Most of the nutrients that your body needs for good health should come from a wholesome diet. But herbs and supplements should be given top priority in a healthy lifestyle, too. They provide you with a natural way to optimize your wellness and nutrition for maximum vitality at all stages of life.
Supplements also offer a way to receive some amazing health benefits from herbs and spices you may not normally consume with your meals. And they provide a vehicle for you to consume larger amounts of more common and extremely beneficial herbs, like garlic and turmeric.
Some are amazing for relieving common health concerns like inflammation, pain, poor digestion, stress, and aging. Others are particularly well suited to support the health concerns of men, women, or children. Let’s dive into a list of herbs and supplements everyone should know about for optimal wellness, general health, and longevity.
- Red Raspberry Leaf and Maca Root
According to Chinese medicine experts at the Yinova Center, specific herbs that help with fertility can be “used alone or as a complement to acupuncture treatment to support hormone balance, nourish the ovarian follicle, clear inflammation, boost pelvic circulation, promote healthy cervical mucus, and address complex fertility disorders.”
Red raspberry leaf has been used for hundreds of years to tone the uterus and improve pelvic circulation. It is often combined with maca root to balance the hormones, reduce stress, and provide valuable nutrition for women who are trying to conceive.
- Hawthorn and Pumpkin Seed Oil
Herbs can be utilized specifically to support men’s health, too. For example, hawthorn is often recommended to support healthy heart function by increasing blood flow to the heart and supporting cardiovascular contractions.
Hawthorn is often recommended for use in conjunction with pumpkin seed oil supplements, which are rich in phytosterols that can help to lower bad cholesterol while supporting prostate health. Pumpkin seed oil reduces prostate enlargement and protects the prostate cells from damage, which may lower the risk of prostate cancer.
- Bilberry and Garlic
If you’re looking for a good combination of supplements to support healthy aging, you can’t go wrong with bilberry and garlic. Bilberry is full of powerful antioxidants that protect the cells against free radical damage. It also contains flavonoids to improve circulation, which is beneficial for treating varicose veins and protecting against age-related macular degeneration of the eyes.
On its own, garlic is a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial that supports the immune system. When used in conjunction with bilberry, it further boosts blood circulation and supports heart health. It can also help to lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and prevent blood clots that may lead to stroke. This combination of herbs can also be extremely beneficial for boosting energy levels.
Chamomile is a relaxing and calming herb that anyone can use, and it’s gentle enough for kids. Chamomile tea is fantastic for calming the nerves and promoting restful sleep. It also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile tea can help to ease tummy troubles and digestive issues, and it’s especially helpful for a nervous stomach brought on by emotional and mental stress.
Inflammation is a beneficial immune response that promotes healing when you’re sick or injured. But if the inflammation becomes excessive or doesn’t go away after you are well, it becomes chronic, which can lead to pain, skin issues, and a variety of other health concerns, including heart disease.
Boswellia is an Ayurvedic herb that is also known as Indian frankincense. It contains a substance called boswellic acids, which inhibit proinflammatory enzymes in the body. That makes Boswellia an extremely beneficial supplement for anyone who suffers from a condition related to inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, tendonitis, and arthritis.
Cayenne contains a substance called capsaicin, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. When taken internally or applied topically, it can reduce inflammation and pain due to chronic and acute injuries, as well as health conditions like neuropathy and arthritis.
Ginger contains a substance called gingerol, which suppresses inflammatory compounds. It’s an effective natural remedy for the pain and inflammation of arthritis and other joint issues. Ginger may also reduce your risk of heart disease by preventing blood clots and reducing cholesterol.
- Devil’s Claw
Devil’s Claw extract could take the place of NSAIDs for those who suffer from acute and subacute inflammation. It is an amazing pain and inflammation reducer that also eases muscle tension. It is especially beneficial for those who suffer from chronic back and joint pain and those who deal with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Garlic is an herb that contains numerous healthful compounds for boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation. It can be beneficial for respiratory issues, asthma, arthritis, and more. Studies show that garlic improves the flexibility of blood vessels too, which means they’ll be less prone to damage from inflammation.
Digestive health is crucial to many body functions, from immune function and mood regulation to detoxification. Many holistic health experts believe that good digestion is the key to optimal wellbeing. Licorice contains soothing compounds that can help treat ulcers and protect the stomach lining from acidic digestive juices.
- Slippery Elm Bark
Slippery elm bark promotes the production of mucilage in the gut, which is intensely soothing and healing for the gut wall. It can relieve intestinal inflammation and protect the stomach lining against acid reflux.
Fennel not only relieves stomach bloating and soothes stomach upset, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for gut health. Fennel is also an antispasmodic, so it can be beneficial for stomach cramping, relieving painful gas, and nausea.
Peppermint is another antispasmodic that relaxes the muscles of the intestinal wall. It can be used to relieve the symptoms of IBS, as well as gas and nausea.
Chronic stress is a common issue in our modern society, and it triggers the body’s fight or flee response. The problem is, when stress becomes chronic, your body never has the chance to recover from that surge of energy caused by the release of the stress hormone known as cortisol. Adaptogens are a class of herbs that can help your body handle stress more easily.
Ashwagandha is one of the most effective adaptogenic herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance overall health and increase energy. It also promotes restful sleep, calms the mind, and helps the body overcome physical and mental stress. It can also help the body overcome fatigue caused by anxiety and nervous tension.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, herbal supplements can be used to provide a variety of benefits to overall health and wellbeing without the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals. When combined with a healthy diet, moderate exercise, and adequate rest, herbs are a fantastic way to address everyday health concerns as well as the symptoms of chronic illness.
Just be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any supplement regimen, especially if are currently taking medication or struggling with an existing health issue. Although herbs are natural and often more gentle than medication, they can interact negatively with certain drugs or acerbate certain health conditions if used incorrectly.