Hyderabad: Doctors say that munching on amla while at work can go a long way in improving your overall health. Recent studies indicate that working women who are stressed tend to consume over 2,500 calories more than their non-stressed counterparts on a weekly basis.

To combat such tendencies, adaptogens, popularly known as healing plants, are recommended to strengthen the body’s natural response to emotional and physical stress. Ayurvedic doctors say that the use of adaptogens such as tulasi and amla in medication is an age-old practice.

Dr Vishwanath Nambiar, an ayurvedic doctor, says, “We make use of natural plants in our treatment regimes. We ask our patients to drink water in which tulasi or neem leaves have been immersed as they have antibacterial properties. The medical properties of such plants help in digestion and strengthen fat metabolism.”

Doctors say that the hormone cortisol is released when a person is under stress. Adaptogens possess a balancing property by which they are able to reduce cortisol levels and free the mind of anxious or depressive thoughts.

Medical experts say that stress eating results in the consumption of empty calories, an extremely unhealthy practice which can lead to obesity and other gastric problems.

Dr Naveen Polavarapu, a gastroenterologist, said, “Natural remedies are preferred because they help in improving energy levels because of the antioxidants that they contain. They do not have as many calories, and they have a balancing effect on one’s body, which prevents binge eating.” It is advisable to munch on amla and to add tulasi or neem to your tea.

Dr Hari Charan, a general physician, said, “There are many green tea varieties available these days. Most adaptogens used in them are rich in Vitamin C; they increase cellular mechanism, which helps in reducing lethargy.”

Doctors say that the antioxidants in adaptogens help in the detoxification of the body, which causes the mind to feel fresher and therefore more capable of dealing with emotional stress.