Stress & the Body

What is Stress?

Merriam-Webster defines stress as mental or emotional strain that results from either very demanding or adverse circumstances.

Stress can come in many forms, and not all stressful situations are necessarily detrimental. When we think of stress, we think of negative circumstances – the loss of income, the illness of a family member, or perhaps something as simple as fighting traffic during one’s commute to and from work.

However, stress is not always the result of a negative happening in one’s life. We may experience stress when confronted with new situations, such as starting a new job or the birth of a child. Stress is actually a fairly normal part of one’s life; few people can go throughout life without ever experiencing any kind of stress.

Stress can cause one’s adrenaline to surge, raise one’ heart rate, and deliver more oxygen to the blood. Stress, in limited amounts, can actually be good for a person. It is long-term, unrelenting stress that can have a detrimental effect on one’s health.

What is the effect of stress on the body?

Stress that continues for a long time can do great harm to one’s body. Constant stress can cause a number of physical issues – headaches, chest pain, loss of sleep, upset stomach or other digestive issues, and elevated blood pressure.

Prolonged stress can cause one with underlying physical conditions to see a worsening of their symptoms. For instance, someone with conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can see a worsening in their illness as a result of prolonged stress. Long-term stress can also cause people to develop physical illnesses. Those who develop fibromyalgia often do so as a result of prolonged stressful situations.

Yet, once again, even the medical experts will relate that some stress is actually good for the body so long as it is not prolonged exposure to stressful situations.

What are some statistics regarding stress?

Up to forty-three percent of all adults experience negative physical effects of stress. Between seventy-five and ninety percent of all doctor office visits are related to the effects of stress. Stress can worsen asthma, arthritis, diabetes, heart health issues, and skin conditions such as psoriasis. It can also cause physical problems to develop, particularly depression and anxiety. In fact, approximately half of all the emotional disorders adults experience can be traced back to the individual’s experiencing prolonged stress.

Ironically, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has cited stress as a workplace hazard. This is telling in that stress can be a major distraction while working; a good example would be when an employee in a manufacturing plant fails to complete all safety checks and is injured (or injures another employee) due to a lack of concentration from the presence of stress.

How does long-term stress affect one’s health?

Medical professionals relate that their are actually two kinds of stress – “eustress,” which is considered “positive” stress, such as getting a promotion at work; and “distress,” which is the negative stress that can actually be harmful to us over a long period of time.

Distress can cause a person to feel overworked, overwhelmed, and tense. This is the type of stress that leads to the high blood pressure, headaches, and stomach issues noted previously.

It should also be noted that some people may suffer negative effects from stress when they choose to use alcohol or other substances to deal with stressful situations. These substances can include using tobacco to deal with prolonged stress. Using any type of substance to deal with stress can have significant, long-term detrimental effects on a person’s well-being.

I get that stress is bad for me. What can I do to combat stress?

Physicians state that one must learn how to manage stress in order to prevent the harmful physical effects of the condition.

There are many healthy ways to manage stress. First, one can plan physical activity which can alleviate many of the effects of stress. Take a walk or participate in some form of physical exercise. Many individuals pray or meditate in order to combat stress. Utilizing breathing exercise in addition to meditating is often a good way to alleviate stress. Choosing daily to find a way to deal with stressful situations goes a long way to combating the negative physical effects of stress.

