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Having a job is like being in a relationship; the honeymoon phase won’t last forever. Eventually, you’ll get stressed out and wonder if you’ve made the right choice.
For a short while, I took on a part-time position as a drive-through barista. Making coffee all day and walking away with cash tips seemed like the best gig in the world… until I completely burned out.
Being an opener, I had to wake up at 4 am. I didn’t understand why anyone wanted coffee that early in the morning, but soon I joined the ranks of the early morning coffee drinkers, and that was a big mistake.
I thought drinking coffee in the morning was a good thing. It was keeping me awake, so why not? Well, my adrenals completely disagreed.
I needed something natural to get me through the first couple hours of my shifts, but I wasn’t willing to drink the energy drinks my co-workers obsessed over.
I started researching natural ways to increase my energy during the day and sleep well at night. I didn’t need much; just enough to get me started early.
I discovered two valuable things: essential oils and herbal remedies.
Essential oils pack more power than you think
When I first heard about essential oils, I didn’t understand their depth or strength. I mistakenly thought they were just concentrated forms of squished up plants.
Essential oils are volatile chemical compounds that are part of the plant. Within each plant, the essential oil serves multiple purposes, including providing immunity and protection for the plant. That’s some serious power!
I will never forget the second-degree burn I got on my toe by using undiluted tea tree oil to treat a wart. It worked, but it was a painful lesson in the power of nature.
I used essential oils with aromatherapy
I bought a diffuser and mixed 5 drops of spruce needle, 2 drops of cedarwood, and 1 drop of peppermint according to a recipe I found online. I sat in the middle of my room, placed the diffuser in front of me, and closed my eyes. After a few minutes, the tightness in my body relaxed. After about fifteen minutes, my mind was really clear. Now I keep a diffuser in every room.
If there was a natural way to get more energy, I was determined to find it. At the time, my herbal knowledge was limited. I knew that ginger soothed an upset stomach, but I didn’t know herbs could be used to rebalance the body’s internal systems to prevent the stomachache in the first place.
After researching online for days, I came up with a list of several medicinal herbs used by various cultures around the world for centuries: maca, kratom, Panax ginseng, and Ashwagandha.
Maca is a root from Peru that looks like a potato. It’s also a nutrient-dense superfood with plenty of vitamins and minerals the body needs, like B-vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. As an adaptogen, maca balances a person’s hormones up or down based on what the body needs.
Kratom is an herbal stimulant from South East Asia, ironically a relative of the coffee tree. This herb has been used for centuries by farmers and tribes for its energy boosting and pain relieving properties. The alkaloids contained in kratom have a variety of functions including rhynchophylline as a vasodilator, and isorhynchophyline as an immunostimulant.
Ashwagandha is one of the main herbs used in the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda. As an adaptogenic herb, Ashwagandha increases the body’s resistance to stress and takes the pressure off the adrenals.
This article cites a double-blind study done at a hospital in India that concluded, “a high concentration of full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.”
Panax ginseng, another adaptogenic herb, provides nutrients to the adrenal cortex so it can create and circulate stress-resistant energy throughout the body.
I started with Ashwagandha and Panax ginseng and that combination helped me get into a regular sleep cycle, and waking up at 4 am became easy. I didn’t get a chance to try maca and kratom, but they’re still on my list.
Nature provides the best energy
Experimenting with essential oils and herbs brought me to a deeper understanding of how abundant remedies are in nature. Even just walking outside to breathe fresh air can be refreshing. We don’t need artificial stimulants like coffee and caffeine pills. We just need the power of nature.