The modern world is stressful. Ayurveda understands the need to create inner calm in this world without diminishing your alertness. Ayurveda offers herbal support to accomplish this – without brain fog. Scientific research shows that Ayurvedic herbs can reduce stress and anxiety, create calm and heighten alertness.
Worry Free formula supports mental calmness
Researchers at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) conducted a randomized, controlled pilot study to measure the effects of an Ayurvedic herbal formulation called Worry Free on ten patients who suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This condition affects 25% of the population.
The study took three months. One group took two tablets of Worry Free twice a day, while the other group took a placebo. After three months of taking Worry Free, 80% of the Worry Free group no longer exhibited Generalized Anxiety Disorder, exhibiting a two-fold greater decrease than the placebo subjects.
What did the herbs do?
The group of traditional Ayurvedic herbs supports enhanced mental function. They allow a person to recall past experiences, relate them to a present problem, and learn from new experience with less anxiety and less upset. In brief, they support mental processing ability.
In Ayurveda this mental processing ability is divided into three categories.
They are: 1.) Dhi (acquisition), 2.) Dhriti (retention), and 3.) Smriti (recall). The Worry Free herbs helped with stress because they enhance processing power. The formula contains a special group of herbs (Herpestis Monniera, Aloeweed, and Heart-leaved Moonseed) which do this. These are called Medhya (mind) herbs. These special herbs nurture the three mental processing abilities and coordination between them.
Other herbs (Jatamansi and Greater Galangal) cleanse the gap regions between the three areas. In the Vedic understanding, the gap regions are very important, because that is where all intelligence resides. This keeps communication flow and coordination between the three strong and clear. One additional herb plays a key role: Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha). This herb enhances the mind's overall ability to fight stress.
One of the measurements used in the University of California at San Diego study focused on cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone related to stress, and high cortisol levels indicate high stress. In the patients who took Worry Free for three months, cortisol levels were reduced significantly.
Looking Deeper: Mental Strain = Imbalanced Subdoshas
The Ayurvedic explanation is this: When people are under stress, the subdoshas governing the mind respond by producing more fluid. It's similar to the extra saliva produced by the taste buds when you're about to eat spicy foods. The extra saliva protects the whole digestive system, and helps prevent the food from irritating your system.
Pitta begins to burn hotter, while Vata creates a drying effect. Then Kapha generates extra fluids to counteract this effect and protect the brain. Under strain, the fluid created by Kapha increases, and begins to douse the mind's processing fire (Medhya Agni) supporting Dhi, Dhriti and Smriti. Enough stress, and it can put out or dampen this mental fire (Agni).
And when this happens, Ama – toxins – gets created. The Ama accumulates in the gaps and microchannels of the brain, mixes with the fluids created by Kapha, and creates a harmful type of cortisol, the indicator of stress.
Cortisol in itself is not bad. It's created by the body to protect the brain. But when Kapha is imbalanced and there's Ama in the physiology, cortisol does more harm than good.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, the reason that the subjects' cortisol levels went down after using Worry Free is because key herbs enhanced the brain's digestive fire. When it's burning brightly again, Ama is no longer being produced. Then cortisol stays in balance, and this protects the brain from stress.
Creating inner calm is a time-honored focus of Ayurveda. A variety of modalities help accomplish this, and a few quick and easy choices that support calm are listed below. As with any health goal, a multifaceted approach usually delivers the best results. Diet, lifestyle, spices, routine, stress reduction and herbs can all play a fruitful role in creating inner calm.
Organic Vata Tea — The herbs in certain Ayurvedic teas help create a zone of inner calm. This organic Vata-pacifying tea will help a whirling mind settle down and allow the body to relax.
Organic Vata Calming Spice Mix — Spices are both flavor-enhancers and therapeutic. Organic “Churnas” are precise blends of Ayurvedic spices and seasonings that include all six Ayurvedic tastes.
Veda 2240 — When Vata dosha gets out of balance, the body can react, too. Veda 2240 is one of our most powerful Vata-pacifying products (balancing the subdosha, Vyana Vata).
Vata Aroma Oil — The essential oils in this formula help support balance. These floral and plant essences have been used in healing traditions such as Ayurveda for centuries. The sense of smell is a quick-acting, powerful means of creating balance. Our therapeutic aroma oils are precise blends of 100% pure essential oils.
- Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oil — This traditional Ayurvedic massage oil includes potent Ayurvedic herbal extracts. This takes the benefits of the traditional Ayurvedic massage a step further. Maharishi Ayurveda herbal massage oils are especially formulated for individual skin and dosha types, and have a sesame oil base.
Ayurvedic Fundamentals of Wellness
Three key principles to long-term balance and wellness in Ayurveda are broadly summed up in three lifestyle tactics:
- Reducing ama (toxins)
- Balancing/strengthening digestion (agni)
- Significantly lowering stress.
Each of these plays a powerful role in supporting long-term, life-changing wellness. Each of these choices has the power, in the Ayurvedic model, to gradually, naturally support and restore Ayurvedic balance in mind and body. These lifestyle choices include changes to diet; stress reduction practices like yoga, exercise and meditation; and traditional Ayurvedic herbals.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Less Stress, Sound Sleep and Better Digestion
Diet, daily habits and ongoing stress are key factors that can contribute to imbalances in mind and body, leading to feelings of sadness and physical fatigue. Stress Free Emotions supports natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue. The herbs promote self-confidence, positive thinking and feelings of fulfillment by balancing the subdosha of Pitta that governs emotional health (Sadhaka Pitta).
It’s no secret that excess stress negatively impacts heart health. Cardio Support nourishes the cardiac muscle and channels, supporting a healthy response to a high-stress lifestyle. The herbs do this by aiding healthy digestion, supporting balanced fat metabolism, and nourishing the blood, muscles and functioning of the heart.
The Ayurvedic herbs in Organic Youthful Mind help remove the toxins that can block mental abilities. They also promote a healthy response to mental stress — regardless of age. The herbs in Organic Youthful Mind support innate learning ability, clarity and recall, mental energy and alertness levels, the growth of consciousness and full mental potential.
The herbs in Deep Rest support sleeping deeply through the night and waking up feeling refreshed. Specifically, the formula is for those who have difficulty staying asleep and wake up in the middle of the night. It also helps those who have difficulty falling asleep and those who awaken early, after less than six hours of sleep.
The inability to fall asleep naturally, according to Maharishi Ayurveda, is largely due to stress, frustration, heavy food and sensory overload. If you're worried or agitated before bed, your mind stays connected to the senses, keeping them active. When that happens you may have trouble falling asleep — or if you do fall asleep, you may notice that your sleep is light and restless. Blissful Sleep helps you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper, more refreshing sleep.
In Ayurveda, strong, balanced digestion is key to good health. Organic Triphala Rose is a traditional tonic for the digestive system. If you are feeling sluggish, dull or occasionally constipated, chances are that toxins are building up in your body. Toxins accumulate when your digestion — and elimination — are out of balance, which can lead to skin breakouts, menstrual cramps, fatigue, feelings of sadness and many other health issues. Triphala is the every-night overnight detox and digestion balancer. This is our most popular digestion herbal.
The Ayurvedic herbs in Aci-Balance help maintain proper balance of 'Agni,' the intelligent digestive fire. The herbs help balance occasional excess acid and digestive fire; support overall digestion; and help the body preserve the purity and vitality of nutrients from foods you eat.
The Ayurvedic approach to managing stress is multi-faceted. Herbs play an important supporting role in creating more calm day-to-day. Looking for more help to stress less? Head to our stress and emotion collection.