In today’s fast paced world, many people are struggling to achieve a balance between the demand of this materialistic world and their physical and mental abilities. The demands of everyday life can quickly deplete our natural energy levels and leave us fatigued.
Coffee is the first choice for some people as the caffeine can provide a sudden burst of borrowed energy, which inevitably crashes leaving them feeling more exhausted and irritable than ever. Adaptogenic herbs like Korean red ginseng, maca, brahmi, etc are a much better choice as they not only help sustain our natural energy levels and vitality, they also reduce anxiety and stress levels allowing us to live happier and more productive lives.
Here are 9 herbs to increase vitality and energy:
1. Korean Red Ginseng
Korean red ginseng roots are one of the most widely used herbal supplements in the world. Extensive research has been carried out to confirm its many benefits as an adaptogenic herb.
Ginseng is one of the high demanding herbs to the athletes as it increases both energy levels and endurance. It works as an antidepressant and promotes a sense of calmness and well being. Ginseng is often added as an ingredient to energy drinks.
‘Ginsenocides’, the active ingredients in ginseng, resemble the chemical structure of human hormones. Ginsenocides influence both blood pressure and insulin production. Ginseng is used as a tonic by those who feel weak, fatigued or stressed as it is energizing, improves stress resistance and bolsters the immune system. It is also an excellent supplement to complement and boost a healthy lifestyle.
According to the legends of Tawantinsuyu, Incan warriors consumed maca roots before a war to raise their energy and vitality. But once they conquered a city, they were forbidden from eating the maca to protect the women in the city, as maca has strong aphrodisiac side-effects. Maca is grown exclusively in Peru. maca supplements are made from its thick roots which resembles radish. The locals bake or roast or use the maca roots as the basis for soups.
Maca is rich in B vitamins, magnesium and iodine. It’s antioxidant content protects the human body from free radical damage. Maca is also referred to as Peruvian ginseng as it has some adaptogenic effects similar to ginseng. The high iron content in maca improves blood circulation driving more oxygenated blood in the body thus raising energy levels.
Oregano is a flavor-packed herb that is commonly used in cooking. Ancient Greeks and Romans used oregano for treating many different health problems as it has bacteria-fighting properties.
Oregano essential oils are great for detoxing and vitality. They have high levels of antioxidants that help boost the immune system. Thymol and carvacrol are oils in oregano that have antibacterial properties. Oregano aids in digestion which result in better food absorption and ultimately more energy. The presence of parasites are one of the major causes of chronic fatigue. Oregano helps get rid of such parasites. Oregano has plenty of vitamins like A, C, E, K, vitamin B6 and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. The high nutrient content improves body’s metabolism leading to the better energy levels.
Ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng is not a true ginseng like the Korean red ginseng, but it also has immune boosting and energizing health benefits. Many studies have proven that Ashwagandha is a well-rounded supplement that helps increase natural vigour.
Ashwagandha supports optimal physical and emotional well-being, it improves memory, focus and endurance. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic to strengthen the immune system after illness. Ashwagandha is also used to treat depression as it lowers the associated stress and anxiety.
Brahmi is another potent herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is well known for its mental vitality stimulating effects like Korean red ginseng. Brahmi enhances cognition and improves memory. It has gained international acknowledgement as a neurological tonic.
As an adaptogenic herb, Brahmi is effective in helping people deal with symptoms of depression and stress. Regular consumption of Brahmi helps a person overcome anxiety and get the feeling of having well-rounded vitality. Studies have proven that Brahmi can increase exercise capacity and reduce exercise fatigue.It is best taken after meals as consuming Brahmi on an empty stomach can lead to stomach cramps and nausea.
6. Reishi Mushroom
In traditional Chinese medicine, Reishi mushrooms are called the “mushroom of immortality”. It is used to “calm the spirit” and is one of the oldest mushrooms to be used as medicine. Reishi mushrooms have a variety of medicinal uses including alleviating insomnia, combating fatigue, reducing anxiety and lowering blood pressure.
The chemicals in these potent mushrooms increase the amount of macrophages T-cells present within the blood to boost the immune system. It contains a combinationof mannitol, polysaccharides, coumarin, sterols and ganoderic acids- all work to improve blood circulation in such a manner that it makes people feel more energized.
Rhodiola is still relatively new to the Western market though it has been used for centuries in Scandinavia and Asia. Rhodiola rosea, also called Golden Root or Aaron’s Rod, effectively improves mood and alleviates depression. It improves the levels of mood enhancing serotonin and dopamine levels.
Rhodiola was sought after by Chinese emperors and the Vikings as it increased strength as well as stamina. Professional chinese athletes often take Rhodiola supplements to improve their endurance. Regular consumption of this adaptogenic herb was found to increase attention span and memory.
Suma is an herb that has been used by generations of native South Americans to sustain the endurance and stamina needed for hunting. Suma was introduced into the US market as Brazilian Ginseng. Considering how potent and popular Korean red ginseng is, the name ginseng tends to get used frequently to market other herbs, though they do not belong to the ginseng family.
Suma increases endurance, boosts the immune system, reduces chronic inflammation and improves natural energy. Regular consumers of this wondrous herb claim that Suma helped them feel more energetic and improved their well-being as a whole.
Eleuthero is a traditional Russian herbal remedy for increasing natural energy levels and combating stress induced fatigue. It is also known as Siberian Ginseng.
Siberian ginseng is said to improve athletic performance and reduce anxiety. Consumers report more energy due to better sleep as Eleuthero is also used for treating insomnia. Regular consumption of Eleuthero improves memory and mental clarity. The active chemical components in this herb are eleutherosides which inhibit stress by reducing the activity of the adrenal cortex.
Adaptogenic herbs can be used to complement and boost a healthy lifestyle. They are named thus as they exhibit the ability to adapt their action to increase or decrease a range of functions in our the human body in order to restore homeostasis. Herbs like Korean red ginseng not only increase energy levels, they also calm us down and help us sleep better. Their immune boosting properties increase our health and vitality.
Unlike stimulants like caffeine which spike energy levels up and down, adaptogenic herbs create and maintain a steady supply of energy. Carefully choose an adaptogenic herb that is suitable to your needs. Many of the herbal supplements sold in the US market have little or no quantity of the actual stuff. So it is most important to buy any kind of herbal supplements from reputed sellers or established brands.