Article - Using plant medicine to manage stress Article - Using plant medicine to manage stress

How to use traditional plant remedies to manage stress

We all experience stress at some point in our lives. And unfortunately for many of us, it's an ongoing issue.

When looking at how to manage stress, it's important to look at yourself as an individual. We all feel and respond to stress differently, and how we approach our stress should differ, too.

There are two distinct camps we tend to sit in with regard to how we feel stress. 

On one end of the spectrum are those who feel "wired and tired". This is a very common situation in our fast-paced lives, where we feel addicted to being busy. Where being exhausted almost becomes a status symbol. 

On the other side of the stress spectrum are those who feel a lack of energy, experience low mood, a lack of concentration and mental exhaustion. Rather than "wired and tired", you just feel tired. 

These two different feelings of stress correspond to the two systems at play when your body responds to stress - the nervous system and the adrenals. If there is an imbalance in either function (or both), your body won't respond to stress in a normal way, especially if it is prolonged stress.


The Nervous System

The nervous system - which comprises of the brain, spinal cord, and every single nerve in your body – is the Master Control Centre for everything that your body does.

A balanced, well-functioning nervous system will respond to an acute stressor and then relax. It’s designed to protect us, by getting us ready for action when we are in danger.

When we have prolonged stress, our nervous system can become programmed to respond to non-emergency situations like an emergency. This response causes us to overreact or feel unable to cope and shut down.

Over time, this reprogramming of the nervous system can have a full body effect – changing hormone production, neurotransmitters (serotonin), digestion and even immune function. It’s so important to address chronic stress in your body, before it gets to this level.

If you experience stress in the form of low mood, feeling overwhelmed and out of energy, it could mean your stress manifests from an overwhelmed nervous system.

 

The Adrenal Glands

Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing a bunch of different hormones and chemicals in your body. They are also the main producer of the stress hormone cortisol. Normal cortisol levels peak during the day and subside at night. This is a normal daily cycle.

During prolonged stress, your adrenal glands can get overwhelmed or “worn out” and cortisol levels become dysregulated.

You basically have too much cortisol because your adrenal glands are producing more than is normal to get you through your daily cycle.

Over time, if you continue along this path, your adrenals will become exhausted and sort of run out. This is what you really need to avoid because it is a long road to get back to health from there.

During times of stress, if you feel anxious, worry a lot and have trouble calming your mind at night, it could mean your stress manifests from overwhelmed adrenals. 

 

What you can do about it

The good news is that our bodies are always aiming for homeostasis (balance) and if you provide yours with the right environment, it will shift back into balance.

However, the longer you live in chronic stress, the harder it is to pull yourself out of it and the more physical symptoms of stress you will have to undo. The time is now to do something.

While there are a range of things you can do to help your body find balance again.  Traditional natural plant remedies are very well suited to support you.

Many traditional medicinal plants are scientifically researched help to modulate the body's stress response, support the nervous system and provide nourishment to the adrenal glands.

Because plants are complex and contain many different phytocompounds (the active parts), they can work simultaneously on multiple issues at once.

For example, certain plants will calm your mind and your digestive system, while some will support your cortisol levels and reduce inflammation. Others can support your immune system and help with heart palpitations.

 They can work well together to create a complete solution, adressing both symptoms and the underlying imbalance.

Of course, you must also make an effort to reduce the stressors in your life where possible.  Your body is only designed to handle so much.

 

Formulating traditional plant remedies requires extensive technical knowledge

Medicinal plants are incredibly complex and part of their make-up includes many different phytocompounds, which are the active ingredients that we are harnessing when we take plant remedies.

Phytocompounds can be extracted from plants in a few different ways; with hot water, alcohol or oil. This is because some phytocompounds are water soluble whereas others are fat soluble (oil or alcohol is the appropriate extraction method).

Effective health care using plant remedies requires extensive knowledge!

Our founder, Sandra Clair, has been working in traditional plant healing for more than 30 years, as an apprentice and student, a health practitioner and researcher.

Her latest endeavour is a PhD at University of Canterbury (NZ) where she researched ways to integrate centuries of empirical knowledge with today’s pharmaceutically based regulatory approach.

Sandra founded Artemis 21 years ago, after moving to New Zealand from Switzerland and seeing that plant-based medicines which are so well used in her homeland were not available here. She's played a key role in the growing acceptance of plant-based medicine in New Zealand, through her company, public speaking and research. Learn more about Artemis

 

Our solution to help your body come back into balance

We have two organic, non-GMO and 100% plant based formulas nourish and support an overwhelmed nervous system and/or adrenals. 

These traditional medicinal teas give your body support to combat stress,  and with no artifical ingreidents, none of the additives it doesn’t. They combine the freshest ingredients which are grown, harvested and processed in the right ways to meet the highest organic and health standards. 

Stress Relief Tea 
Take 2 cups during the day to lift your energy and regulate your mood

Containing pure St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), this medicinal tea is like insulation for a jangled nervous system. 

The nervous system and the adrenals are inextricably connected via the HPA Axis (the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis), as the brain sends signals to the adrenals to let them know what and how many hormones to excrete. 

Therefore, looking after your nervous system MUST be part of your get-well strategy!

St John’s Wort is a hero plant ingredient. It helps to reinforce healthy HPA Axis function and healthy neurotransmitter production, such as serotonin - our 'happy' chemical.

Rest and Relax Tea 
Take 1 cup in the evening to relax your mind and unwind

The combination of plants in Rest and Relax Tea is designed to support your adrenal glands and calm an anxious mind.

It will help to turn off your Fight or Flight System, which can keep your mind buzzing, and turn on your Rest and Digest System. This way you can sleep well and allow your body to heal and reset.

  

If you think you or someone you care about may be suffering from prolonged stress, anxiety, or feel mentally unwell, we strongly recommend that you seek help from a mental health professional in order to receive a proper diagnosis and support. For those in crisis, Mentalhealth.org have a list of resources where you can find additional help: https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/in-crisis/helplines/.

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your health professional.