The Holidays in the midst of Winter are great for getting us up and going, despite the cold and other weather phenomena, but in the end, when the joys of giving and receiving and being with family and friends are over, we begin to understand that we are exhausted and in need of a good rest and relaxation! There is one problem, however:  it is not easy to let go and do away with the stress of December. Stress has a way of sticking in our Adrenal System and refusing to go!

And that is where my favorite family of Herbs comes in to help us get back into a normal pace.

These herbs are not our usual “relaxing” herbs like Chamomile, Scullcap, Lemon Balm, i.e.Nervines — great, but for a short time only.

Adaptogens, on the other hand are wonderful long term herbs that gradually act upon the ability of our system to:

  • Adapt/Cope with Chronic Physical/Mental/Emotional STRESS.


There are many Adaptogens, and we will discuss many of them in future columns, but my favorite is Amla!

It comes to us from India, is connected in their tradition with two major Hindu Goddesses, Lakshmi and Parvati, and the tree they watered with their tears: Amalaki!

Amla is, among many other things:

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Restores Appetite
  • Promotes resistance to disease
  • Nourishes the blood
  • Prevents aging!

But above all, it has the ability to provide nourishment to ALL our tissues. It is known in India as The Sustainer, and is a Rejuvenative, sacred to the two big Indian Deities mentioned above, and to Shiva.

I use Amla a lot in my herbal mixtures and tinctures, along with other Adaptogens such as Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng), Ashwaganda, and Ginseng, and I make sure I take these mixtures as teas or tinctures (I prefer tinctures—they are stronger)  daily!  I feel rejuvenated alright, and I hope you all do too when you start using them!

In good health!


For questions please email me at:

Charoula Dontopoulos
Certified Herbalist
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner