I'm back from my road trip and was all ready to get my son off to his first day of school and get to work on my next podcast on motivation, when he tested positive for Covid. Not a great way to start out, but suddenly his previous congestion and my own headache and fatigue made sense. I’m still testing negative but am not overly energetic, certainly not enough to record a podcast on motivation!
My go-to when I’m not feeling well is to focus on my health, which makes sense because physical health is an important part of motivation. I've been making sure to get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, and eat an abundance of fresh local fruits and veggies. Another tool I use to increase my energy is adaptogens.
Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue, and enhance overall wellbeing. Not a bad thing for anyone to have in their toolbox, especially (in my opinion) women. About four years ago, I interviewed the herbalist Paula Grainger about adaptogens, and I re-listened to it this morning. It’s still very relevant and has great insight on how to use adaptogens and herbal remedies to improve your health.
Listen to the interview on The Extraordinary Life Podcast for all the nuggets of wisdom, or catch the highlights below.
Most people in Western cultures associate herbs and plants with one main benefit or attribute, like mint for an upset stomach or chamomile to help you sleep. Herbs and plants actually have a lot of different properties, including adaptogens, which help the body deal with stress. Adaptogenic plants and herbs were often used in ancient cultures, and have great value today for dealing with the prolonged stressors we experience in our everyday lives.
Paula has a degree in clinical herbal medicine and loves to connect people with the power of plants and herbs. She may recommend tinctures, capsules, or integrating specific foods to her clients, but it can be very nuanced. Since each plant can have many effects/actions, she spends time getting to know each client before suggesting the best combination of plants to them.
Adaptogens can be found in many of the foods we eat already (like turmeric), as well as in many health food stores, but it’s important to know the properties before you jump into adaptogens head first. For example, ashwagandha is very nourishing, and is great to help with an underactive thyroid; thus you wouldn’t want to use it if you have an overactive one!
In our interview, Paula notes that more isn’t always better, and that she believes in integrative medicine. Establishing good communication with the professionals supporting your health is important.
If you’re curious about finding the right adaptogens for you, Paula has several tips:
Paula’s website is a great place to start, and has recipes, information, and education to get you started on your adaptogen journey. And if you’re looking for help with motivation, I’ve got you covered! Let’s connect for a FREE consultation to see where you’re stuck, and how I can help.
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