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Avoid Holiday Stress

Try These All-Natural Supplements

Q: I find the holiday season and the weeks approaching it very difficult. Every December for the last several years I find myself feeling overwhelmed, stressed and run down by the time the holidays kick in. How can I avoid this? - Tracy, Burlington.

Ah the Holidays, spreading the gift of stress year after year! There is something about the pressure to complete both your work and personal “To-Do” lists before Holidays that can really make the head spin. Keeping your energy high, feeling vital, focused, and calm, cool and collected are the best gifts you can give yourself. Try supplementing with Ashwagandha, L-Theanine and Maca this December.

Ashwagandha, aka Withania Somnifera, is a vital botanical in the holistic practice of Ayurvedic medicine. In Sanskrit Ashwa means “horse”, while some interpret gandha as “essence/character” alluding to its ability to impart the vigour, strength and resilience of a stallion. It falls into a category of herbs called Adaptogens, because of its ability to help your body cope with and resist occasional stress (mental, emotional, environmental, toxic). In addition to this, it is traditionally used for its rejuvenating properties, helps fight fatigue, protects the immune system, improves memory and learning, calms the nervous system and reduces anxiety and depression, improves sleep quality, stabilizes blood sugar, helps lower cholesterol, has anti-inflammatory properties, and can enhance sexual potency in both men and women

L-Theanine is a “feel good” amino acid found in green tea leaves.  It helps to naturally increase dopamine and serotonin, as well as inhibitory neurotransmitters like GABA and glycine. Studies show that in the brain, this amino acid can induce tranquilizing effects by producing alpha-brain waves, the electrical brain wave activity found when in a calm yet alert state. This type of brain wave activity helps to centre and focus a mind that is otherwise running in various directions, providing a calming effect without drowsiness. Many find L-theanine helpful for anxiety, concentration and learning, depression, improving quality and duration of sleep, decreasing blood pressure and heart rate, protecting the body from stress-related damage and restoring balance between mind and body.

Maca is a root indigenous to the Peruvian Andes that is a close relative to the radish family. It is naturally rich in amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, fibre, sterols, B vitamins and is high in minerals such as iodine, iron, magnesium and zinc.  Maca is another adaptogenic herb, like Ashwagandha, because of its ability to nourish and help bring back a sense of balance to a body that is overwhelmed by stress. It helps balance hormones in the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands. In turn this affects mood, growth, sexual development, and tissue function. It is used as an energizing tonic to combat fatigue, to improve stamina and endurance, reduce depression, anxiety and stress, improve mental clarity and focus, enhance memory and learning, improve circulation, boost libido and fertility, and balance hormones in both men and women.

Gift yourself with a more relaxed and joyful Holiday season! Season’s Greetings!