Lifestyle Tips, Supplements & IV Therapy for Stress Relief
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
How to Combat Stress Naturally
The research is in: stress is the biggest contributor to illness and health issues. But unless you live in a monastery, stress is inevitable. Many patients come to our clinic wracked with stress, and it manifests in their body: from skin and hair issues, to sleep issues, to digestive issues. We have several natural tactics to help alleviate stress, and they range from lifestyle tips to diet and supplementation.
Lifestyle Tips to Combat Stress:
Meditation and mindfulness are important tools to relieve stress, but not always readily accessible for people who haven’t cultivated these tools. The following two tips are easy for anyone to incorporate into their routine:
Practice gratitude — Taking a few minutes daily to reframe our outlook and count our blessings essentially “trains” our brains to consistently experience more positive feelings. This can be done easily by keeping a “gratitude journal” and writing down 3–5 amazing things that happen each day.
Greet the sun — Exposing yourself to bright sunlight each morning (or using a full spectrum light lamp) can help regulate circadian rhythm and combat seasonal affective disorder and depression and also improve sleeping patterns.
Vitamins for Stress Relief:
It’s best to run a naturopathic assessment of each individual and determine which vitamins and minerals could be most helpful for them. But in our experience, the following vitamins are most helpful for a person fighting stres:
Vitamin B12: key for optimal nervous system and brain function
Magnesium: a calming mineral which helps reduce symptoms of agitation, depression and anxiety
Glycine: helps fight the effects of stress and anxiety
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): has been shown to be a helpful adjunctive treatment for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
IV Therapy for Stress Relief
For a powerful, fast-acting boost of these specific stress-relief vitamins, try our Mood-Boosting IV drip. This particular IV drip contains all the vitamins and minerals mentioned above, in a powerful dose that is quickly absorbed by the body.
Ashwagandha: A Powerful Medicinal Herb for Stress Relief:
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a herb with a significant history of use in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Some sources claim that the use of Ashwagandha in classical Ayurveda dates back to almost the beginning of the practice, approximately 6000 BC.. In the tradition of Ayurveda, Ashwagandha holds high prominence as a Ramayana herb, meaning it is regarded as a tonic for most body tissues.
Traditional medicine considers Ashwagandha a potent herb with the potential to:
enhance overall wellbeing
In more recent times, Ashwagandha has garnered significant attention for its stress-relieving and anti-anxiety effects. Recent scientific studies have largely supported these claims. For example, a 2019 double blind placebo-controlled study in which the test group was assigned an Ashwagandha 240mg extract daily for 60 days showed that Ashwagandha intake was associated with a significant reduction in Anxiety Rating Scales as well as a significant decrease in morning cortisol (stress hormone) readings in study participants. Furthermore, a 2021 systematic review of previously done clinical trials, which included a total of 400 participants, reported that Ashwagandha extract improved overall sleep, as well as mental alertness on rising and anxiety levels in study participants.
Personally, in clinical practice, I have used Ashwagandha either as a stand-alone herb, or more commonly, in combination with other activities for close to 10 years. I find Ashwagandha very helpful in patients with high stress levels who present with a “tired but wired” symptom picture where they lack energy in their daily lives yet are unable to get good quality restful sleep due to high anxiety levels.
How to Take Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is typically a very safe herb with few side effects. In fact, in traditional Ayurveda it is frequently given to small children in milk as a general tonic to promote vitality and development. Furthermore, the safety of Ashwagandha was the focus of a 2021 placebo-controlled trial of 80 participants. A detailed evaluation of vital signs such as body weight, body temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and Body Mass Index (BMI) were conducted for each participant at the baseline and the end of the study for treatment and placebo groups. Similarly, hematological and biochemical parameters were evaluated at the baseline and at the end of study. The outcome did not indicate any untoward effects in any of the treated volunteers. No adverse events were reported by any of the participants in this study.
While Ashwagandha appears to be largely safe with few reported side effects, it is always best to seek the advice of a qualified and licensed medical practitioner, such as a Naturopathic Doctor, with extensive training in herbal medicine prior to starting any herbal treatment protocol. Additionally, safety studies on Ashwagandha have exclusively focused on the herb as a stand-alone treatment. It cannot therefore be concluded hat Ashwagandha does not interact with any other medications or supplements.
Ashwagandha contains numerous bioactive compounds, namely alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, steroids, and steroidal lactones. It may be prudent to choose a full-spectrum Ashwagandha extract which has been standardized to contain a certain percentage of Withanolides (typically 3-8%). The dosage for Ashwagandha cited in medical literature is typically 250-600mg per day. No common side effects have consistently been cited in literature at the therapeutic dosage range.