Let’s talk about some adaptogenic herbs.
So it seems to be pretty much the word that everyone throws around these days, adaptogenic. What the hell does that mean? Adaptogen herbs. Well, these are herbs that basically that allow you to adapt to your environment. So if you’re living in a stressful environment with lots of noise or emotional discomfort or bullying or goodness knows what, this will allow you to adapt a bit more to all that sort of stuff around you. You’ll just feel better. You usually sleep better. You’ve got more energy, but also your cognition should be better and moods should really improve when you’re using these.
So I’ve got here something interesting that younger people may not know. Typewriter, when we didn’t have computers. So when I was a student, everything was typed, so it was clack, clack, clack, clack, and it used to drive my neighbors nuts. They used to complain about the typewriters going all the time. So crazy, eh?
So now let’s look at some of the best herbs that you can use to adapt to stress in your life. I’ll talk a bit about them. So I’ve got one, two, three, four, five, six cards here, but I think I meant to talk about five. But the herb that probably everybody talks about, the ginseng that everyone talks about with stress is Panax ginseng. Okay? So Panax ginseng is basically a tonic that should be given separately from anything else. In my opinion, it should not be mixed with anything else. It should be given as a tonic, a single dose in the morning, and other herbs if you’re going to take them for stress, take them in the afternoon or at another time. So this is really something else. Okay? This is a very special herb. It’s particularly good for long term and elderly people, older people. So people my age plus, this is gold. Every decade you get older, the worth of ginseng for you increases more. So a person in their eighties and nineties would benefit from this herb tremendously compared to someone in their twenties.
So let me just read something off my card. Long term use, elderly, chronic illness, menopause, infertility, very short term infertility. It’s not a long term treatment. So usually short term use, you’re going to use it for six to eight weeks in a higher dosage for stressful times. Like before exams, for example, I know some people use it. Younger people need to be careful with Panax ginseng, because it can increase blood pressure in some people. All right?
What else have we got here? For weakness, for debility, especially good for depressive states or anxiety states associated with sexual weakness or inadequacy. That’s why it’s good for an older guy who’s got problems with erectile dysfunction or low libido. This really punches through that. All right? It’s an old age tonic, basically. My Granddad took ginseng. He took Panax for many, many years. Every day he took this, so it was amazing. The guy smoked cigarettes every day. He drank alcohol every day. He died at 93 with a smile on his face. All right? But that was before the internet.
Increases stamina, concentration, memory, healing, resistance to all kinds of stresses, increases work efficiency, vigilance. But remember the older the person, the more this is worth. All right? Be careful: Not for children, not for persons suffering from recurring insomnia, not a great idea. All right? Definitely not to be used in pregnancy. All right? Or high blood pressure, definitely not. Also, if you’ve got clotting disorders or you’re on warfarin or something, you wouldn’t take this kind of herb.
This is why you need to see a herbalist. See a professional herbalist. Don’t go to some lady in some two dime kind of shop that did a two week course in Arizona and she’s all of a sudden a guru in herbals. I’ve talked to these kinds of people before and then when you ask them the botanical name of a herb, they look at you like you’re talking Swahili or something. You need to just high tail it out of these places. I’ve met so many people that seem to be instant Einsteins when it comes to the medical herbalism, but in fact they knew squat. So just be careful. If you go to see a herbalist: Professionally registered, professionally qualified, experienced. All right? Go by someone else’s recommendation is even better. Look them up on the Herbalists Association website and go by reputation, because some herbalists I’ve met, in the States in particular, are outstanding practitioners. I can’t give you names because I don’t usually keep track of people, but I meet herbalists a lot at meetings when I go over there, et cetera.
So remember: Panax ginseng is to be taken for older person, particularly. Let’s talk about probably the second most popular one would be eleutherococcus senticosis, or Siberian ginseng. Now, this is quite easy compared to that one. Okay? So if we put this into … What category would we put in a motor vehicle? I would say it’d be a 16 cylinder, supercharged car would be this one. Okay? And here we’ve got the V8, so it’s not quite as powerful, but it’s not so dangerous as that one. All right? The eleutherococcus is a much, much tamer, milder herb than the Panax ginseng. All right? This one improves mental, physical performance, minimizes effects of stress, environmental, occupational, for athletes, endurance people, astronauts, divers and mountain climbers. It increases stamina in the face of all undue stress and demands placed upon you. It increases all kinds of body resistance.
This, personally, is my favorite ginseng, which I take quite regularly, is the eleutherococcus. I really like this one, particularly when I used to do a lot of technical work and flying around and doing lectures. I used to take eleutherococcus all the time. I found it kept me on the button when it came to talking at studies and things like that. It’s great for air travel. So if you’re an air hostess, if you’re pilot, if you’re a miner, if you’re a person who works an unusual job with long hours, this is the herb to take: eleutherococcus senticosis. Treats and tonifies and builds up against all kinds of prolonged stress. It’s good for overworked people, shift work, there’s chronic fatigue syndrome, a lot of people. All right? Mild depression, insomnia, protective against chemotherapy, radiation, especially good for pilots for that, for the radiation.