Ginkgo Biloba Dosages For Cognitive disorders

Ginkgo biloba is highly regarded as one of the most beneficial health supplements available on the market today. It has a long and rich history throughout Chinese medicine and is used as a therapeutic treatment for a whole plethora of ailments. Ginkgo biloba is extracted from the ginkgo biloba tree, which is now recognized as the oldest living species of tree on the planet. It is also a protected species in many countries around the world, mainly because of its beneficial health benefits that it affords to the individual who supplements with it.

ginkgo biloba leaf

The amount of Ginkgo biloba you will take each day will depend largely on the main reason as to why you are taking it. It has use as a treatment for many conditions, especially those which stem from cognitive disorders. It is an effective way to naturally treat depressive disorders, such as bipolar and borderline personality disorder. It is also useful as a natural tool in the fight against age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Treatment for depressive disorders

The majority of people will find that supplementing with 100 mg of Ginkgo biloba each day will help improve their mood. It is recommended to take the ginkgo biloba supplement first thing in the morning upon waking. You can choose to take it with a meal or while fasting, it’s therapeutic effect will be just as good either way. Ginkgo biloba improves the overall mood of the individual by helping the body deal with stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. When these two hormones are reduced throughout the body, the amount of Stress and Anxiety experienced by the individual will become manageable.

Ginkgo biloba for cognitive disorders

For those who are looking at a way to treat cognitive disorders, such as age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s, supplementing with 50 mg of ginkgo biloba three times a day each day has been shown to be beneficial. For those looking to improve on performance and boost cognitive skills, the individual should consume between 120 to 240 mg roughly 2 to 4 hours before the effects are required. As the active compound in ginkgo biloba takes roughly 30 minutes to 2 hours to enter your bloodstream, it is recommended to take it in advance to benefit from its therapeutic form.

Ginkgo biloba for anxiety

May be beneficial in helping alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Those who suffer from anxiety will experience effects such as stress, nervousness and a feeling of impending doom. To treat anxiety with ginkgo biloba it is recommended to take 120 mg of the supplement twice each day, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. Ginkgo biloba is known to calm the mind and provide a feeling of relaxation to the individual. While there are no known interactions between Ginkgo and anxiety medications, you should discuss using the supplement with your doctor before commencing any treatment plans.

Ginkgo biloba for treating tinnitus

For those individuals who suffer from a constant ringing or whining noise in the ears, using ginkgo biloba can help reduce the symptoms and make life more bearable. For ginkgo biloba to be effective on tinnitus the individual is required to take quite a large dose. Studies have found that 480 ml mg per day is sufficient for helping alleviate the debilitating and annoying sounds heard by the individual. Ideally, you want to find a ginkgo biloba extract in its purest form. If the supplement contains high levels of ginkgolic acid, then your best bet is to avoid this.

Ginkgolic acid has a high likelihood of being a severe allergen which can cause inflammation throughout the body. Some of the more common side effects of this acid are intense skin rashes and headaches. It is a good idea to perform some research on products before making a purchase, as the FDA does not require manufacturers to list the actual amounts of this acid when sold as a supplement.

5 Best bedtime herbs for better sleep

Bedtime is an essential part of your day. It is during your sleep that the body gets to heal and rejuvenate. The average sleep time should last between six to eight hours. Unfortunately, a significant number of our population hardly gets enough sleep. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that about 50 to 70 million adults have a sleep or wakefulness disorder.

Without enough sleep, you will not perform the activities of the day efficiently. For example, you may find yourself dozing off at work or while driving. Lack of sleep can cause chronic insomnia and depression.

The good news is that lack of sleep can be easily managed using natural sleep aids. These remedies help you get the much-needed sleep, to get you rejuvenated for the day’s activities. For your convenience, here are five best natural herbs/supplements for better sleep.

  1. L-theanine

The use of l-theanine dates back to the 1940s when it was used by the Japanese . It is an amino acid contained in tea. L-theanine promotes relaxation of the brain, hence facilitating better sleep.

It increases the levels of neurotransmitters, which include dopamine and serotonin. They help to regulate sleep, alertness, moods, and cognitive skills. The elevated levels of these neurotransmitters promote calmness and relaxation. As a result, you will be able to sleep better. L-theanine also reduces the chemicals in the brain that cause anxiety and stress.

You can consume L-theanine in black tea, coffee, green tea. For best results, take 100mg to 400mg of this supplement or herb.

