For the last few decades, herbalism has been mostly considered quack or folk-medicine at best. Luckily, for us who stand strongly beside the powerful healing abilities of Mother Nature, there are massive amounts of "scientific evidence" that validates the medicinal effects of herbs.
But sorting through the mass amount of scientific literature can take a lot of time. You could likely spend a lifetime reading medical journals and studies, without end. Due to this, we have dedicated our time to share with you the refined version of our research, and today, we want to bring you some of our favorite and well-researched herbs to begin experimenting with.
5 Herbs that Get Their Job Done
Astragalus: In a world riddled with toxins and endocrine disrupting estrogen-like substances, most of us could use some immune support, especially during the dark, lightless days of winter. And at least according to our researching, not many herbs do this as well as astragalus.
This adaptogenic root has seemingly endless ways in which it supports immune function. First, it has both antibacterial and antiviral properties. It increases the production of immune-helper T-cells and even regulates pro-inflammatory cytokines, which need to be balanced for your immune system to function properly and to avoid inflammation. 1, 2
Rhodiola: Next to ginseng, Rhodiola is one of the most potent and well-studied adaptogen herbs. Also known as the "stress calmer", the roots of Rhodiola Rosea can help reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and improve overall energy. According to research, it is the main adaptogen approved by the HMPC/EMA for treating 'stress' and modulating the release of stress hormones while enhancing energy metabolism. 3
Considering the high incidences of stress in today's modern world, Rhodiola would make a wonderful daily tonic to support the body through daily pressures. In fact, Rhodiola is proven to lower elevated cortisol levels, the major hormone behind most of stress's destructive, aging and energy zapping effects. 4
Holy Basil: Also known as Tulsi, holy basil is considered "The Queen of Herbs" in Ayurvedic tradition for its powerful and tonifying effects on the mind and body. Like Rhodiola, Tulsi is an adaptogen, which ultimately means it assists the body inefficient adapting to the effects of stress, stabilizing the physiological processes that may otherwise be aberrated by stress.
In this way, not only does holy basil minimize the stress reactions, but it also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. In fact, in a six-week study, it was found that taking holy basil significantly improved stress scores, sexual and sleep problems, and symptoms like forgetfulness and exhaustion. 5
Nettle Root: Nettle root is not an adaptogen, but its medicinal effects and clinical support are still incredibly impressive. Nettle root has a very special and important place in today's world. It is one of the few herbs that can effectively lower estrogen. And estrogen happens to be a highly stressful substance that can stimulate the adrenals to produce cortisol, impair cellular oxygen consumption and even lead to edema, inflammation, and hypothyroidism.
Our modern world is heavily contaminated with estrogen-like chemicals and there are phytoestrogens abundantly in vegetable oils, grains, legumes, alcohol, and most processed foods. Avoiding estrogen entirely is next to impossible, but fortunately, we have herbs like Nettle that can help keep our hormones in balance. 6
KSM-66 Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is one of the most multi-faceted herbs around. There really isn't anything ashwagandha cannot do, and there is science to prove it.
According to various studies, a specific strain of Ashwagandha known as KSM-66 Ashwagandha can effectively lower stress hormones like cortisol, which helps to alleviate anxiety, depression and stress-related food cravings. It can enhance memory and cognitive function, promote endurance, strength, muscle size and muscle recovery rate and top it all off, it is a premier sexual performance enhancing herb in both men and women largely due to its ability to boost progesterone and testosterone. 7, 8, 9
The Bottom Line
So there you have it! Five herbs that are definitely worthy of adding to your routine and turning to when you need to fend off stress, detox, or give your immune system a boost.