Five Plant Remedies for a Hurried, Stressed-Out Life
December 29th, 2013 by Holly Cornish
Stress is often called the #1 killer. It’s hard to say for sure, because the damage stress does is indirect – death is a side effect. But there’s no question that stress can cause or exacerbate illness. The best alternative cancer clinics make it a top priority to reduce a patient’s stress levels.
The best “treatments” for stress are getting rid of the source, praying and meditating, and getting enough sleep. Back in 1997 there was a best-selling book called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – and it’s all small stuff. That advice is absolutely first class, and the older I get, the truer it seems.
But I don’t mean to trivialize the stress some people have to go through. If your kid is into substance abuse or your spouse is abusive (to name just two common problems), then you’ve got every right to feel like your ship is sinking.
I know a 70-year-old woman who’s raising four little kids born out of wedlock to her drug-abusing, unemployed daughter. It’s a fact that problems like this put you at increased risk of cancer. You need to take it seriously and find a way to not be overwhelmed in a situation that would overwhelm any normal person.
Let me tell you about some plant remedies that can help. . .
Adaptogens are a unique group of herbs that can improve the health of your adrenal system, your stress control center. These substances are called adaptogens because they have the unique ability to “adapt” their function to your body’s specific needs.
Adaptogens strengthen your response to stress, enhance your ability to cope with fear, and fight fatigue. Slowly and gently, with no jolts or crashes.
Their effects are initially subtle and small, but also real and undeniable.
If you’d grown up in China or India, you probably would’ve heard of them. They’ve been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, as stress busters, energy boosters, and more.
Today, science has evidence to support their positive benefits and safety – something Big Pharma can’t hope to touch.
How do adaptogens work?
Think of an adaptogen as a thermostat. When it senses your room is too hot, it stops the furnace from blowing. And likewise when the temperature drops too low, it causes the furnace to blow out more warm air.
Adaptogens are whole plant extracts that work at the cellular level to help you overcome the detrimental effects of stress.
They can calm you down and energize you at the same time. Ideally, they don’t over-stimulate. They normalize imbalances and support your adrenal gland by neutralizing the dangers of stress.
Remember how during stress your body shuts down normal processes to preserve its “fight or flight” status? Well, adaptogens energize your body, eliminate toxic byproducts, and help you use oxygen better.
Most adaptogens grow in harsh climates at high altitudes and endure great challenges to survive. That’s why they produce chemical compounds that support your ability to adapt to changing conditions.
To name a few of their benefits, they:
- Support your immune system
- Create peaceful mental focus
- Control inflammation
- Confer controlled energy
There’s a lot to like about adaptogens!
But it’s also important to recognize what adaptogens are NOT. They’re not tranquilizers, sleep aids or antidepressants. If anything, they tend to be energizers, not something to slow you down.
Five recognized adaptogens
Though these plants have been around for thousands of years, it’s still smart to work with your doctor or naturopath before launching headlong into adaptogens.
There are adaptogenic formulas available too, but here we’ll introduce you to a few individually.
To qualify as an adaptogen, the plant must:
- Be backed by solid scientific evidence
- Act in a non-specific way to normalize your body against all forms of stress
- Enhance the immune function of your whole body
- Be able to maintain and restore homeostasis (a steady state without wild swings)
- Be safe and harmless, with no negative interactions with other substances, or with prolonged use
So what are these adaptogens? Let’s take a look…
- Asian Ginseng is the most potent – and treasured – medicinal plant on earth. It improves mental performance and ability to tolerate stress. Western herbalists say it restores and strengthens immune response, promotes longevity, and encourages normal cell growth. It’s an antioxidant, antidepressant, and can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Studies show it may protect against certain kinds of cancer and promote a sense of wellbeing.
- Holy Basil (also called Tulsi) is known in India for its anti-aging properties. Studies suggest it helps fight fatigue and stress, boosts immunity, and regulates blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormonal levels.
- Ashwagandha is sometimes called Indian ginseng. Dating back to Ayurvedic medicine, it regulates your immune system, eases anxiety, and slashes your cortisol levels. See Issue #139 for more about this herb.
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) – also called golden root – is a potent adaptogen. It creates a barrier to stress-related mental and physical fatigue. It was widely used by Russian cosmonauts, athletes and military personnel for many years, before ever becoming known in the U.S.
Rhodiola contains a phytochemical called salisdroside that helps fight anxiety and aging. It suppresses cortisol production. Studies show it:• Restores normal sleep and eating patterns
• Fights physical and mental fatigue
• Protects from oxidative and heat stress,
radiation, and toxic chemical exposure
• Protect your heart and liver
• Boosts oxygen usage
• Improves memory
• Extends longevity
• Helps with weight loss
- Eleuthero is used in traditional Chinese medicine for muscle spasms, joint pain, fatigue, and insomnia. Germany has approved its use for chronic fatigue and impaired concentration. Herbalists say it improves mood and memory.
As with anything new, proceed slowly and listen to your body. I find that ashwagandha, for example, makes me feel hyper. It’s just an individual side effect. Perhaps few others have the same reaction. In the grand scheme of things, adaptogens are certainly a far cry better than coffee, sugar, alcohol… or any number of other damaging ways to deal with the stress in your life.
