What are the best herbal supplements? Well, where to begin? You search the internet, and you will find hundreds of sites, products, and blogs describing alternative and natural approaches to life, and the holistic betterment of health. It seems inconceivable and a bit pompous to write about a rich and vast subject such as herbalism in a defining way. However, from my knowledge and experience, I have curated a list of best herbal supplements that are readily available and are magical to your overall health. But before going straight to the topic, let us first learn a bit about Herbalism, and how did it evolve.
What is Herbalism?
Herbalism, also known as Phytotherapy, is the tradition of studying and using herbs for their healing properties. It refers to traditional medicinal practice based on the use of plants and their extracts. In a time where we all look to soothe ourselves with no strings attached, plants have our back. That is why we refer to plants as Medicines. Now, the question arises, ‘Can plant alone prove to be a good medicinal resource?’ Well, let me give you a beautiful quote by Marlene Adelmann, which will surely address the doubt:
“Plants talk to us at all levels, molecule to molecule and spirit to spirit. They facilitate healing that is potent, profound, and life-affirming.”
Herbalism is thus, art and science of using herbs in the form of plants – from roots to flowers, for promoting good health, while preventing and treating some illnesses. The best herbal supplements are derived from them. Several cultures have come to dominate the practice of herbal medicine: the westerns, based on Greek and Roman sources, the Ayurvedic Medicine from India, and Traditional Chinese Medicines.
History of Herbalism
Herbalism is there since the dawn of time! Plants were present even before the researchers came up with pills and capsules, or any other form of pharmaceutical drugs. The use of plants for their healing properties thus predates recorded history, and forms the origin and bases of many contemporary medicines.
We know that Palaeolithic humans were hunters and gatherers, and their diet consisted of animals, insects, fruits, nuts, grasses, and leafy greens. This is how they recognized the use of different plants to treat specific illnesses. Around 1500 BCE the Ancient Egyptians wrote the Ebers Papyrus that lists over 850 herbal medicines. For a deeper understanding of the evolution of Herbalism over the centuries, you may visit this informative page on the History of Herbalism.
Now that we have grasped some fundamental meaning of the word Herbalism, we want to know how to use it, don’t we? Let’s dive into how to include herbs in our daily routine to derive healing benefits for overall health. 🙂
What are the 10 Best Herbal Supplements for Overall Health?
Look around nature, and you will find herbs in abundance that are so full of health benefits. Nowadays, herbal supplements overflow the shelves at your local grocery shop, unless you live in less herbal-conscious countries, where you are forced to go to herbalist shops to find our magic herbs. However, the concern is which one to pick that will best suit your health to achieve optimum levels! Hence, go through this list of 10 best herbal supplements for the health, and find out yourself which one is calling you!
Ginger is one of the best herbal supplements used by many people to treat everything from cold to digestion issues, to migraines, to hypertension. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is considered to be a good source of immunity booster. Ginger can be taken in raw, powdered, or juice form.
2. Green Tea
Green Tea is an age-old herbal remedy that is high in antioxidants. It typically aids digestion and improves heart health. Green Tea can increase fat burning and boost metabolic rate. A study found that this herbal supplement may have an active compound that reduces inflammation and swelling. Thus, It also works wonders on acne and helps reduce hair fall.
Rosemary is a Mediterranean shrub that is widely used in meals as a spice, and also in cosmetics for fragrance. It has medical properties that help relax muscles, reducing pain and promoting digestion. Rosemary contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body, boost the immune system and improve the blood circulation. The rosemary’s oil aroma improves mood, helps clearing the mind and relieving the stress, especially in those with chronic anxiety. Rosemary is specifically beneficial against bacterial infections too.
4. Celery Seeds
Despite their tiny size, celery seeds have a gigantic nutrient profile J First, they are a great source of essential minerals like calcium, manganese and iron, essential nutrients for the body. It supports bone health and promotes Red Blood Cell formation, responsible for the transportation of oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. Celery seed extracts have anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties that help aid digestion and relieve gastric pains.
