What is stress?
The word stress has several meanings . In theoretical medicine, stress has a precise definition: the load diverting the organism from homeostasis ( alostatic load ). Jánoš Selye, the father of the so-called unified theory of medicine, also described a so-called generalized adaptation syndrome (GAS), which was a revolutionary scientific discovery: generalized adaptation syndrome is a non-specific response to the burden on the body . It was up to him, I. Brechman, with his definition of an adaptogen.
In common speech, "stress" most often denotes mental (mental) stress. The definition of mental stress is unclear, but we intuitively guess what it is - these are the mental manifestations of adaptation syndrome in the exhaustion phase, while mental stress before the exhaustion phase is celebrated as so-called "adrenaline". They express the terms eustres and distres - eustres is "stress while it is good", while distres is detrimental to stress in the exhaustion phase.
Physical (physical) stress
Physical stress is mainly an increased physical effort, but in principle physical stress can be considered as any psychological stress. Adaptogens in long-term use increase physical performance . The mechanisms that make it the most interesting effect against the hormonal stress reaction and the subsequent feeling of fatigue . Physical burdens in the broader sense include thermal, chemical , radiation , biological,
Mental (mental) stress
Mental stress can be defined as the existence of undesirable influence causing discomfort - inappropriate working environment, disturbing influences, personal, study or business failures, family problems ... Exhaustive list of problem situations is not necessary, the meaning of the word of stress is all well known. In stressful situations, it is not possible to avoid an unpleasant feeling (we might have to take addictive substances), but to solve the cause. In today's world, however, mental stress does not always contribute to solving problematic situations.
In any - or even mental - stress, release of catecholamines (epinephrine, norepinephrine ...) and later corticoids (cortisol, etc.) occurs. Their activation effect on body functions may be unnecessary. Stress purely psychic causes to a large extent the same hormonal response (preparation for combat) as physical stress. Stressed organism is not saved. It increases blood pressure, blood sugar. Transient increases in blood pressure may become permanent (eg, by the build up of blood vessels). Chronic elevations of the stress hormone cortisol act towards Cushing's syndrome, a particular type of obesity with abdominal fat deposition . The excess of intrauterine fat can cause immune problems , diabetes , atherosclerosis , metabolic syndrome (unlike subcutaneous fat). Natural adaptogens are known to help with these so-called civilization diseases. It can be said, therefore, that these adaptogens also help against mental stress - although they do not feel relieved by the problems, they protect the body from the negative consequences of mental strain.
"I'm stressed, I suffer from mental problems"
When we say this, it is likely that what we suffer is not actually an abstract mental problem or "mental stress", but some very specific problem in the family, in love, school, employment ... So, a problem that is not solvable nor reassuring drugs, nor any general recommendation. Perhaps one recommendation: In an acute stress reaction, the hormones "attack or escape" of epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) are released into the blood. We can learn from that. Our situation may also in some sense require an attack (ie, an energetic solution) or an escape ...
Everyone suffers from mental stress
I say that virtually the entire population, not only the Czech Republic but the whole world, suffers from stress. Psychic stress is the natural manifestation of trying something. I also argue that whatever the social conditions are, all the members suffer from stress in roughly the same way. You, your colleague / colleague at work, your boss, the president of the Czech Republic, the former president of the Czech Republic, Warren Buffet from the USA, all are trying to do something. Psychological stress is very evenly distributed among the population, only some less stressed by their stress (and others are too much chatter).
In psychological stress, it is necessary to realize that it is not just about getting rid of it, but avoiding the danger or reaching the goal for which we are "stressing". This often requires increased performance in deteriorated environmental conditions. Under these circumstances, much more can be achieved by respecting more natural lives. Its suitable part can be natural adaptogens.
Adaptogens are linked to the definition of stress
Israel Brechman described adaptogens as anti-stress agents, or more precisely, substances that increase the adaptive range. The etymology of the word adaptogen stems from the Generalized Adaptation Synthesis (GAS) and the unified theory of Jánoší Selye's medicine . In psychological stress, the importance of adaptogens in mental activation is accompanied by protection against body deterioration due to stress hormone leakage. The impact of natural adaptogenes (ginseng, rhodiola, schisandra ...) on psychic stress in animals and humans (soldiers, sailors, students ...) has already been explored by Brechman with very interesting results.
