10 Herbs That Just Might Make You a Healthier You
Today we’re talking about a set of herbal supplements know as adaptogens. The idea behind these herbs is that they help the body maintain or return to it’s natural state of homeostasis. Typical symptoms when you’re body is out of sorts include fatigue, stress, irritability, depression, and lack of mental focus. Adaptogenic herbs are claimed to help with many of these symptoms by helping repair the damage that occurs naturally as we age. While the jury is still out on how effective these herbs really are, they have at least been shown to be safe to ingest, can add great flavor to certain dishes (like smoothies) and anecdotal evidence suggests they may actually work as advertised! Below we go into the most common adaptogenic herbs and their reported effects on the body.
Disclaimer: your mileage will vary and this is by no means medical advice. The use of herbal supplements has scant medical or scientific literature behind it, but has been a traditional source of remedy for common ailments for centuries.
American Ginseng (panax quinquefolium): Useful to help flagging energy levels and is beneficial to help lung function.
Ashwagandha (withania somnifera): aids in reducing stress; enhance endurance levels; soothe and calm your nervous system; aids inflammation & arthritis symptoms; boosts immune response.
Asian/Panax Ginseng: aids stress and anxiety; helps to increase energy.
Astragalus: used as a general “anti-aging” supplement; may help boost immune response and reduce fatigue;
Codonopsis Root (Dang Shen): reduce stress; improve stamina levels and fatigue; improves brain function; helps headaches that are related to high blood pressure and muscular tension; protects you against ulcers; aids indigestion; helps wheezy dry coughs and lung conditions; regulates blood sugar; increases red blood cell count.
Cordyceps: treats fatigue and lack of energy; may increase aerobic capacity and boost immune response; used in Chinese medicine to help reduce the size of tumors, to aid impotence, and as a kidney tonic.
Goji berry (lycium barbarum): used as an antioxdant and anti inflammatory; may help strengthen weak muscles (perhaps through improved recovery and fiber synthesis); used as a tonic herb for the liver, kidneys and blood; helps improve vision; helps improve sexual function.
Reishi Mushroom (ganoderma lucidum): used to soothe anxiety and as an immune booster; a general anti-aging herbal that is intended to help resist disease and fatigue; may also help soothe inflammation and treat insomnia.
Jiaogulan: used as a calming, soothing anti-anxiety and anti-aging supplement; Chinese medicine uses it to treat cancer patients in general; may help lower blood pressure and regulate heart function.
Licorice Root (glycyrrhiza glabra): used as an antiviral, immunomodulator, antioxidant, and anti inflammatory herb. If you have high blood pressure or any hormonal issues, check with your doctor before taking any licorice supplements.
And that’s it for today! Make sure you talk to your doctor before trying any herbal supplements, but don’t be afraid to explore the world a bit to help solve what ails you!