  1. Passion flower

The passion flower is a native plant found in the Southern United States, South, and Central America. It got its name in 1605 from Pope V,who saw its resemblance to the thorn Jesus wore during the crucifixion. For decades, the passion flower has been used both as a stress reliever and a sleeping aid.

Consumption of this herb results in an increased production of GABA (Gama Aminobutyric Acid) by the 

brain. GABA is the inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates excitability and relaxes the nerves.

You can enjoy the benefits of passion flower as tea or as an extract. If you are a great drinker, take two to five grams of passion flower tea three to five time a day. If you like the extract, take 30 to 60 drops before you go to bed. Pregnant women should avoid taking passion flower because it is not clinically tested.

  1. Valerian root

Valerian root is among the most common herbs for insomnia. It was originally used in Europe and Asia for thousands of years. You can use Valerian herb to improve your sleep because it has a relaxing effect.

Valerian root contains GABA, which causes a calming and relaxing effect. It also has hesperidin and linarin, which are antioxidants that have sedative properties. Valerian root also increases serotonin levels in the brain, which stabilize your mood. The herb helps you sleep 36 percent faster than usual.

Soak dried Valerian root in a cup of hot water for about 15 minutes and drink it as tea. If you are not that much of a drinker, you can take it in capsule form. You can combine Valerian root with other herbs like hops to achieve an even better effect on your sleep. For best results, take it about 1 hour before you go to bed. Also, do not take it for more than a month without the doctor’s orders.

  1. California poppy

California poppy has been used for many years as a natural sedative. It originates from Mexico and the western valleys of North America. It is a vibrant plant with orange petals. Traditionally, the herb was used by Native Americans as dye and medicine. However, today, it is commonly known for its sedative properties.

The herb activates GAMA, which is a neurotransmitter that supports sedation. It also stimulates the 5-HT receptors that promote dopamine and serotonin availability.Both of them trigger the brain to relax, leading to better sleep. They also limit the production of norepinephrine, which is the neurotransmitter in the nervous system, responsible for fight or flight response. As a result, little amounts of it reduces anxiety.


California poppy is available in the form of a capsule or tablet. Alternatively, you can boil it, strain it, and drink it as tea. For best results, consume 20 drops or 400g of the herb and expect to have a better sleeping pattern in no time.

  1. Chamomile

Last but not least is Chamomile herb. It is a flower that is closely related to the daisy family. It was originally used in Europe, Mexico, and South America. The herb exists in two types, which are; Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile. They both work well in improving sleep patterns through reducing stress and anxiety.

Chamomile contains a compound called apigenin, which binds to the GABA receptors to cause sleepiness.It also relaxes your muscles, which makes it easier for you to sleep. Chamomile also helps eliminate racing thoughts, stress, anxiety, and irritability.

The herb is commonly brewed as tea. Users can also consume it in the form of capsules or tablets. For best results, take chamomile at least an hour before going to bed. If you are drinking it as tea, then consume two to three cups daily. In case it is extracted, take 30 drops three times daily. If you are allergic to any members of the daisy plant, consider using other herbs for better sleep.


In a nutshell, sleep is an essential part of your health. Lack of sleep does not have to be a problem any longer. The list highlights five best herbs for better sleep including L-theanine, Chamomile, Passion flower, California poppy, and Valerian root. These natural remedies are far much better than the synthetic medication. Try as much as possible to stay away from artificial aids for better sleep because they may lead to serious side effects. Start using the list of herbs today and get ready for better sleep.

The Benefits And Side-Effects Of Hericium Erinaceus Mushroom

Hericium Erinaceus Mushroom goes by many names. One might hear it referenced as: Lion’s Mane, Pom Pom Blanc, Monkey’s Head, Yambushitaki, or simply Hericium Erinaceus. Each of these things mean the same particular natural fungus, so don’t let the multitude of names get you confused.

What Is This Fungus?