Garlic is the most commonly available product. It is used as a herbal supplement, known to give a pungent taste in various dishes. Apart from its delicious taste, garlic also holds many health benefits. Due to the organosulfur compound present in garlic, it is effective in reducing blood pressure, inflammation, and improving arterial stiffness. The antioxidant properties of garlic can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and gingival inflammation bleeding, improving oral health. The application of garlic is also known to reduce acne.
Ginkgo is one of the oldest living tree species in the world that is used in Traditional Chinese Medicines. The extracts from Ginkgo leaves are used as an ailment for many conditions like cognitive, vision, and heart health issues. It helps reduce anxiety and can also be used in the treatment of depression. It’s powerful antioxidant properties help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation.
Rhodiola is also known as Arctic Root or Rhodiola Rosea. This herbal supplement is best known for its powerful ability to help manage stress-related conditions such as headaches, anxieties, depression, fatigue, and anemia. It also boosts energy metabolism in those suffering from prolonged or chronic fatigue.
Curcumin is a spice displaying many health benefits. It is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Extremely suggested to treat conditions like arthritis, digestion, respiratory issues, metabolic syndrome, and hyperlipidemia. Being rich in antioxidants, it is also good for skin health.
Apart from the delicious taste, cranberries also have amazing medical properties. They help prevent infections, delay or reduce the severity of a chronic disease, and also prevent age-related oxidative damage. The antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties in cranberries are promising, and help improve urinary tract infections. They also support digestive and post-menopausal health.
10. Black Cohosh
For years the roots of Black Cohosh plants have been used for medical purposes. It is a popular remedy for the symptoms of menopause, such as headaches, hot flashes, mood changes, sleep problems, heart palpitations, night sweats, vaginal dryness, etc. It also helps regularize periods and ease PMS symptoms. Black cohosh has also been used to relieve arthritis pain and help lower blood pressure.
There are indeed many other herbal supplements available for specific needs and diseases, which you can get your hands on after a consultation with your health care professional. Having said so, these are the best herbal supplements that you can include in your daily diet without any worry.
There are multiple ways in which you can take them. Let’s have a look. 🙂
Ways to Infuse Best Herbal Supplements
The best part of herbal medicines is that they can be used in different forms, including:
- Steam inhalations
- Gargles and mouthwashes
- Powder forms taken internally or applied externally
Herbs can be used in a single form or mixed with other herbs, to create a formula. Herbalists may recommend a formula that they have made, and used before, or they may create something unique to suit your specific needs.
Enticed with numerous benefits and herbs commonly available, Herbalism is getting more acknowledged day by day. We are luckily, little by little, coming back to the old, sacred, and natural medical knowledge J However, natural does not always equate to safe, and more is not always better than less.
Anyways, the incidence of adverse events from herbs pales in comparison to the number of incidents documented from pharmaceuticals’ use. Also, as each one of us is biologically different from one another, the amount of time herbal products take to show their benefits on our body will differ. Factors may include: the severity of the condition, past medical history, allergic reactions to certain herbs, and current state of health. Speaking to your herbalist will give you a fair idea of when and how to start with herbal treatments.
Personally, I include most of the best herbal supplements mentioned above in my daily routine. Believe me when I say they contributed to changing my life. 🙂
I would strongly recommend you give it a try. I am sure you will not regret it. 🙂
Remember to wait for their effects to develop in your body: in contrast to chemical products, on average, natural remedies and cures take more time to show their benefits. This is the price to pay if we want to solve the issue from the root, instead of simply and rapidly silencing its external symptoms, like what unfortunately most of the modern drugs do!! You can also have a look at my article on Ayurvedic Medicines which will tell you more about the natural remedies to heal your body.
If you found this article interesting and want to go deeper into this topic, I would suggest you a great books from one of my favourite teachers and healer:
Do leave your comments or recommendation or maybe experience in the comments below.