Managing stress is vital to keeping your body healthy and immune system strong. The body experiences stress from environmental changes such as a transition in seasons, shorter days, and cooler weather, as well as from the demands of our lives and uncertainty in the broader world.

With all that in mind, we spoke with chef and nutritionist Rachael Gorjestani, the founder of Goldmine Adaptogens, to share her wisdom on the role of herbs in supporting good health. Rachel’s line of proprietary herbal powders feature adaptogens – or herbs that help the body adapt to stress by providing support, where and however the body needs it most.

You are a chef and a co-founder of Goldmine Herbs, why is it so important  to utilize the power of nourishment to manage stress and anxiety?

Our gut is intimately linked with our brain and overall health. 70% of our immune system resides in the gut and 90% of our serotonin is produced in the gut along with other neurotransmitters key in mood regulation. For this reason, food and herbs can be a powerful tool when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. Our body needs a broad spectrum of macro and micro nutrients to fully flourish. The wider variety of foods, herbs, and whole ingredients we consume, the more armed our bodies are for the challenges that present themselves (both mentally and physically).

Why adaptogenic herbs – isn’t eating well enough to keep our immune system strong?

Our bodies are constantly striving for balance, but managing the demands of modern life takes a heavy toll on our bodies, especially our immune system. Herbal medicine, including adaptogens, is not new. Humans have always fostered a relationship with the plant kingdom to build energy, strengthen the immune system, and restore balance in the body. With all the stress we experience, eating a nourishing diet isn’t always enough — using herbs to calm our nervous system or adaptogens to strengthen our stress response is a highly effective way to support our health. 

You speak often about ‘burnout’ as a factor that prompted you to start your company. Why is ‘burnout awareness’ so important right NOW?

We NOW live in a world where we’re asked to overachieve and be available around the clock, especially if we’re supporting others or working multiple jobs to cover the cost of living. As a collective our nervous system is totally out of whack. We’re constantly in fight or flight mode which inhibits key health supporting actions within the body. If we’re constantly on edge, our body is going to be taxed. We need to fill our own cup so we can then have energy to give to others, and the world. I operate two businesses and I resonate with those who can’t quite seem to put work down at the end of the day. I make sure to take breaks when I need, get outside daily, move my body, and make time to eat nourishing meals. But work and life are very much intertwined for me. The saying “do what you can, no more, no less” resonates with my approach for work/life balance – it’s about keeping perspective, being accountable for what you can do, and knowing your limits. 

Will you share a seasonal, immune boosting recipe to try at home? 

Goldmine Herbs Immunity Boosting Tonic
¼ tsp turmeric powder (I love @diasporaco)
1” ginger root, grated and juiced
½ tsp Goldmine Supershroom Immunity Powder (@drinkgoldmine)
1 tbsp elderberry syrup (try @gaiaherbs)
Honey, to taste
½ Lemon, juiced

Bring a kettle to boil. Turn heat off and let cool down for a few minutes. Place all ingredients, except for the lemon, into a large mug. Pour hot water over the ingredients, let cool until drinkable then add lemon, stir thoroughly and enjoy! 

How are you embracing right NOW, and living fully during this time of uncertainty, change, and transition?

There’s a lot of uncertainty right NOW, as an entrepreneur, it’s meant a lot to me that my two businesses help people feel a little better through nourishing herbs and meals.