I first of all want to thank you SO SO much for your amazing and supportive response to my last post. I have gotten so many positive emails, comments, and messages from you, and you have no idea how incredibly good it feels to have your love and support. I am so excited for the next step and sharing it with you as the year unfolds!
Recently, StyleCaster asked me the health trends I see popping up for 2016, and the answer was easy for me because it’s something I’ve been really getting into the past year or so. Superherbs and adaptogens are the trend I see going big in 2016 that I’m really excited about! We’ve all been informed about superfoods and the nutrients they pack, but superherbs do more than deliver vitamins and nutrition. Superherbs are a class of herbs that help heal the body, aid in well being, support the immune system, and boost energy levels. These herbs have adaptogenic properties that help the body adjust to stresses, whether external (environmental) or internal (emotional/physical). Herbal adaptogens can have extremely powerful healing effects that benefit the whole body by restoring balance and strength, versus just addressing specific symptoms. This focus on the whole body means adaptogens can restore homeostasis better than drugs targeted at specific ailments. Stress can cause all sorts of imbalance and disarray in the body, and I believe it is a big contributor to disease. Adaptogens help the body maintain health by igniting chemical processes that offset the effects of stressors.
In the last several years, people have taken it upon themselves more than ever to learn about the detrimental effects on the body of taking synthetic pharmaceuticals and consuming processed foods. People are sick and tired of being sick and tired. The body is not designed to digest, assimilate, and eliminate chemicals, and it simply cannot. When these toxic wastes and their byproducts are stuck in the body, they create disease and imbalance, which has become evident over time. Taking a pill may mask the symptoms of certain ailments, but it does nothing to treat the ailment itself. The body is still suffering despite the fact that the resulting superficial pain has been quieted, and it is important to dig deeper and treat the real reason for the pain, not just the pain itself. Superherbs do that by treating the body as a whole, not just one isolated area or symptom. When we experience an ailment, the body is almost always in disarray systematically in a number of ways, and treating it as one total and connected unit is the best way to restore balance and vitality. I hope that in the near future many of us will be taking herbs over prescriptions and over the counter drugs as our remedy of choice for certain ailments.
Below I’ve detailed out my favorite supercharged herbs that can help our bodies adjust and rebalance in response to stress:
ASTRAGALUS: Astragalus is an adaptogen that protects the body from physical, mental, and emotional stress. It benefits the immune system, heart, and liver, and is currently under scientific study for its use as a treatment for cancer. Taking astragalus long term prevents colds and allergy symptoms during seasonal episodes.
RHODIOLA: The medicinal components of the succulent rhodiola are found in its thick root. It is a great adaptogen for mental stress and memory issues. Not only can it help with brain fog, but it also reduces stress by boosting endorphins. In animal studies, it has been shown to lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, and normalize heart rhythm. Rhodiola is also a powerful antioxidant that reduces cell damage.
ASHWAGANDHA: This is one of the most powerful Indian healing herbs, used for a wide variety of conditions including stress, fatigue, lack of energy, and difficulty concentrating. Ashwagandha has very similar restorative effects to ginseng and can help support energy and well-being . It contains many medicinal chemicals that improve stamina and reduces tress on the body. It also stimulates immunity and has profound antioxidant benefits.
REISHI: This is a Chinese mushroom that is through to increase life sforce and longevity. It is used to treat a myriad of ailments form fatigue to heart disease. Research has shown enhance immune function in people who consumed reishi mushrooms because of their antibacterial and antiviral powers.
GINGER: Ginger root is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that can be used to remedy a wide range of issues, including nausea, indigestion, and joint problems. It is a warming herb, making it great for boosting circulation and has anti-viral properties to help boost immunity and speed recovery time during cold and flu season. It is most commonly and primarily used for gastrointestinal upset including discomfort after eating, heartburn, gas, bloating, and nausea.
OREGANO: Oregano has high amounts of antioxidants and antibacterial properties. It can be highly effective as an antiparasitic, antiseptic, antiviral, and immune boosting remedy. I love taking oregano oil in capsule form when I am sick instead of an antibiotic as well as adding it to boiling water with rosemary and basil for a congestion clearing facial steam. I also love taking it when I’ve had an extra indulgent few days of sugar or grain consumption because it is highly effective in preventing candida overgrowth. Candida is a bacteria in the gut that feeds on sugar and when we consume high amounts, the candida overgrowth and creates bacterial imbalance that can lead to cravings, energy dips, and yeast infections.
TURMERIC: Turmeric is a root in the same family as ginger containing curcumin, which is a potent group of antioxidant compounds. It has been shown to have highly effective anti-inflammatory properties that have powerful pain relieving qualities in those with join pain, muscle soreness, and arthritis.
CHAMOMILE: Chamomile is my favorite after dinner tea because it is great for digestion and stomach settling. I love boiling some water with ginger root and adding chamomile tea for the ultimate digestive concoction. It also has strong relaxant properties making it perfect before bed. I also love drinking it during busy days when I’m feeling stressed because it calms me out and makes me feel less anxious. I add a little coconut milk to make a warm tea latte that is both comforting and delicious. If you experience menstrual cramps, chamomile is great for that as well because it loosens the muscles that are tense.
ARNICA: Arnica is a mountain flower, and I think of its benefits similar to Advil, without the synthetic components. Arnica is a wonderful treatment for bruises, sprains,soreness, swelling, muscle aches and spasms, arthritis, and joint pain. It can be taken in pill form or topical application to areas of soreness. I love using an arnica balm during massage or sore areas and I also like taking it before AND after strenuous athletic activity to offset any resulting pain.
GINSENG: Ginseng works by reducing the secretion of stress hormones in the body, so it can be useful in a myriad of scenarios. Ginseng’s Latin name, Panax, comes from the word “panacea” to describe it’s “all healing” properties. Studies have shown ginseng helps athletes uptake more oxygen and improve their stamina during workouts, which illustrative of it’s adaptogenic ability to help the body adapt to stress. It also boosts immunity by helping the body produce its own antiviral compound when exposed to germs.
Have you heard of any of these superherbs and would you reach for them instead of synthetic chemical drugs for certain ailments?