I believe that one of the best things you can do on your health and wellness journey is incorporate herbs into your diet and daily routine. Speaking from my own personal experience, ashwagandha was a key component in helping me overcome my suicidal depression. Of course, taking ashwagandha daily was only one piece of the puzzle for my healing journey. Other pieces included cleaning up my diet, eliminating toxins from my daily use, and focusing on my gut health.
Keep in mind though, what works for some, may not work for all. It could take time to find the best herb fit for you. Plus, consistency is key when supplementing with an herb, so be sure to consume it daily. Signing up for a subscription is great way to make sure you never run out without adding anything to your to-do list.
Last thing to note before we dive in, whenever adding a new supplement to your diet and daily routine, I recommend checking with your care provider.
The History of Herbs
Herbal medicine is as old as mankind itself, dating as far back as ancient times. The earliest documentation of using herbs to heal is preserved in written documents and monuments, detailing accounts of barks, seeds, fruits, and other parts of plants that were considered to have healing properties.
As mankind evolved, so did our understanding of herbal medicine. This led to herbal medicine being taught in organized institutions, like schools and monasteries, an upgrade from its humble beginnings of being passed down orally from one generation to the next.
Today, with scientific studies and modern medicine, we know so much more about herbs and the inner workings of how they can help our bodies heal. Let’s go over my personal top three herbs!
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that originates from India and has a long history of healing. For thousands of years, its root and berries have been used for their health and energy benefits. Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen which means it can help your body manage stress and can help regulate hormonal health.
Ashwagandha can also help:
- Boost brain function
- Lower blood sugar and cortisol levels
- Alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Support the immune system
- Reduce inflammation
- Increase stamina and energy
- Heavy periods
- Hot flashes
- Depression or anxiety
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Hair loss
They're large, white, shaggy mushrooms that actually resemble a lion’s mane as they grow.
Lion's Mane can help:
- Reduce inflammation
- Boost the immune system
- Support brain, heart, & gut function
- Lessen symptoms of stress & anxiety
- Increase healthy bacteria in the body
Lion’s Mane can be helpful for those looking to help boost their immune system and support the body’s major functions, including brain, heart, and gut health. This herb might be the right fit for you if you are:
- Struggling with inflammation
- Constantly getting sick
- Experiencing brain fog
- Feeling heightened anxiety
Maca Root is an adaptogen grown in Peru's Andes Mountains. It's been used for thousands of years to help the body manage stress. Some studies show it may also help improve fertility, menopause symptoms, and erectile dysfunction.
Maca Root can also help:
- Improve muscle gain
- Sex drive
- Increase strength
- Boost energy
- Enhance exercise performance
- Support nutrition
- Reduce symptoms of anxiety
- Improve brain function
Maca Root may be the right fit for you if you are looking to improve your energy levels. That can look like:
- Feeling sluggish or consistently unmotivated
- Experiencing brain fog
- Working out consistently drains you instead of boosting your energy
- Getting enough sleep, but constantly feeling tired
How do you pick the best herb for you?
While this blog post can serve as a helpful guide, there’s no one size fits all answer. It’s always great to do your own research as well to help determine the best herb to fit your health needs. Working with a holistic care provider is another great option too.
What are the best foods to mix herbs with?
You can add your desired number of servings of your herb of choice to most liquids, including teas, coffee, protein shakes and smoothies. For best results, use a handheld frother to blend completely. When adding to food, oatmeal, overnight oats, pudding, yogurt, and other no-bake treats are all great options. My Protein Recipe Cookbook has lots of options for mixing in herbs. Friendly reminder that consistent daily use is key for best results!
How should herbs be stored?
Herbs should be stored in a cool, dry location. Keep package closed when not in use. All of our herbs have a shelf life of two years. Keep in mind though, our herbs don’t contain preservatives, so they’re best stored in the house rather than a hot garage.
Are herbs safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding?
We strongly recommend checking with your care provider if you are considering supplementing with herbs when pregnant or breastfeeding. Ashwagandha is great for breastfeeding, but controversial for pregnancy. Maca Root is great for breastfeeding as well, but not recommended for pregnancy. Lion’s Mane is considered safe for both pregnancy and breastfeeding.