Natural Approaches to Preventing Stress and Anxiety


Natural Practitioner – January/February 2012

“Natural Approaches to Preventing Stress and Anxiety” – Janet Poveromo


Ayurvedic practitioner Amber Vitse, LMT, CN, director of ayurveda education at New York-based Nature’s Formulary, said well-recognized, commonly used herbs for stress are shankh pushpi (for mood and anxiety in Vata and Pitta dominant types) and ashwagandha (an adaptogen for stress management in Vata and Kapha types predominantly).

Vitse explained that shankh pushpi helps with mental stress and rejuvenating the mind, improving memory and concentration. “It can be used in mental and emotional exhaustion. Like brahmi or gotu kola, it increases circulation to the brain.”

An adrenal adaptogen, ashwagandha helps the body to physiologically manage stress. “Likened to ginseng, it aids in physical exhaustion or debility, but also in stress-induced insomnia,”Vitse said, also recommending pranayama, or breathing exercises, as suitable for each doshic imbalance.

“Chyawanprash is excellent for helping the body, especially the immune system, cope with the side effects of stress,” she said. “Bhringaraj and brahmi are excellent calming nervines good for all three doshas, and are often found in oil for application and inhalation. Tulsi is another favorite adaptogen for relieving stress and balancing the immune system, and there are several different kinds.”

Chyawanprash is a potent antioxidant paste, created by the synergistic blending of over 40 herbs and spices. “Due to the tannoid complexes that form in the preparation of this formulation, the vitamin C in the mix is much more potent and absorbable than ascorbic acid alone,” said Vitse. “Brahmi purges toxins and blockages from the nervous system, and can aid in all kinds of addictions and habits. Yogis take it to promote a clearer mind and improve meditation, as can any of us.”

Nature’s Formulary offers shankh pushpi and ashwagandha, sustainably wildcrafted or organic, and chyawanprash produced from the original recipe used for thousands of years. “Look for brahmi and bhringaraj oils, brahmi ghee, or teas,”Vitse added.“Many great companies produce tulsi, but it is quite enjoyable as a tea.”

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