Stress is a natural part of life, but when it happens too frequently or too intensely, it can wreak havoc on everything from immune response to weight gain. The body is equipped with a complex system of checks and balances to help protect itself from the stresses and anxieties that life delivers every day, but these systems can fail or become out of balance when stress doesn’t let up. If you’ve been experiencing stress in high amounts lately, it may be time to add herbs to your life that support adrenal function, strengthen the nerves, and help your body protect itself from the damaging effects of anxiety. Today, we’re going to look at just a few amazing healing herbs you can enjoy as herbal tea infusions that can help in all these ways and many more.
Sitting on top of both your kidneys is a small gland called the adrenal. These little endocrine glands release specific hormones that help the body respond to and protect itself from stress. When everything from a traffic jam to a family emergency happens , you can bet that your adrenal glands are hard at work.
Cortisol is one of the most important hormones that the adrenals create. It is secreted as a stress response and it helps the body handle stressful situations while also protecting itself at the same time. Cortisol in the blood turns down the immune system, increases blood sugar, encourages the body to crank up the metabolism for more energy, and helps with faster muscle response. If you put all of these things together, you have a body that’s moving fast and strong without wasting any energy on unnecessary things. Cortisol is meant to help us fight or flee from dangerous situations, so it’s no surprise it comes out when we’re under lots of pressure.
Epinephrine and norepinephrine are other hormones that get synthesized in the adrenal glands and like cortisol they also help us prepare for stress. Changes in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, adrenaline availability, and clarity of concentration are all affected by these hormones.
As you can see, the adrenals do a lot of work. When healthy, they react when needed and work with the parasympathetic nervous system to ‘turn things down’ when the perceived threat is over. When our adrenals get worked too hard, too often, they can become hypersensitive to stress, over reactive, and troublesome for other parts of the nervous system to balance. This is why caring for them is an essential part in living a calm life.
Herbal Tea For Adrenal Health
Here are some amazing and gentle herbs that can be enjoyed as an herbal tea for adrenal support and nervous system nourishment…
This classic Chinese herb helps the entire body deal with stress in a better way while also supporting the immune system.
As we age, stress seems to go deeper. Ginseng additions to your favorite herbal tea can be a great ‘daily tonic’ method for getting some excellent adrenal support that’s also highly adaptogenic in nature.
This Russian and Arctic champion feeds the adrenals and makes a calming-yet-energizing addition to any herbal blend.
For men, licorice root is a tasty and helpful addition to herbal tea blends. It helps heal adrenal deficiency while also providing strengthening benefits to many other parts of the body affected by stress. Licorice can increase testosterone, so it’s a good choice for men who deal with anxiety or adrenal fatigue. A little goes a long way!
The name means ‘Horse Sweat’ in Sanskrit due to its scent. This traditional Ayurvedic herb is the Indian champion for stress-related issues of all kinds, and it’s given freely as a tonic to help heal the adrenals and to help cultivate a healthy stress response overall.
Add this nearly tasteless herb to any herbal tea blend to get some amazing adrenal tonic properties. I put astragalus in almost everything, and if you try it for yourself for a few weeks you’ll see why!
Adrenal Tea Blends
While there are many good adrenal support blends and recipes out there, my favorite method for working with adaptogenic herbs is just to add them to blends I already enjoy. I often add astragalus to my favorite calming blends, or add rhodiola or ashwagandha to nutritive blends. I usually recommend astragalus to anxious people as a daily tonic because it’s so simple to mix in with whatever you love to drink each day.