How is our Immune System Affected by Stress?

How is our Immune System Affected by Stress?

Bev Dunne

After the bushfires I wrote about herbs and homoeopathics which may help deal with stress and anxiety.  I find it very troubling that now I feel compelled to be once again writing about this topic. Since we all became aware of the Coronavirus most of us have been focusing on our immune health.  However, I’m now noticing more and more customers are needing help to cope with the stress and anxiety which was inevitably going to occur as this pandemic unfolded. Unfortunately, our community has been dealt a double whammy, having to deal with the fallout from the bushfires and now the Coronavirus.

So, whilst it is important to be taking immune herbs at this time, we also need to mindful that stress can also challenge our immune system.

As I wrote previously, the symptoms of stress will evolve in many ways and will affect each of us differently.   For some of us one of the first symptoms may be insomnia.  Often, we feel like we are coping well until we find ourselves in tears for what we think is no good reason, but the reality is, it’s all just become too much. For some, they find their breathing is shallow and rapid which can evolve into panic attacks.  Then we may also find we have muscle tension and headaches, or we just don’t feel like eating. And then for many, there is often an overwhelming feeling of loss of control.

During and after the fires I often spoke about a homoeopathic formula I’d been taking to help me get through the stress of the bushfires. I had taken this formula on and off over the years when I felt the need and found it was extremely helpful at this time.  It was wonderful to then have many grateful customers come back into store to thank us, as they too had gained good results from this formula.  Some of the ingredients included in this formula are passiflora, chamomile, false unicorn root and nux vomica. As with most homoeopathic formulas, I find it works immediately and just gives me a feeling of calm when I’ve felt overwhelmed and on the cusp of not coping.

This formula is safe for children and as with the bushfires, there will be many children who will be been adversely affected emotionally by the disruption to their lives of this virus.

Now although this homoeopathic formula I suggest is great because it may work immediately, I also believe taking herbs to help maintain our adrenals and our nervous system is very important.  Unfortunately, this virus is going to impact our lives for many months, with the ongoing emotional fallout maybe lasting for years.

As I’ve written previously, the herbs Withania and Rhodiola are two of my ‘go to’ herbs when it comes to treating stress and anxiety. Both these herbs are adaptogen herbs which means they’re able to adjust to both physiological and psychological stress which is far more effective when treating or preventing stress. Withania (Indian Ginseng) is great because it’s believed to increase energy and stamina whilst under stress as well as generally relieve stress.  I’ve also found Withania to be helpful in treating anxiety, soothing the nervous system, and as well helping to minimise nervous exhaustion. Rhodiola’s helpful because whilst it’s thought to be beneficial in supporting our nervous system it’s also believed to assist in improving memory and concentration which often is compromised when under stress. It’s believed to help increase energy levels as well as mild depression.  It’s been found to help with anxiety and panic attacks and it’s also believed Rhodiola increases brain serotonin by up to 30% and is beneficial for improvement of mood and lowering of stress levels.

If you’re having problems with sleeping which often goes hand in hand with stress, I find a combination that works for me is a formula containing passiflora, hops and sour cherry. Or if you like, just take the sour cherry juice to not only help with insomnia but help your joint pain.

And finally, switch off the television, take a break from social media and whilst you can, enjoy this wonderful area we live in.  We are blessed. We have beautiful beaches to walk on, bush to walk through and if you’re like me, an early morning swim in the ocean will just set you up for a great day!!

If you wish to know more about treating or preventing stress and anxiety call in to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St in Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737. Don’t forget to tune in to Bev on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.30pm on Go Get Healthy.

In health,
Bev Dunne