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What else can we say about it? Not to be of benefit in acute stressful situations. So taking a few shots of this like whiskey is not going to help to calm you down like Valium or something like that. So try please not to think of herbal medicines like drugs. Take it, wham, you get an effect. And this is why people often, earlier on, years ago bought pharmaceutical medicine, because it worked powerfully. All right? But herbs work very, very well if you take them for a prolonged period of time, you’ll get a far better effect. Herbs gives you a physical effect. They don’t just treat one symptom. They treat the entire organism. All right? So less powerful than Panax, safer, less side effects, can be also of use for weight training people for anabolic purposes, for example. So yeah, I like this herb. I think it’s a beauty, that’s the Siberian ginseng.
My favorite combination with Siberian ginseng is Bacopa monnieri. Okay? Bacopa, I’ll hold the card up so you can look at it. All right? This is the principle Ayurvedic herb for brain function. This is the one that the Brahma used or the higher learned people, the people who wanted to spend hours and hours learning Sanskrit, for example, or religious texts, they would take Bacopa. This is the herb, if you’re a PhD student, this is the herb, if you really want to use brain power. All right? This, combined with Siberian ginseng, is gold if you’re a lecturer. All right? Especially if you travel and give talks, but it’s also gold if you’re a mom at home with three kids. All right? It’s going to help you because it’ll keep your brain together. It’ll stop you from freaking out. It’ll keep you alert, and awake, and alive.
I find it not just works for cognition, but it also works for mood as well. All right? A tranquilizing effect it has, nervous exhaustion, poor concentration, mental disorders after stroke, contains the alkaloid brahmine. A cardiac tonic, provides strength and tone to the heart, considered a blood purifier, as well. Combine with eleutherococcus and schisandra or Withania, which we’ll talk about in a minute. Useful where stress and nervous exhaustion is impairing your mental function. “Mom, where’s my underpants?” Okay? Well, we’ve got four kids, so I know all about it. Well, they’re adults now.
All right? Let’s move on: Withania. All right? Withania is gentle. This is a four cylinder car. All right? This isn’t like, “Err.” This is more these punchy kind of things. Withania is a lovely, gentle, blood building herb. It’s used a lot for women after giving birth, for example. All right? It’s innerving. It’s a sedative. It sedates. It tonifies. This is a really good one to take for overactive person or hyped-up person. So if you’ve been on, for example, the Panax ginseng or the Korean ginseng and you found all worked up on it, this will sedate you. So this one works very well for people like me who get a bit worked up on Panax ginseng. Calming to the mind, nurturing and clarifying, and promotes deep sleep. Excellent during pregnancy in small doses, stabilizes fetus in a weak female. Anti-inflammatory similar to the effects of cortisone, decreases inflammation. The most effective in autoimmune inflammation. There you go. It’s a good one for you.
Okay, with PMS or menopause, for example, this is the better one to use. Don’t use Panax or don’t use the other ginseng we spoke about or eleutherococcus. Use this one. It’s best to use, really, with menopause especially. This is one that’s okay for kids, Withania somnifera, lovely herb, also called ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, gentle.
Let’s talk about schisandra. Schisandra is more like a motorbike to me. It’s probably more like a cruising kind of bike with a really powerful engine on it. It can really take you places, this one. This is a brain tonic, but it’s also a liver tonic. This is a good one for a person who’s been drinking or has taken drugs, wants to clean up and really bounce back quite quickly. This is a great herb for them. Hepatoprotector with liver protective, an adaptogen. It’s useful in many acute and chronic conditions. It increases mental alertness, mental activity, enlarges intellectual activity. It’s useful in many different … It improves vision, enlarges visual fields, improves hearing, heightened skin sensory discrimination.
I just like this herb. It’s a beauty, but I feel a bit funny on this one. So I’ve taken schisandra in the past. Go by feel when you take herbs as well. When I ever start a herb I haven’t taken before, I usually take it on its own for a little while, for usually a week, 10 days in small doses to see how it feels. And that’s what I recommend you do, too. So think of schisandra also for chronic long term, especially if you’re coming out of hospital or you’re recovering from an illness. You’ve been on pharmaceutical drugs. You want to clean up. This is a good one.
Holy basil, nice and gentle. This would be more like, I’d say a really good bicycle, this one, compared to what we were talking about before. This is very gentle. This is an immunostimulant, also adaptogenic, has specific effects on the immune system. Anti-stress, purifies blood, headaches, good for headaches, nervous system tonic, especially good for people with the debility. And it’s great for memory. This has many effects. And if you look at some, it’ll cures everything from acne right through to hemorrhoids and everything, but people will always put that down. So I like Tulsi, like also called Tulsi Oximum sanctum. It’s a type of basil, holy sacred basil. Dr. Mercola spoke a lot about holy basil or Tulsi tea. I actually grow Tulsi. It’s a nice herb to grow. Indian people grow, it’s quite a sacred plant in many parts of India. It tastes very nice as a tea. So yeah, why not? If it’s going to help you cognitively. Why not?
So that gives you a bit of an insight into different adaptogenic herbs and their uses and things. But again, I urge you, please see a herbalist. Don’t self-medicate. You’re better to do that, especially if you’re taking medications.