But as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the best thing is to identify and get rid of the causes of your stress, not to medicate, even with a natural substance.
When your “fight or flight” response
is always turned on…
Your body is hard-wired to deal with stress to protect you from predators (lions and tigers and bears), or other aggressors. The response is supposed to go away after the danger has passed. But in civilized societies we’re exposed to non-stop stress.
While the problems we face are rarely life-threatening, our bodies respond to them as if they were. So we spend our lives as though we’re surrounded by big cats that want to eat us.
You face relentless demands on your time, resources, and emotions. And yes… even the technology that’s supposed to make your life “easier” has now firmly sucked you into its grip. Gotta answer those emails and comment on all those Facebook posts!
When you experience a perceived threat, your brain sets off a “fight or flight” alarm. A combination of signals prompts your adrenal glands to release an outpouring of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline boosts your heart rate, spikes your blood pressure and increases your energy. (You’re ready to “fight” those lions and tiger and bears, even if the “threat” is just a cop giving you a ticket or a bill you didn’t expect.)
Meanwhile, cortisol (your primary stress hormone) pumps extra sugar into your bloodstream. And curbs all “nonessential” functions… and that includes your immune, digestive, and reproductive systems.
Your stress-response system is supposed to be self-limiting. A threat passes, and you get back to normal. But in today’s s world, for many of us, the pressure never stops.
Chronic stress disrupts nearly all your body’s processes, and puts you on the fast track to associated health problems, including:
- Heart Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Auto immune diseases
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Weight gain/trouble losing weight
- Sleep Disorders
- Memory Impairment
- Common Cold
And that’s why it’s critical that you learn healthy ways to identify and cope with the stressors in your life. Because these coping skills could save your life.
What’s stressing YOU out?
Many people can’t even define stress, let alone have a hint that it might be slowly “killing” them.
Stress is any condition or feeling experienced when demands exceed your resources to carry them out. In other words, when your life feels out of control.
Some people appear to relax through everything, while others fly off the handle at every little thing.
Are you burning the candle at both ends? What does it take to yank your chain? How do “happy” events play into stress?
In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe studied whether stress contributes to or causes illness. Their survey of 5,000 medical patients queried whether the patients had experienced any of a series of 43 life events in the previous two years – from happy celebrations to major trauma.
Each event was assigned a “weighted” score for stress. The more events, the higher the patient’s score… and the larger the total weight of the events, the more likely the person was to become ill.
Interestingly, this list was updated in 2001, and while many events remained, there were also newcomers to the “top 10” highest weighted events, many of them related to financial strains.
Here’s the 1967 and 2001 lists side by side. Do you see yourself in any of these?
Other events included a birth in the family, son or daughter leaving home, a new job, a move, getting married, and even holiday celebrations.
One has to wonder why the death of a child is not listed anywhere, because it doesn’t take much imagination to see how traumatic it is to lose a child. Perhaps the event isn’t that common, compared to those above.
Without going into tons of detail, the two psychiatrists assigned the death of a spouse with a score of 100, and everything else was lower.
Many of these life events are out of your control, but not all.
If you already have a moderate or high risk of illness due to recent events, you’ll want to do everything in your power to avoid piling more stressors on.
For example, when you retire, lose a close family member or spouse, or a child goes off to college, avoid taking on other new obligations like a new job, a move, or a new course of study. Don’t pile stress on top of stress. Some things can wait, even positive things.
Avoid using coffee and sugary snacks as coping mechanisms. Or alcohol. Quick fixes they are. But the crash is never far behind. And in reality, they’re counter-productive to truly addressing your stress.
I’ve been meditating for almost forty years and it’s been a lifesaver for me. I can calm myself down in the face of almost anything. And I’ve also become skilled at eliminating sources of stress or avoiding them in the first place. Perhaps most useful, at the ripe old age of 61 I know my own limits. I can’t solve every problem, save everybody, fix everything. I’m not superman.
In our last issue, we covered one of THE most important steps you need to take to avoid or cure cancer and many other illnesses. If you missed it, I urge you to scroll down and read it now.
How botched-up dental
gives you cancer
Getting all the mercury amalgam fillings removed from your teeth is one of the easy no-brainers when it comes improving your health. Mercury is an obvious, clear-cut toxin. Only our dysfunctional medical-government complex could manage to pretend that mercury fillings are safe.
In the Alice in Wonderland world of government regulation, discarded mercury fillings are classified as toxic waste. Dentists must follow strict regulations for how they handle mercury fillings before they put them in patients’ mouths and after they take them out. If they don’t follow the regulations, dentists can be fined for contaminating the workplace and the environment.
But as long as the filling is in your mouth, mercury is perfectly safe, according to the government of the United States and the “scientists” it has put in charge of your health.
In Sweden, the government will actually pay half the cost of having your mercury fillings removed! The Swedes figure it saves money for their health system in the long run, compared to treating heart disease, cancer, and arthritis caused by mercury poisoning. Norway, Germany and Austria have all outlawed mercury fillings.