Hericium Erinaceus is a fungus that does grow naturally out in the jungles of China, North America, Japan, and even parts of Europe. It is said to have incredible health benefits for the brain, and even has the honor of being known as one of the most powerful nootropics in the world.

There are plenty of nootropics available to people that supposedly help with various cognitive functions. That leaves many curious as to what is so special about Lion’s Mane in particular. Well, it turns out that while plenty of other nootropics work on things like memory and cognitive ability, this fungus actually goes to work repairing brain neurons themselves.

The repair of brain neurons can help keep the brain healthy and stable a lot longer than it otherwise might have. After all, damaged neurons are what lead to some many of the brain damaging diseases that crop up in people. It is so very sad to see some individuals go downhill mentally simply because their brain functioning is not what it could or should be.

There is excitement in the scientific community that Hericium Erinaceus may someday be used as a potential option for fighting back against diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and others. These are some brain diseases that have stumped the medical community for decades as millions suffer. Perhaps now there could finally be an answer on the horizon.

What Hericium Erinaceus Does

Hericium Erinaceus works on the brain in ways that are much different from what other nootropics do. There are two compounds that make up Hericium Erinaceus, hericenones and erinacines. Those two compounds go to work increasing the amount of NGF that the brain produces.

Increased NGF means that the brain can spend more time repairing damaged neurons and working to repair itself in general so that it can last longer and avoid disease. One might think that this means that people should simply inject NGF directly into themselves, but unfortunately that does not work. It is only when taken through something like Hericium Erinaceus that the body is able to use that extra NGF in the ways that it is designed to.

Those who are interested in Hericium Erinaceus for themselves should try to understand that it does not have immediate effects. It is necessary to take it for a period of time before one will start to see any benefits at all. Patience is definitely a virtue with this one.


There are a few potential side-effects from taking Hericium Erinaceus. The most commonly reported side-effect is itchy skin. This is usually just a sign from the body of the existence of increased levels of NGF in the body. It is simply the body’s way of saying that there has been some change in that.

Those who experience itchy skin along with any of the following symptoms should consult with a doctor to see if something else may be going on:

  • Swollen Glands
  • Hives
  • Allergy Reaction Of Any Kind

Those are all potentially signs that something else has caused the itchy skin. The patient will want to have this checked out as soon as possible to avoid any extra discomfort.

Taking Hericium Erinaceus In Combination With Other Nootropics

Some have said that taking nootropics together may help boost the effectiveness of each one. They can be taken daily in a particular order that you establish for yourself. However, if you choose to do this, make sure you include a choline supplement in the mix. It is recommended that you you purchase a hericium erinaceus extract made of whole fruiting bodies if you’re interested in taking this supplement.

Long-term impacts of nootropics may be best experienced when several are taken in a “staking” schedule like this. Lion’s Mane can be thrown into that mix as well to get the most impact from it.

Always consult with a medical professional before taking any supplements. Ask that person if they are right for you in your particular health situation and body. They will know what to advise you to do in any health-related situation.

The Revolutionary Oura Ring

Recent technological advancements have led to the invention of state of the art medical equipment that have so much applications. One of the recent innovations is the Oura ring that has the capabilities of monitoring the condition of the body through a sophisticated mechanism. The ring can fit on any finger and measures the waveform of a pulse which is the precise time between individual heartbeats. This information can then be used to gauge certain crucial health parameters such as sleep, the rate of respiration, heartbeat, the body fat level etc.

The Oura ring is made up of leading edge a non-metallic sensors that enables it to work with an unparalleled precision and remain safe for the body. The inside of the ring is made up of a medical grade plastic compound that does not pose any health risk to individuals with allergic reactions. The three bumps on the inside are sensors that take in crucial information of the arteries that pass beneath the finger with an accuracy that is unmatched.

