natural herbs for stress

Why Herbs for Liver Stress Are Included in Natural Supplements for Depression and Anxiety

Researchers have known for a long time just how much stress can negatively impact not only the mind, but the body as well. More and more diseases are being linked to the effects of stress on the body.
One organ that is far more important than we may realize is the liver. It is responsible for detoxification, filtering the blood, breaking down excess hormones and maintaining the balance of water and body-fluid salt. It produces and stores glycogen. Glycogen can be converted into glucose (blood sugar) as the body needs it.
Studies have shown there is decreased blood flow to the liver when we are under stress, and chronic stress may lead to liver damage. It may also effect the inflammatory process that occurs in the liver.
Stress causes the adrenal glands to produce an increased amount of the hormone, cortisol. This can result in many problems including elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, decreased cognitive function and impaired immune system function. If the liver is already overworked due to stress, it may be unable to breakdown these excess hormones.
Plus, when we are experiencing increased stress in our lives, there is a greater tendency for smoking, drinking and unhealthy eating. Headaches and gastrointestinal upset can lead to increased use of over-the-counter remedies for relief, all which get processed by the liver. These all place even more stress on this already overworked organ.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale; T. mongolicum) has been used medicinally for over a 1,000 years. It was prescribed by Chinese physicians to treat a wide range of problems including boils, ulcers, bronchitis and hepatitis. In both Chinese and Ayuvedic medicine, it was also used to treat breast cancer.
During the Middle Ages, its use as a diuretic and liver tonic became more well known and by the 17th-century it was recommended for many different ailments.
natural herbs for stress
The leaves of dandelion are the source of it’s diuretic activity. A diuretic flushes excess water from the body and is beneficial for kidney function. The roots are the source of the most activity as a liver tonic and are also beneficial for the gallbladder. They have been used for centuries to treat jaundice. This is a yellowing of the skin due to liver malfunction. The flowers of dandelion are an excellent source of lecithin, a nutrient helpful for various liver disorders.
Although studies on dandelion are limited, German studies have shown that dandelion may help stimulate bile flow which is beneficial for liver function.
Dandelion is rich in many vitamins and minerals. One of them, choline, is a B vitamin important for normal liver function.
Dandelion is generally well tolerated. It is considered safe in recommended doses. Allergic reaction is possible in sensitive individuals and skin rash may occur. It is on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of herbs generally regarded as safe. It is approved for diuretic and other uses by Germany’s Commission E.
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) has been used medicinally for liver support for 2,000 years. Its healing ability is verified by extensive research.
Milk thistle contains the compound, silymarin, which is found in the highest concentration in the fruit part of the plant. Silymarin contains flavonoids which are responsible for milk thistle’s healing abilities. The preparation of milk thistle generally used is an extract of 70-80% silymarin in capsule form.
Silymarin has been shown to have antioxidant ability which may protect liver cells from damaging free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and inhibits the production of inflammatory compounds which may cause liver damage, plus, it helps liver cells regenerate when there has been damage. It enhances the production of gluthatione, an important chemical in the liver involved in detoxification. The removal of toxins improves liver function.
Studies show silymarin is effective in treating hepatitis and liver disease.
Milk thistle is generally well tolerated with the most common side effect being diarrhea. Mild allergic reactions have been reported in sensitive individuals.
It is approved by Germany’s Commission E as part of treatment for cirrhosis and other chronic liver conditions.
Many natural supplements for depression and anxiety include a combination of beneficial vitamins, minerals, herbs and nutrients. These ingredients may provide additional health benefits by counteracting the effects of stress on the body.
It is best to consult your healthcare provider before beginning this or any other natural supplement.

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