Herbal Supplements: Finding the Right Natural Aid

Herbal Supplements: Finding the Right Natural Aid

While there are so many proven tests, experiments and results for prescriptions, over the years, there has been an increasing number of natural remedies that can work in the same way, with the same effectiveness rate.

However, just like any other practice that involves medicine of any kind, it is so important to research the product, know what’s in them, whether they are safe or not and how they react with other properties that are already in your body.

For centuries, herbal supplements in general have been a tried and true way to bring your body back to its peak form: whether you are using them for digestive reasons, pain relief, healing properties, to combat issues that come naturally with age and much more.

All across the board, there are herbal supplements that can help keep your body in check so that you can continue your fitness journey at its maximum potential.

What Are Herbal Supplements?

Used for thousands of years, herbal supplements are products that are derived from plants or their oils, roots, seeds, berries or flowers.

While they all possess healing properties, they serve many functions that are beneficial to the body, from simple things like assisting hair growth to more complex ideas like major pain relief.

Although herbal supplements are widely known to be safe and effective, they are often not strictly regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as prescription drugs or over the counter remedies.

While this allows buyers to save time and some money by not having to go to doctor appointments or picking up prescriptions, there is a greater need to be more informed about the products you buy, as there can be adverse effects to your system.

Herbal Supplements vs. Prescriptions

Herbal Supplements vs Prescription June 2021

Don’t get me wrong, both are great and very important for your overall health.

Of course, if you’re ever unsure about something, contact a health expert like a doctor or pharmacist as opposed to passive research online. 

However, there are some differences between the two.

Natural aids like herbal supplements are consisted of raw or lightly processed organic ingredients that, in general, have not been altered by chemists or medical experts.

Prescriptions are created within research labs and have gone through many tests to determine their effectiveness, chemical reactions and lifespans. They are composed of an active ingredient and binders to keep the pill together.

There is a lot of scientific research that goes into both, so whichever option you choose is guaranteed to be more positive for your body than negative.

Because of the nature of herbal supplements, your body is already accustomed to a lot of the ingredients that are entering your body.

Depending on your habits and diet, sometimes your body will have imbalances in terms of essential nutrients, and supplements that can help “correct” the imbalance. However, it is important to discuss any supplement that you are planning on taking with a doctor or pharmacist.

With that said, there are benefits and drawbacks for both natural aid and prescriptions. As individual health can vary so much, stay in touch with your medical expert about any concerns you have.

Generally there is much more government regulation related to the production and quality of prescription medicines compared to herbal supplements. This is why it is important to always buy your supplements from a trusted and honest source.

Here are just a few of my favorite herbal supplements that have helped me keep my fitness goals on track and to ensure that my body’s performance remained at its peak level.

Best Herbal Supplements

Ginkgo Biloba

Made from a tree native to China, ginkgo biloba (also called maidenhair) has been grown for thousands of years for a variety of uses for brain function and blood circulation and has sometimes been called a living fossil due to its age.

Containing antioxidants and capable of reducing inflammation, ginkgo biloba is a great herbal supplement all around to fight off harmful substances that can exist within your body.

It can also treat headaches, migraines, asthma, vision and eye health. It is also well proven to improve blood circulation and heart health by promoting the dilation of blood vessels through its anti-inflammatory chemicals that are naturally a part of the plant. 

When it comes to mental ability, ginkgo biloba is a great herbal supplement because it has proven effects to treat psychiatric disorders, dementia, brain function, anxiety reduction and depression. Many studies with the herb have shown positive results in cognitive function all across the board. 

As half of any workout lifestyle is dedicated to strong mental capabilities and mindset, ginkgo biloba is a great herbal supplement that can bring you to your A game. When it comes to peak physical performance, ginkgo biloba can help with your heart, eyesight and headaches.

To incorporate ginkgo biloba into your lifestyle, the herb is available in capsules, tablets, liquid extracts and dried leaves. Do not eat raw ginkgo biloba seeds as they are poisonous.

Ginger

Ginger is one of the most common herbs that people use to treat everything from colds and digestive issues to migraines and hypertension.

It contains ingredients that are similar to ibuprofen, so it has healing capabilities that are anti-inflammatory and healthy all around.

Of course, as we all are well aware, it definitely has a strong taste to it, too.

As a medication for physical performance and the body, ginger contains gingerol, which is largely responsible for its antioxidant effects, nausea relief, weight loss, blood sugar levels, arthritis, indigestion, cholesterol and menstruation pain.

Pertaining to the brain, ginger is a successful herbal supplement in battling Alzheimer’s and age related damage to the brain, so regular ginger ingestion can be helpful for aging gracefully and keeping a sound mind for an effective workout mindset.

In terms of prevention, ginger has great benefits as well. With ginger regularly involved in your daily lifestyle, you can have a supplement that can help fight infections, heart diseases and even cancer, due to its organic properties. 