Uses of the Oura ring

The Oura Ring works like the hospital oximeter to collect crucial data that can be used to determine the state of the body. Apart from determining the heart rate, the device performs a range of functions that will go a long way towards ensuring that we adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Monitor sleep stages

When we sleep, a lot of activities unconsciously happen within the body that we have very little knowledge about. These activities include the little disturbances that we have while we are soundly asleep and the level of heart beat during sleep. The Oura Ring calculates the various stages in our sleep such as the time it takes for one to doze off as well as the average time we spend sleeping. These measurements are used to gauge the quality of our sleep and also provide the necessary measures one can take to achieve optimum sleep.

Consequently, the different sleep scores provided by Oura each night can be used to adjust our sleeping trends which will then lead to better lifestyle choices. For example, there are certain days that you could spent more time working or performing rigorous physical activities, Oura will recommend you to sleep more during these days to restore the necessary energy.

Monitor brain activities during sleep

The brain is certainly a vital organ in our body. The Oura ring has certain mechanisms that monitor how our brain functions during the night. Many people are of the opinion that the brain usually rests during sleep; however, this belief isn’t entirely true. Certain activities usually rely on the brain such as the rate of heartbeat and therefore, the Oura Ring will provide vital signals about the state of the brain that come in handy for a healthy life.

People who usually use various brain supplements will often discover a lot about the effects the nootropics have on the state of their brains. The Oura Ring is normally configured with an iOS and Android application that provide precise analysis about the working of the brain and also give the necessary recommendations about the proper healthy steps.

Determine the body temperature

The Oura Ring sensor can seamlessly work as a temperature receptors to determine the body temperature. While other sleep trackers only give information about sleep, Oura Ring goes farther to provide accurate information about body temperature. Certain diseases like flu and pneumonia usually manifest in the form of fever and with the use of cutting edge tools like Oura, one is better placed to detect the presence of such diseases from the onset. Beyond that, it can also help detect how useful nootropics and smart drugs are. Some people even use it to test whether Qualia is working.

Helps to burn body fat

The Oura Ring has a calorimeter that effectively measures the fat level in our body. Having a device that will help us lower the fat level in our body can prove to be quite handy, especially for people that have bad eating habits. Based on the data collected, the Oura Ring can give effective recommendations on the exercise routines that will help us live a healthy life.

All in all, the Oura ring is a revolutionary device that has vast medical applications that will benefit every kind of person. As a matter of fact, this ring is easy to use and can help us avoid certain medical complications like heart related diseases.

The Best Way to Improve Mental Performance

Most people who are trying to improve their mental performance think of it as a 1-time thing. Basically, they take a pill like in the movie Limitless and they see all the benefits that they could have ever wanted. The truth is, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of ways to increase cognitive performance and have a great life, but not all of them are worthwhile for you right now. The best way to improve mental performance is to utilize a long term plan and solution.

In this article, we are going to focus on the long-term benefits of using certain cognitive enhancing techniques. One of these is called nootropics (also known as smart drugs). These are cognitive enhancing supplements that can help to increase your long-term health not just short term focus and concentration.

#1. Nicotinamide Riboside – this is one of the few supplements where you will probably feel very little difference from using it. Even though most people think of this as a bad thing, it’s not that big of a deal. If you think about it carefully, the nicotinamide riboside tool is helpful for long-term health because it has strong antioxidant and immune boosting properties.

#2. Healthy fats – another great way to improve your long term health is to make sure you are consuming healthy fats. Sometimes this is in the form of fish oil and omega-3 DHA / EPA, but other times it is in the form of something like Bulletproof coffee. This has MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides) and butter which is full of butyric acid.

Both of these fat sources have gotten a lot of bad press and have gotten a bad reputation, but it is important to know how useful it can be beforehand.

#3. Complete nootropics – another great idea for you to achieve your best in the long-term is to look at complete nootropics that can help you to improve cognitive performance. Something like Qualia is useful for this purpose, but there are other drugs like Alpha Brain as well.

