Feeling stressed out in today’s fast paced world is seemingly a byproduct of life, unavoidable with the amount of stressors present. But continually being a little stressed out can do more damage than you think.
Chronic stress can lead to an incredible amount of complications later in life. Stress, and the stress reaction in the body, causes the body to produce hormones that are intended to help it react to physical danger, a remnant of our ancestral tribulations.
Stress in the modern world is not the same as it used to be when our bodies evolved to respond effectively. We used to use our fight or flight response to avoid physical stress and danger present in the world around us, but modern stress is much more pervasive and persistent. We’ve got mortgages, family matters, traffic, work problems, and other daily stressors that we take home with us, and constantly weigh on our minds.
This pervasive stress forces the body to constantly produce stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, which over a long period of time and continual exposure, do damage to the body. Stress can cause serious ailments like asthma, obesity, fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation and interest, headaches, upset stomach, reduced appetite and sexual drive, and the stress related diseases that kill are heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more.
Referred to as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure is as dangerous as the name implies. Statistics show that as many as 110 million people die from stress and related issues every year. High blood pressure alone has been found to harden the arteries, leading to an incredible range of problems.
Researchers have found that modern stress, that which is persistent and continual, causes the body to remain in the alarm phase of fight or flight, after which the body attempts to repair itself and return hormone levels to normal. But pervasive stress response renders the body unable to repair itself and return to normal, which eventually leads to the final phase, the exhaustion phase.
Exhaustion is a common side effect of adrenaline release. This stage in the stress response is thought to be the cause of many chronic diseases because the body is constantly in a state of exhaustion.
With so much damage being done by stress and high blood pressure, it is important to treat it in a way that is sustainable and effective. Many of the prescription medications people take are doing more harm than good, themselves causing health issues within the body.
Traditional medicinal systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, and Ayurvedic medicine in India, have been treating stress and high blood pressure with natural, safe, and effective remedies for centuries, and studies from the west are finally lending credence to their traditional medicines. Arjuna has been used as a heart remedy in India for over 3000 years.
One such treatment often used in traditional medicine is called arjuna. Terminalia arjuna is a tree of the genus Terminalia. It is commonly known as arjuna or arjun tree in English, thella maddi in Telugu, kumbuk in Sinhala, marudha maram in Tamil and neer maruthu in Malayalam.
Many people around the world rely on arjuna as a natural remedy for their high blood pressure, believed to provide such benefits as supporting the muscle tone of the heart, providing antioxidant power and healthy flavonoids and polyphenols, and benefitting blood flow throughout the body. Many animal and clinical studies have validated its anti-ischemic, antihypertensive, antihypertrophic and antioxidant effects.
The bark is the primary material used for medication, which contains phenolic constituents (arjunolic acid and terminic acid), glycosides (arjunetin and arjunosides I–IV), flavones, tannins, oligomeric proanthocyanidins and b-sitosterol.
In addition to high blood pressure, arjuna has been thought to help with a variety of other ailments, including the suppression of the herpes virus by inhibiting viral attachment and penetration, and even to help heal wounds.
For hypertension, arjuna has been studied with impressive results. One study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, tested the ability of an arjuna extract on pulmonary hypertension. Researchers created an extract of the stem bark of arjuna and tested it on lab rats.
This study placed subjects into groups, and treated some with a prescription medication called sildenafil, a vasodilator used to treat erectile dysfunction and hypertension, and the others into a group treated with arjuna extract. The study concluded that arjuna was able to treat high blood pressure as well as the prescription medication sildenafil, yet arjuna is widely believed to be completely free from side effects, while sildenafil carries with it sometimes significant side effects.
Other studies have found much of the same, with one concluding that “Most of the studies, both experimental and clinical, have suggested that the crude drug possesses anti-ischemic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, and antiatherogenic activities” and that “So far, no serious side effects have been reported with arjuna therapy.”
Arjuna medication can be found easily online, especially as it continues to gain popularity. For high blood pressure, arjuna works via its mild diuretic properties, as it can reduce blood clot formation, enhance prostaglandin levels, and lowers blood lipid levels, each of which contributes to its ability to help mediate hypertension.
Like all medications, it is important to consult with a physician before beginning a serious treatment process. Currently, arjuna is widely believed to have zero counter indications with medication, and little to no negative side effects, so it is believed to be very safe for use.
Not only is arjuna believed to be extremely safe when used in conjunction with other medications, some studies have shown that it actually may aid other medications in their effectiveness. Western doctors and researchers are only just beginning to scratch the surface of this traditional eastern remedy, but it looks as if arjuna will soon be included in the typical western remedy for hypertension.
It is helpful to think of stress not as the cause of a problem, but the symptom of problems that are occurring externally. It is our body’s reaction to external problems, thus, if we are to effectively treat stress, we must help our bodies better adjust to external factors, and arjuna indeed provides promise, helping the heart function more effectively, improving blood flow throughout the body, helping the body cope with adrenaline response, and much more.