For frenzied folks seeking an all-natural stress-buster, the supplement Relaxity pledges to bring calm without causing drowsiness. A proprietary blend of herbs and the amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (or GABA), Relaxity claims to induce relaxation partly by altering brain-wave patterns. In 2009, Relaxity launched a line of effervescent drink mixes that deliver the same ingredients as its supplements.
The Science Behind Relaxity
Here's a look at the science behind Relaxity's two key ingredients.
1) Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogens are a class of herbs thought to strengthen your resistance to all kinds of stress while enhancing your energy. Relaxity contains rhodiola, a Russian herb shown to reduce stress-related fatigue, improve mental performance, and build physical endurance in human-based studies. The supplement also includes ashwaghandha (an adaptogen used in ayurvedic medicine), which has been found to produce anti-stress effects in animal-based research.
Another herb featured in Relaxity's formula, aralia mandshurica has yet to be well-studied for its adaptogenic effects.
GABA is a brain chemical that decreases the electrochemical activity of neurons, which in turn helps lessen stress and anxiety. In fact, many anti-anxiety medications work by affecting GABA receptors in the brain.
Since it may be difficult for GABA to cross the blood-brain barrier, the degree to which orally ingested GABA can reach the brain is unknown. Therefore, Relaxity's claim that it can lessen stress through GABA's influence on brain-wave activity might not hold up.
Coping with Stress, Naturally
While Relaxity's blend of adaptogenic herbs may help offset the negative effects of stress, other herbs and herbal formulas can also aid in stress management. Ginseng, for instance, may also help increase your resistance to stress. To find the herbal medicine best suited to your individual needs, consider working with a health professional in choosing anti-stress herbs.
Certain mind-body practices can help your reduce your stress as well. Both known to decrease your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, meditation and yoga have also been shown to elevate GABA levels.
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