Ginseng is genuine as a protection against psychic stress
It is necessary to say unequivocally that ginseng as a model adaptogen is one of the best means of protecting against mental stress. During exercise, it protects the body and psyche from overloading and maintains an appropriate level of mental activity. Cortisol level - major stress hormone - ginseng stabilizes ( Kim2003egs ). The effect of ginseng on mental stress is a huge topic with hundreds of published scientific studies. Here are some of the following:
- Ginseng right has a direct effect on stress hormones and stress, its effect is not just relaxing ( Gaffney2001pge ).
- Ginsenoside Rb 1 improves performance in negative (electroshock) motivated animals and removes anxious feelings from doing these tasks ( Churchill2002npg ).
- Gssd. Rb 3 had an anxiolytic and anti-stress effect on the animal model. ( Cui2012gre )
- Majonoside-R 2 reduces stress in laboratory animals by treatment with opioid receptors, GABA A receptors and CRH ( Huong1998aem ).
- Ginseng extract in rats reduces stress from immobilization ( Bhattcharyya1999epg ).
- A mixture of ginseng saponins and specifically ginsenoside Rc in stressed rats stabilized cortisol levels, but not ACTH ( Kim2003egs ).
- In stressed rats, ginseng has long been limiting stress hormone levels by limiting the gene expression of enzymes in their synthetic pathways ( Kim2010aeg ).
- Gssd. Rc , gssd. 20 ( S ) -Rg3 and compound K has the ability to reduce stress stress hormone cortisol in stressed mice ( Kim2003iii , Kim1998isp ).
Other adaptogens providing protection against stress
Swedish Professor Alexandr Panossian offers an overview of the influence of the pink rosette on stabilizing the level of cortisol and other stress hormones ( Panossian2010rrr ). Chan2012pgr summarizes the effect of Chinese stonemason and schisander against mental exhaustion. Gypstema five-lined misspelled gingerbread ginseng , vitae snoring improperly called indian ginseng , Peruvian cress incorrectly called Peruvian ginseng , datashell , Albisia julibrissin , Piper methysticum , Passionflower, Meadows , Tenderloin , Coriander, Saffron and Linden Flower they also have the potential to treat anxiety and mental stress. Interested people can find these other plants, for example, in a new two-part Australian review ( Sarris2013pma , Sarris2013pm1 ).
How to deal with mental stress
First of all, we must realize that, unlike physical stress (physical exertion, extreme weather, etc.) , the mental stress is due to our perception of the situation around us . Outside prison and extraordinary situations (such as the loss of loved ones), we actually stress ourselves by trying to achieve a goal. Many cancer patients , who were suddenly forced to rethink their goals completely, would like to exchange it with such a "stressed" person. We are not just trying to "get rid of stress". It is about getting rid of it in the right way - by achieving the desired goal or, on the contrary, by abandoning it and setting an easier goal. If the social situation is getting worse, we need to set our goals ever more modestly. Again, these are specific situations that can not be resolved by general recommendations. But it can be said that treatment of GABA agonist stress (alcohol, sleeping pills ...) or other psychopharmaceuticals should only be the last choice.
Perhaps the best general recommendation for those who suffer from stress is the return to nature and nature - to what we are becoming accustomed to. Of course, if we try something, it is not possible to escape into the wilderness, but naturalness can be established in those areas where it is under the given conditions - more natural lifestyle, biorhythm and lighting , food, entertainment ... This will help our mind better estimate how much and how much to stress yourself. Psychological stress does not neglect the mental tension itself - which, to a greater or lesser extent, accompanies every effort - but that mental stress unnecessarily mobilizes physical reserves ( increases blood pressure , sugar , affects fatty metabolism ), which in postmodern society is not adaptive. It is against this negative aspect of psychological stress that adaptogens help .
Applicants for practical use of adaptogens have two options: the first is to grow or collect the medicinal plants individually. The other is to buy these plants in the form of dried material and try it out . When using adaptogens, it must be remembered that their effects are slow. Insufficient dosage and expectation of immediate or miraculous effects is the cause of a misunderstanding of the most important practical adaptogen - ginseng. For this I have written instructions for use , which help to avoid most of these pitfalls.