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5 herbal supplements that can boost your health and wellbeing

For thousands of years, herbal medicine (also known as phytotherapy and herbalism) has been helping people treat various medical conditions with herbal remedies.

Although healthcare has significantly changed since ancient times, many traditional phytotherapy principles have found their place in modern medicine. For example, some prescription drugs have plant-derived components at their core.

And that’s not all – more and more scientific studies strive to identify the true potential of many traditional herbal remedies – and some of them come to surprising conclusions on what plants can offer when it comes to treating diseases, improving overall health, and enhancing wellbeing.

Let’s look at 5 herbal supplements that can boost your health and improve your quality of life.

1)  Curcumin

The “golden herb” turmeric is known not only as a colorful spice but also as a natural remedy – after all, it has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, thanks to its most active compound curcumin.  

Curcumin has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and an impressive list of scientifically-proven health benefits. It helps fight inflammation in the body, support the immune system, and slow down the aging process.

By taking curcumin supplements, you can protect your body from free radicals, lower the risk of heart disease, keep your skin healthy, and even prevent cancer.

Photo by Osha Key on Unsplash

2)  Cinnamon

Another wonderful spice that can boast powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties is fragrant cinnamon.

Similar to curcumin, cinnamon helps protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It can help prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease and improve cardiovascular health.

Cinnamon can also be beneficial for those who have metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, as it lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity.

3)  Ginseng

For centuries, ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine because of its potent antioxidant properties.

This powerful herb is great at reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, boosting the immune system, and lowering blood sugar.

Various studies have also demonstrated that ginseng can protect against microbial infections, improve cognitive performance, fight fatigue, promote healthy aging, and help treat erectile dysfunction among other health benefits.

Photo by Mariana Rascão on Unsplash

4)  Ashwagandha

Traditionally used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha may not smell as pleasant as cinnamon, but that doesn’t make it less powerful.

This ancient herb is typically used as an adaptogen for reducing stress, relieving anxiety, and boosting energy. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can boost cognitive health, which makes it beneficial for people with Huntington's, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer’s diseases.

By taking ashwagandha supplements, you can improve your sleep quality, stress levels, weight management, mental performance, and as the result – general wellbeing.

5)  Ginger

Ginger is another spice that is equally appreciated for its flavoring and medicinal properties.

As with many other herbal medicines, its power comes from strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Ginger can facilitate weight loss, lower blood sugar, promote heart health, and effectively treat nausea and vomiting – especially during pregnancy and chemotherapy.

If you’re struggling with primary dysmenorrhea (cramping pain that comes just before or during a period), ginger supplements can help too, as this ancient spice helps significantly relieve menstrual pain.

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

There are many more traditional herbal remedies that are claimed to bring numerous health benefits, treat chronic diseases, and improve various aspects of life. Although there’s growing scientific evidence that supports some of those claims, it’s always recommended to consult your healthcare practitioner before taking any herbal supplements, and any supplements in general.

Some cases may need special attention, and taking supplementation without knowing your risk factors may worsen your condition. Your doctor will provide the needed examination and help you identify the right dosage and duration of the supplementation.

Cover photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

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