Herbs were created by the nature for a good reason. Throughout the history, human diet has always had a medicinal or herbal component. However, the current society has become more and more disconnected from earth’s rarest and most natural offerings. So, there is a grave need for natural and organic herbs among humans, to balance things out and improve our overall health and wealth. On a similar note, here we present five herbs, which have been treasured for thousands of years for their innumerable benefits to mankind.
Ginseng is a famous herb found in the form of fleshy roots. It is among one of 11 varieties of slow growing, short plants. Ginseng is widely known for restoring and enhancing well-being in humans. It is one of the most popular herbal remedies across the globe. Ginseng can be identified as a forked-shaped light colored root. The stalk is relatively long and the leaves are oval. Gintonin & ginsenosides characterize the herb. It is mainly found across cooler regions such as eastern Asia and North America. Ginseng is extremely famous in China and Korean nations, both of them being the biggest consumer of this miracle herb.
Ginseng comes with numerous benefits. It acts as an energy provider. This herb has been proven effective in enhancing mental & physical activities among tired and weak. A study done by Mayo Clinic revealed that regular consumption reduced fatigue among cancer patients. It improves Cognitive function. China’s Nantong University conducted a research revealing that regular consumption does have some benefits on the cognitive ability of humans. It has Anti-inflammatory effects. Ginsenosides have immune-suppressive abilities, thus making Ginseng an anti-inflammatory herb for regular usage. It improves erectile dysfunction. A Korean Study (2002) found out that among people taking ginseng, 60 percent noticed improvement in erectile dysfunction. Similar evidence has also been published in the BJCP (British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology). Ginseng is also known to have anti-cancer properties, improve blood circulation and aid in digestion.
Ginseng is majorly found in the form of herbal supplements (as tablets), in herbal teas and energy drinks. The roots are also available in dry form, mainly distributed across origin nations such as China and Korea. Ginseng leaves are also sold in commercial form. The herb is famous across 35 nations drawing annual sales of more than 2.1 billion dollars.
A godsend medicinal herb from Peru, Maca is famous for its stimulation properties. It has been used since the time of Incas and its benefits will never cease to exist. It was originally discovered in Peru and is found only in high plateaus with extreme environments. It has been the sacred plant of the Incas.
The herb truly deserves to be termed as a ‘healing plant’. Its most common benefits include healing ‘tired blood’ or anemia, enhancing energy and improving CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome). Women find this herb very useful for menstrual issues, menopause, hormonal imbalances and fertility problems. It is also known to help in sexual dysfunction occurring due to antidepressants. Other benefits are improved athletic performance, memory, immune system and sexual desire. They are also used for increasing fertility across livestock.
Maca is available across all major health stores. It is majorly available in powder formula. However, you can also purchase in capsule form, extracted form or liquid form. It is also available in various colors such as black, red and yellow. While all forms are beneficial, it is best to buy 100 percent pure Maca powder which is organic and raw. You can also purchase Maca powder online.
Maca comes in a variety of colors, most commonly yellow, black, and red. All colors of maca have similar benefits, although specific maca types/colors are thought to be more beneficial for certain medical conditions. If you are not able to find maca in a store, it is widely available online, often at lower prices. Some companies make fermented drink with maca powder known as Maca Chicha. It is also marketed as a household item and can be eaten in roasted, baked or soup form.
The earliest users of Rhodiola were the Vikings who used this herb for courage and strength. During the infamous Cold War, Russians discovered that Rhodiola worked as an adaptogenic plant. Meaning, it adapts to body’s requirements and provides improved response towards stress & similar situations.
Rhodiola is found only across cold climate. The major producers are Iceland, Russia, Sweden and Norway. It has been used as a medicinal and herbal plant for more than 3000 years.
The herb consists of essential elements such as amino acids, flavonoids, multivitamins, minerals and tannins. Its antioxidant properties have been proved extremely useful, especially for ageing as well as delaying occurrence of degenerative diseases. It also has properties that prevent cancer causing elements from the body. People suffering from sleep apnea or insomnia can hugely benefit from regular consumption of this herb. Other benefits of regular Rhodiola consumption are belly fat reduction, increased energy, lowered cholesterol, improved brain function and blood pressure regulation.
Rhodiola is basically marketed commercially in the form of health supplements as capsules. Majority of the top healthcare companies are manufacturing this herbal capsule in large quantities. While they are available as OTC (over the counter) products across all chemists and health stores, it is best to consult an expert before purchasing. This will help in understanding whether your body actually requires this herb or not.
Just like Superman and Supergirl, we have our own Superfood named Spirulina. Coming from a microalga species, spirulina is known for its protein and iron rich components. Almost all governments across the globe have started using this herb as medicinal products. It has been long used for increasing athlete’s performance. Majority of world class athletes take some form of raw and organic spirulina to boost their performance and minimize fatigue.
Ancient Spirulina was mainly produced in Mexico. As the demand for this herb increased globally, culturing of spirulina also developed across the world. At present, major producers of spirulina are Hawaii, India, California (US), Thailand and China.
Spirulina is a great detoxifier. Millions of citizens across US, India, Bangladesh and Taiwan consume drinking water with high arsenic content. Studies have shown that regular consumption of spirulina can reduce up to 47 percent of arsenic from the body. It also helps in lowering of blood pressure. Researches have confirmed that Spirulina has anti-cancer properties. It also helps in reducing cholesterol level and thereby reducing the chances of diabetes and stroke. Protein-dense spirulina helps in speedy weight loss and provides vital energy during the process. Phew! So much in one green capsule!
Spirulina is mainly available in two forms; powder and capsule. Both are deep green in color. While purchasing Spirulina, it is essential to keep few things in mind. If you are buying capsule, it should be dark green and without any spots. Pure Spirulina will smell like natural weed. Good quality spirulina powder will be fresh and fine. And most important of all, it is cheap, don’t buy! Because there will definitely be quality issue. Also, try to buy only from good and known brands to avoid fake products.
Ahh! Finally a name which we have actually heard of! Ashwagandha is a discovery of the Ancient Ayurveda from the Indian subcontinent. The meaning of ashwagandha is ‘the smell of the horse’. No! You are not going to actually smell like the horse! It means that regular consumption of this herb will give you the powers and vitality just like that of a horse.
Ashwagandha has shown to be extremely beneficial in adrenal rejuvenation. Studies have confirmed that ashwagandha enhances insulin sensitivity and cortisol levels. It is a wonderful hormone balancer, especially among women. Ashwagandha has been the sole medicinal treatment for thyroid for thousands of years. Even now, majority of doctors and health experts recommend consumption of this magic herb for thyroid benefits. Not only this, regular treatment with the herb reduces hair loss drastically. Another major benefit of ashwagandha is improved brain health. The powerful antioxidants in the herb destroy the free radicals and reduce ageing process. Other benefits of consuming ashwagandha are improved mood as well as increased endurance and stamina.
Just like other herbs, ahswagandha also comes in powder form as well as capsule form. The best thing about ashwagandha is that you can even buy the seed/plant and grow it in your own backyard/garden. Apart from being sold as a health supplement, ashwagandha is also commercially available as flavored tea and even in some beauty products.