To include ginger into your diet, it pairs very nicely with most types of chicken, as well as a number of fantastic teas.

Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is a plant pigmentation, meaning that it is responsible for giving vegetables their vibrant colours of red, orange and yellow.

Other than appearance, beta carotene is also a key component in converting substances into vitamin A for your body, as well as containing antioxidant properties. 

When it comes to the way your body performs, beta carotene is great for skin health by providing micronutrients that increase the skin’s defense against UV radiation, making your body more durable in terms of wear and tear as you age.

Being rich in vitamin A, beta carotene is great for helping the lungs function properly, maintaining your eye health and reducing the likelihood of developing lung cancer as well.

Beta carotene is proven to be great for cognitive health and function as well as it can help reduce dementia and memory loss.

When it comes to working out, a healthy mind is key so that you can retain your focus on your workout goals, keep track of your reps and sets, and to keep a positive mindset during any difficult routines you may be performing. 

To incorporate beta carotene into your lifestyle, you can have meals like: dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, butternut squash, cantaloupe, red and yellow peppers, apricots, peas and romaine lettuce.

It is also found in spices such as: paprika, cayenne, chili, parsley, cilantro, marjoram, sage and coriander. 

Fish Oil

As one of the most common dietary supplements, fish oil is a great source of herbal supplements because it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

Extracted from fish tissue from oily fishes like tuna, anchovies, mackerel and herring, fish oil can provide some of the best benefits among the natural aids on this list.

Fish oil is great for heart health in general by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, plaque and abnormal heart rhythms.

It is also an important component if you are trying to look for additional dietary changes while trying to lose weight, as well as fighting against natural declines in eye health as you age.

When it comes to mental health, fish oil is effective because it can help treat mental disorders, depression and mental decline, while also helping to improve attention and hyperactivity within children.

To introduce fish oil into your lifestyle, it pairs best with any meal that contains fat. Because it comes in pill form, you can easily ingest it. 

Green Tea

Another popular item for anyone on a fitness journey or not, green tea is an excellent source of benefits for your body, as it is jam packed with antioxidants and body cleansing properties.

With just a small cup of green tea, you are introducing substances that can improve brain functions, assist in fat loss, protect yourself against cancer and lower heart disease risks. 

Relating to working out, green tea is one of the favorite choices for anyone who wants to drink tea to help increase fat burning and boost metabolic rates. 

When it comes to prevention, regular green tea drinking is a proven help against cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancers like breast, prostate and colorectal. It also helps prevent bad breath, which is never a bad thing. 

In all aspects, green tea is a great source of herbal supplements. To incorporate it into your diet, a cup of green tea is always a great idea after a meal. There are also supplements and extracts that you can take instead.

Rosemary

Originating from the Mediterranean, this fragrant evergreen herb can be used as a culinary condiment to make any meal much healthier.

It is a member of the mint family, so it can be compared to other herbs like oregano, thyme, basil and lavender, although it has slightly different health benefits.

Relating to fitness, rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that ultimately help the immune system and improve blood circulation.

Rosemary can also help to improve digestion and eye diseases. A diet that is rich in rosemary is one that is in prime shape for working out.

When it comes to mental health, rosemary truly thrives. It can help memory and concentration, prevent brain damage and brain aging, and help reduce the chances of developing cancer.

Rosemary as a spice can be added to most foods, and it is also available in a capsule form or as an essential oil. 

Borage Oil

An extract made from the seeds of borago plants, borage oil is prized for its ability to combat inflammation and many diseases.

Its active ingredient is gamma linoleic acid (GLA), so it is a key component in helping to fight inflammation.

Pertaining to fitness, borage oil helps to strengthen skin flexibility, cardiovascular issues, allergic reactions and overall health, so that your body can retain its shape for peak performance.

Borage oil can be used as an oil made from the plant’s seeds or in a capsule form, which can be ingested by mouth.

Final Thoughts

This short list of herbal supplements is just a glimpse into the world of natural aids and how they can help your healthy and active lifestyle.

Herbal supplements like ginkgo biloba, ginger, beta carotene and fish oil have great properties that provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances into your body, so that you can keep your good physical form from being compromised by harmful chemicals and natural aging.

When it comes to cognitive functions, these herbal supplements can help brain performance and mental capacities to keep your brain young and healthy.

Other ingredients like green tea, rosemary and borage oil are hugely popular and can be ingested as complements to a meal or as a drink after eating.

They possess the same healing properties that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammation, as well as promoting a strong and healthy brain.

Herbal supplements in general are natural and organic substances that can be safely consumed by your body, as it has already likely digested these chemicals before.

I hope this list helps you in your considerations for healthy living.

Denver Matheson
 

I spend a lot of time at the gym and even more time in the kitchen giving my body what it needs to repair itself and grow stronger. The third most important place for any athlete is their research zone. That's exactly why this site exists, to help me share all of the information I've learned throughout the years just like people did for me in the first place!

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