We all know that 2020 was a year like no other when it comes to the huge amount of stress we've been under. But with the recent passing of the new year, the truth is that things are still incredibly stressful for most people, making it incredibly important to prioritize our mental health and well-being. 


We recently wrote a blog all about well-being explaining how it’s holistic and multi-faceted and how it involves our emotional, psychological and social health. Well-being is all about feeling good in all the differing areas of our lives. Recognizing that in the depths of winter during a global pandemic this can feel appreciably difficult, one way we can nourish our physical and mental health is through the wisdom of plants. 


Plants have been used for thousands of years by many cultures to support well-being, and carrying on these traditions can have plenty of benefits for us. Of particular interest here are Adaptogens, a special class of plants that have the power to restore inner balance and help the body adapt to stress.  


You may already be familiar with the Adaptogens we use within Kite Sparkling Tea including TulsiAshwagandhaMoringa and Licorice, but there are so many other amazing and powerful plants that we want to bring your attention to!


Rhodiola Rosea, Eleutherococcus Senticosus and Schisandra Chinensis are amazing adaptogens with incredible offerings, to name a few. These herbs have been studied extensively, over long periods of time, demonstrating their stress-protective effects and therapeutic qualities.


Herbal Actions & Adaptogens 


One thing to note about Adaptogens is that in order to have a beneficial effect on the body and mind, they must be taken over a prolonged period of time to take effect. This means that usually with adaptogens you won’t feel an instantaneous response. That said, this certainly does not mean that adaptogens are not powerful herbs. Quite the opposite actually! Adaptogens have the ability to support chronic stress, fatigue and anxiety or depression.


See the chart below for the different adaptogens along with their actions. You can use this chart as a guide to decide which herb you think is right for you and your specific needs. Along with other forms of support like dietary changes, exercise, sunshine (Vitamin D!) community support and social engagement you can use this chart (and speak with a qualified health professional) as a starting place to discover the herbs that can also assist with your mental health.

 

Adaptogens For Mental Health & Well-Being 

 

ADAPTOGEN  ACTION & USAGE

Ashwagandha

(Root)

Ashwagandha is a root that hase been used in Ayurveda for 6000 years (Singh et al, 2011).

It is most well known for its ability in helping the body cope with stress. It has herbal actions that support the cortisol response, meaning that it helps to reduce cortisol which thereby helps the body relax (Chandresekhar et al, 2012).

It can be mixed with hot water and honey and used either topically (on inflamed area) or ingested as a powder,  mixed into desserts, hot beverages and smoothies. It is brewed into herbal infusions (teas) and is found in Kite Sparkling Tea with Adaptogens - Unwind!

Rhodiola Rosea 

(Root)

Rhodiola has been used as traditional medicine for centuries in Asia, grown in the Himalayan belt, Tibet, China and Mongolia and cultivated in Europe and North America (Chiang et al, 2015).

It is best known for helping the body regulate the response to stress & can improve symptoms associated with depression (Perfumi et al, 2007).

It is often used in the form of an herbal extract or as a daily supplement.

 

Schisandra Chinensis

(Fruit, berry)

Schisandra has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine since at least the1500s (Szopa et al, 2017).


It has the ability to boost mental performance and in turn, reduce exhaustion (Penossian et al, 2010).


It is often used as an herbal extract and can also be made into a tea or tincture from the whole dried berry or from powder.

 

 

Eleutherococcus Senticosus

(Siberian Ginseng)

(Root)

Siberian Ginseng has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years.

 

It is known to boost both mental and physical performance as well as treat symptoms associated with depressionsuch as appetite (Lee et al, 2017). 

 

It is often consumed as a tea infusion or as an herbal extract.

 

 

Holy Basil / Tulsi 

(Leaf)

Tulsi is a sacred plant used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. 

 

It is known for helping with alleviating anxiety and depression, along with stress management (Cohen et al, 2017).

 

It is often used in cooking or consumed as a tea. Also found in Kite Sparkling Tea with Adaptogens - Align.

 

 

A Final Thought 

 

While we are still at the starting point of 2021, there is no better time to become aware and assess our mental health and mindset. Whether we realize it or not, we have an incredibly powerful influence on how we experience our reality and despite things being tough we can make the choices that improve our well-being. Go easy on yourself, take a deep breath and remember that baby steps do add up to make a difference. 

Cheers, 

It's Time to Unwind!

 

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949815000563  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5378736/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17072830/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628357/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/ 

 


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