There is much to learn about the plants of this earth, and yet we have only scratched the surface of discovering the healing benefits they can provide. During my nutrition certification, I developed an affinity for the herbs and their healing properties more than other foods. These five uncommon herbs can help reduce stress, inflammation, and improve the health of your gut while helping us to maintain beautiful homeostasis.
When considering taking herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor, especially if pregnant or nursing. If you’re looking to add herbal remedies into your diet, instead of prescription medication, consult a practitioner trained in the use of herbal health supplements. Without further ado, let’s talk about five fabulous herbs that can make quite a holistic difference in our lives.
Known as “golden root,” this plant is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are known to help our bodies adapt to a range of stressors. Rosavin, one of the many chemical compounds found in Rhodiola, is unique in its ability to regulate cortisol, the primary hormone produced by the adrenals during the stress response. Rhodiola is being studied as an aid to prevent brain fog, fatigue, and low energy due to sleep deprivation, exercise, and adrenal fatigue. It may also aid in fighting depression and improving your mood. Rhodiola should be taken by supplement, extract, tea, or tincture, according to instructions, about 15 minutes before a meal.
- Devil’s Claw
This holistic medicinal grows in southern Africa and Madagascar. It has been used among indigenous people of South Africa as a remedy for diseases ranging from liver and kidney disorders to allergies, headaches, and most commonly, rheumatism. Devil’s Claw, named for its hook-like roots, contains substances called iridoids that are anti-inflammatory, the main benefit being pain relief. Devil’s Claw has been known to reduce joint pain of all kinds, including osteoarthritic pain and inflammation. Holistic doctors have been prescribing Devil’s Claw for a range of pain relief, including rheumatoid arthritis, muscle pain, and chronic lower back pain. Devil’s Claw should be taken by supplement, extract, tea, or tincture, according to instructions.
- Slippery Elm
A tree bark, also known as red elm, this herb has long been used by Native Americans as a remedy for flu-like symptoms. The main benefit of this herb is its gut soothing properties, which can help relieve everything from severe IBS to stomach bloat. It also contains a surplus of antioxidants which help prevent sickness and reduce oxidative stress. When taking this herb, it is important to note that it should not be taken with any medications, as it may slow the absorption of the drug in the digestive tract due its soothing, gut-coating properties. The preferred method of ingestion in either tablet, tincture, or tea, according to instructions. Take or drink between meals for best results.
Goldenseal, an herb that belongs to the buttercup family, grows in North America. It’s the roots of this herb that serve us, also known as yellow root, orange root or yellow puccoon. The roots are going to be bitter but yield a host of benefits. Alkaloids called berberine, canadine, and hydrastine are phytochemicals with antiseptic effects to reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar. They are antimicrobial and aid in fighting viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Goldenseal can help in the prevention and treatment colds, eye infections, urinary tract infections, and skin issues where microbes are the cause or irritant. The preferred methods of ingestion are by tea, tincture, tablets, and capsules, according to instructions.
- Valerian Root
Valerian root offers enormous benefits for those who struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. It has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly useful aid in treating insomnia. Not only may it help you fall asleep, but it may also help improve the quality of your sleep while helping you fall asleep faster. Other uses not yet proven with research have included treating anxiety, stress, and depression. The preferred method of ingestion for Valerian is by supplement, according to dosage instructions, taken 2 hours before bed.