let's face it: stress is unavoidable. Our bodies are constantly scanning the physical and emotional landscape for safety, and are primed to initiate the stress response whenever they sense danger. The stress response is designed to ultimately increase chances of survival in life-or-death situations by shifting the body’s metabolism away from repair and regeneration, to energy expenditure. The heart beats faster,
the blood pressure increases, blood sugar is released rather than metabolized, and digestion shuts down so that blood is kept in the periphery for the muscles to use. It is an impressive response orchestrated by hormones, namely cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
The Problem is that too many aspects of our modern lifestyles register as unsafe to us: the polluted air we breathe, the electromagnetic radiation we are exposed to, the chemically contaminated and nutritionally depleted food we eat, and the pressures of work and family. All of these factors keep the body in a constant state of stress. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on the entire body by damaging the cardiovascular system, suppressing the immune system, creating hormonal imbalances, interfering with sleep, promoting bone loss, accelerating aging, and creating blood sugar imbalances that may lead to obesity and diabetes. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 90% of all illnesses in America are caused or aggravated by stress.
The good news is that Mother Nature offers us herbs that have the ability to make the body more resilient to the damaging effects of stress. These herbs are most fittingly termed “adaptogens.” Similar to physical conditioning, whereby the body develops strength and flexibility over time so that it can perform better when challenged, adaptogens condition the nervous system to deal with a broad range of stressors and then quickly return to a state of balance once the stressor goes away, without robbing the body of vital energy.
There is an herbal adaptogen that is a little lesser known here in the Western world, but has reigned supreme for the last 5,000 years in its native land, India. It is called Holy Basil (Ocimumsanctum)
. Let me share with you the intriguing story and impressive researched benefits of this enlightening stress remedy.
or “Tulsi” is a sacred herb in the Hindu religion and is considered a pillar of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian traditional system of medicine. It is found in nearly every household and Hindu temple in India. The leaves are consumed daily to promote harmony, serenity, good health, and luck. In meditation practices, Holy Basil is used to help achieve states of higher consciousness or enlightenment.
is similar to culinary basil (Ocimum basilicum), yet provides a more medicinally interesting array of phytochemicals. Its essential oil content imparts a distinctive sweet clove-like aroma, while providing powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.* The herb is one of the richest sources of ursolic acid, a phytochemical with antioxidant properties that is being heavily researched for its ability to support detoxification, promote a healthy inflammation response and promote normal cell growth of breast, lung, endometrial, colon and skin cells.*
When researchers in India decided to study Holy Basil in the laboratory, they weren’t at all surprised to find that the herb that is believed to be a protector of life was in fact the perfect adaptogen. Holy Basil was found to prevent stress induced biochemical changes in animals, improve energy levels and endurance, support healthy immune function, and promote healthy gastric tissue which is often subjected to damage during times of stress.*
Unlike the poisons that often become tempting in the face of stress (i.e., coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol) and other more stimulating adaptogens like ginseng, Holy Basil promotes a peaceful state of alertness and focus. In fact, its balancing effect on brain chemistry makes it a perfect remedy for supporting emotional health.*
Finally, a description of Holy Basil
would not be complete without mentioning its modulatory effects on blood sugar demonstrated in human studies. This is good news for those who suffer from sugar cravings and are working toward maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Supercritical Holy Basil
is the world’s only dual-extracted HolyBasil grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers in pristine meadows bordering the Himalayas. It is Potency Assured to provide the full spectrum of the herb’s phytonutrients guaranteed to nurture all aspects of mind and body. It works best when you remember to breathe! Ahhhhh….
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