02 Mar How To Stay Radiant In The Rain
Winter and Adaptogenic Herbal Support
One of the primary goals of Ayurveda, the sister to Yoga in terms of health system with Indian roots is preserving health — and Rasayanas (the Sanskrit term for an adaptogen) are considered the primary method for maintaining health of body and spirit. Literally translated, a Rasayana is “that which enters the essence” — in other words, that which promotes health and longevity. There are many individual fruits, herbs and spices in ayurveda that are considered Rasayanas. The key to Adaptogenics are that they are natural plants, fruits or herbs. No synthetic made drugs. The best and most wonderful thing about Adaptogenics are they there are no adverse side affects. Some important aspects that positively distinguish adaptogens:
- adaptogens are nontoxic
- adaptogens stimulate a nonspecific response in the body – an increase in the power of resistance against all kinds of stressors: physical, chemical, or biological – great for us who feel stress deeply (me for sure)
- adaptogens have a normalising influence on body physiology, irrespective of the direction of change from physiological norms caused by the stressor
I’ve found that since I incorporated adaptogenic herbs into my daily routine, in drinks, smoothies, coffee, warm evening milk, my auto-immune issues are a non-issue. I have coeliac disease and apparently I have something called Lupus, however, the moment I received this diagnosis I signed up for my first triathlon and told it to essentially EFFOFF. So, these beautiful herbs keep me well, warm and happy in the winter.
Adaptogenic Spices Already In Your Cupboard
- Black Pepper
Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2000 years. It has immuno-modulating effects that aid the body adapting to stress. It can also be helpful in treating anxiety.
Holy Basil, which also is known as Tulsi, is the go to elixir in India. It helps to fight fatigue and stabilize your immune system. It can also be used to regulate blood sugar and hormone levels.
Rhodiola is another potent adaptogen that has had many research studies done on it. Rhodiola helps the body to adapt to both mental and physical fatigue that is stress induced. The plant contains a natural phytochemical known as salisdroside. This natural component helps to combat anxiety and aging. Rhodiola suppresses the production of cortisol and increases levels of stress-resistant proteins. Studies have found that it restores normal patterns of eating and sleeping after stress, combats mental and physical fatigue, protects against oxidative stress, heat stress, radiation and exposure to toxic chemicals. Rhodiola protects the heart and liver, increases use of oxygen, improves memory and may extend longevity.
All of these beautiful adaptogens can be mixed into your hot drink, smoothies, nut milks or sprinkled on your porridge. Before I take any food I aim to repeat the most beautiful verse from the Bhagavad Gita:
May I remember the truth: the food being offered is Brahman, the individual offering the food is Brahman, and the process of offering itself is also Brahman. Therefore, I perform this offering with full awareness of Brahman alone. May the entire act of cooking, serving, and eating be transformed into sadhana—spiritual practice—leading us all toward Brahman, the highest goal of life. Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.
Brahmagnau brahmana hutam
Brahmaiva tena gantavyam
Om shanti, shanti, shanti