Between all of these nootropics and other brain supplements, you can improve the long-term health of your brain and have a host of other advantages. For most people who are using nootropics and these types of drugs, it is a god send to be able to do this.

Why is Tongkat Ali Coming From Asia?

As men age, they often suffer from decreased circulating testosterone– the Mayo Clinic estimates that testosterone production decreases by about one percent every year after 30. This condition, known as andropause, has a variety of effects, including decreased energy, hair loss, changes in sleep patterns, increased body fat, and decreased muscle mass. Perhaps the most widespread and difficult to handle symptom, though, is decreased sex drive and sexual performance. There are a variety of chemical and herbal remedies that seek to alleviate this particular symptom. One of these is Tongkat Ali.

What is Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat Ali is a plant native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Also known as Malaysian Ginseng or Eurycoma long folio, Tongkat Ali has a history of use as a libido enhancement drug. The plant itself is nondescript; just a medium-sized, slim-trunked shrub with a large tuberous root. The root is dug up and boiled into a tea or powdered for consumption.
Historically, Tongkat Ali was used not only as an aphrodisiac, but to treat Jaundice, Malaria, Diabetes, and a host of other diseases. As more effective modern medicine has become widespread, Tongkat Ali’s major usage has become the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men, although widespread claims persist that the herb promotes muscle growth, boosts metabolic function, increases energy, and burns fat.

How Does Tongkat Ali Work?

There has been a slew of studies on Tongkat Ali and its efficacy, but the actual ability of the root to combat andropause remains up for debate. However, multiple studies have shown that Tongkat Ali contains Eurycomanone, a quassinoid that aids in spermatogenesis by blocking the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. In layman’s terms, quassinoids are a class of biologically active compounds found in certain plants. They have a variety of uses; this particular quassinoid, Eurycomanone, increases the production of sperm in male mammals by stopping the process that changes testosterone (the �male’ sex hormone) to estrogen (the female’ sex hormone). While an increase in sperm production does not necessarily equate to increased sexual performance or virility, there have been studies linking the two, and, as with all drugs, the placebo effect can be powerful in this instance– that is to say, the mere suggestion of increased virility may result in the actualization of that idea. Additionally, other research suggests that different compounds found in Tongkat Ali may increase testosterone production in male mammals.

Does Tongkat Ali Have Side Effects?

While Tongkat Ali itself has no known side effects when taken in reasonable quantities, it is very important to source the supplement responsibly. Many Tongkat Ali powders and pills are laced with other compounds, and may even contain harmful heavy metals such as mercury. These toxic compounds can have a variety of harmful effects– some are even carcinogens. As such, if you are going to take Tongkat Ali, it is vital to ensure that it is a pure supplement without any additives.

How Is Tongkat Ali Taken?

Tongkat Ali can be purchased in capsule form, as a powder, as an extract, and in a variety of other forms. The main suppliers of Tongkat Ali are supplement companies such as Real Herbs and Piping Rock Health. They can be purchased online or in supplement stores. However, as discussed above, it is absolutely essential to make sure that your Tongkat Ali is pure, and not adulterated with harmful chemicals. As with any supplement, it’s best to seek the advice of a licensed physician before beginning to take Tongkat Ali. If you’ve been given the go-ahead and have found a pure source of the supplement, follow the instructions given, and don’t take more than the recommended quantity– as with any biologically active chemical, Tongkat Ali will not become more effective if you take too much, and may even prove harmful.

What’s The Verdict

In the pantheon of herbal male enhancement supplements, Tongkat Ali has more science behind it than most. If you or your partner is suffering from decreased virility, it may be worth looking into. However, it should by no means be seen as a cure-all for other diseases, and it’s important to ensure that you’re taking the right product in the right amount. If you’ve done your research, sourced your supplements carefully, and discussed it with your doctor, go ahead and give it a try– at worst, it probably won’t make much difference, and at best, it may work wonders for your sex life.