5 Herbs to Boost Overall Well-Being
The use of herbs to support and improve health and wellness is not a new practice. Herbs have been used for a wide range of health-related purposes for thousands of years. However, the natural approach to healthcare and recovery experienced a huge resurgence in popularity in the past few years. As a result, not only the use of herbs has significantly increased, but there has also been an increasing body of research on how various plants can help improve overall well-being.
If you have also been thinking to take this natural route to improve your well-being, following are some of the herbs that can offer great value:
Immune system is our body’s primary defense against diseases and foreign pathogens. Therefore, a well-functioning immune system is a prerequisite for staying healthy.
Black elderberry is long used as a natural tonic to boost the immune system and promote health and vitality. These small, round, dark purple berries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, along with many other useful compounds. They help the body fight against free radicals, which are a leading contributor to many chronic health issues.
In addition to boosting the immune system, these berries can also help reduce inflammation and stress. They may also have heart-protective properties.
Black elderberries have also long been used for respiratory allergies, colds, and flu. Research has shown that they can also help reduce LDL cholesterol level, regulate blood sugar, and alleviate minor skin issues.
Long used in traditional medicine, black elderberries are also increasingly gaining popularity in the US as a ‘superfruit’.
Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi, is a highly valued healing and wellness herb in Ayurveda. With the history of use going back to more than 3,000 years, it is considered one of the best adaptogenic herbs in traditional medicine. Holy Basil is not only effective in lowering stress, but also helps reduce inflammation in the body by working as a natural antihistamine. The herb also has antioxidant properties.
In addition to helping the body destress and restore balance, Holy Basil has also been known to offer cognitive, immune, and digestive support and help promote longevity. It can also help maintain blood sugar levels, in healthy individuals, promotes circulation, and protect the liver.
The ancient Ayurvedic text “Charaka Samhita”, written around 1000 BC, described Holy Basil as “the incomparable herb” due to the wide range of incredible benefits it offers.
If you’re to name one natural ingredient that’s equally revered by traditional medicinal experts and scientific researchers, it has to be turmeric. The yellow spice containing incredibly powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties has been deeply studied by researchers and there is plenty of scientific evidence available supporting the thousands of years old claims of traditional medicinal experts.
While turmeric contains a number of bioactive compounds, most of its benefits come from curcumin. In addition to helping the body fight against inflammation and oxidative stress, curcumin can also increase the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a protein from the neurotrophin family of growth factors that promotes the survival of neurons.
Research has found a link between the low levels of BDNF and several common brain issues, including Alzheimer’s and depression. Curcumin has also been found to help improve memory.
In addition to the brain, curcumin is also scientifically proven to help lower the risk of heart disease by improving the function of endothelium (the lining of the blood vessels) and lowering inflammation and oxidative stress. Curcumin is also great for joints and lowering the risk of (or delaying) age-related health issues. It’s also great for the immune system, liver, and skin.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that turmeric is truly a wonder spice and a gift of nature to humans.
The roots of Rhodiola Rosea have long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a health tonic to alleviate physical fatigue, improve blood circulation, and protect the body from extreme cold. In Scandinavian countries and Russia, the herb has been used to increase endurance and physical strength. Modern scientific research has shown that Rhodiola roots is also a great natural adaptogen. It helps the body fight against all types of stressors and may also be useful in reducing anxiety.
Research has also found some supporting evidence regarding Rhodiola root’s ability to improve physical and mental performance.
Maca root is widely known as a supplement athletes and bodybuilders use to increase strength, energy, endurance, and exercise performance. However, it’s equally beneficial for everyone.
In addition to increasing endurance and giving the body an energy boost, Maca root also helps fight against free radicals by supplying the body with antioxidants. It’s also a great adaptogen.
Some animal studies have also found Maca root’s potential to improve learning and memory. On the basis of these evidence, researchers are optimistic that the plant root may be helpful in preventing, treating, or slowing the progress of degenerative brain disorders. However, since these findings come from animal studies, they aren’t conclusive.
Maca root is also beneficial for several fertility-related issues. The nutrients found in Maca root also help improve mood and overall health and well-being, both physical and mental.
The Sum Up
We often equate health with the absence of diseases. However, health is much more than that. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.”
We need to adopt a comprehensive approach towards our well-being in order to be truly healthy. The herbs that we have discussed above can offer great help in this journey as they have diverse mechanism of actions and multifaceted benefits. Incorporate these wellness herbs into your daily life to improve your health and well-being. But, don’t forget to consult an expert to determine the right herbs and their dosage for yourself.