You probably know that mercury fillings are dangerous, but there are a couple of other dental problems I bet you don’t know about.
My good friend Bill Henderson, author of Cancer-Free, says, “At least 60% of the cancer patients I deal with have root canal-filled teeth (some as many as 10 or 11 such teeth). There is no question that these teeth cause cancer and many other degenerative conditions. If you have any root canal-filled teeth, you must have them removed immediately by a ‘biological’ dentist’ if you want to recover from your cancer.”
Bill Henderson thinks there’s a clear correlation between botched dental work and cancer. He says he’s known cancer patients to get completely well just by having their teeth fixed, without doing anything else, or at least not much.
While it’s easy to figure out you need to have your mercury fillings and root-canaled teeth removed, it’s not so easy to figure out who should do it. It’s hard for a dentist to safely remove mercury fillings without releasing a large amount of mercury into the mouth and saliva. The patient runs the risk of inhaling mercury-contaminated vapor and swallowing mercury “down the hatch” into the stomach. There’s a huge potential to take in more poison by having the fillings removed than by leaving them in place.
Only a small, embattled group of dentists called “biological dentists” have taken the danger of mercury fillings seriously enough to figure out a safe way to remove them. They’ve developed a protocol and trained other dentists how to do it.
We publish a Special Report called The Secret Poison in Your Mouth: Banish the hidden causes of cancer, heart disease and arthritis, written by M.L. Sarlin. The report gives you all the resources you need to locate a biological dentist who can help you. There’s a lot more to it than you’d imagine. It would be a bad idea to surf the internet for a few minutes and pick just anyone who calls himself a “mercury-free” or biological dentist.
I had my own mercury fillings removed about 15 years ago by a dentist who followed the protocol and I’ve never had any regrets. The safety measures have been greatly refined and improved since then. I think some of the most significant advances have been in the detoxing steps you need to take in the weeks and months following the filling removal.
All the while, biological dentists have been subjected to fierce persecution from the American Dental Association. In some cases they’ve been denied the right to practice. And in many cases they keep their activities quiet, so you can only find out about them by word of mouth.
My dentist was censured for being critical of mercury. He was only allowed to continue in practice after agreeing to stop teaching patients about mercury’s dangers. If a patient comes to him and asks for mercury-free treatments, including filling removal, he’ll do it, but he’s not allowed to take the initiative and tell patients this should be done.
At the same time, ever greater numbers of patients have started to demand non-mercury fillings (which any dentist can do), so it’s become something of a fad for poorly qualified dentists to advertise themselves as “mercury-free”.
So, weirdly, the best-qualified dentists are denied the right to practice while regular dentists with no training in the area are able to profit from the new demand for mercury-free dentistry.
A dental problem most people
don’t know about
While you’ve probably heard about the dangers of mercury amalgam fillings, and you may have heard the dangers of root canals, there’s another dental condition most people don’t know about called cavitation.
When dentists extract a tooth, they leave behind a membrane. This membrane can become infected and lead to a hole in the jawbone — called a cavitation. The gum heals over the wound from which the tooth was removed, and the patient thinks everything is just fine, but an infection festers inside the tightly sealed gum and lingers for years, even decades. It releases a steady stream of toxic bacteria into the bloodstream and can lead to a state of chronic inflammation related to arthritis, heart disease and other ailments.
Advocates of the cavitation theory believe the condition is common where wisdom teeth have been removed, although a cavitation can form where any tooth has been removed. If they’re right, you could have a nasty, even fatal infection beneath that nub of gum where you used to have wisdom tooth. Cavitations can also form at the base of root-canaled teeth.
Some doctors call cavitations a “hidden gangrene.” In a book entitled The Roots of Disease, Robert Kulacz, D.D.S. and Dr. Thomas Levy write, “In a review of 112 patients who were explored for possible cavitations, it was found that nearly 90% (313 out of 354) of wisdom tooth extraction sites had cavitated.”
The dangers of mercury amalgam fillings and root canals are well established. You’ll see the evidence if you order your own copy of our new Special Report, The Secret Poison in Your Mouth.
Cavitations are another story. This is a new, controversial theory. I first heard of it just a couple of years ago. I’m bringing it to your attention because I think it’s another possible explanation for the “mystery diseases” that mainstream medicine can’t explain or treat. I’m learning more and I may eventually seek treatment for the four sites of my long-gone wisdom teeth.
If you decide to take action and have the sites of your wisdom teeth examined and, if necessary, disinfected, most biological dentists won’t do it for you. They either haven’t bought into the theory or it’s too far out and they don’t want to invite more problems with the authorities than they already have.
The Secret Poison in Your Mouth will help you find someone to do this work if you choose. The procedure to fix cavitations is somewhat involved — the gum has to be cut open where the wisdom teeth used to be, the region has to be treated, the wound stitched shut, and then you have to return to have the stitches removed.
As often happens with new alternative treatments, there are people who say they’ve experienced huge improvements in their health, but there’s no broad body of evidence to support the treatment. The Special Report provides what information we’ve been able to gather on the subject. Meanwhile, if you’ve got mercury amalgam fillings, that’s a danger beyond dispute and I urge you to get the report.