Herbs that May Improve Your Energy

Sometimes, when we’re feeling a little tired or want to improve our energy, we need to rest and let the body regain its strength. But how many of us slow down when we feel tired? I will often just ‘muscle through’ tiredness. Do you do this, too? But I’m learning it’s important to listen to the body when it’s giving me loud-and-clear signals of dis-ease. Resting and eating a healthy whole-food diet are excellent ways to improve energy, but sometimes we need a little extra love and support. I often do this by adding herbs into my daily routine. I wonder, have you ever used herbs to support your health?

Herbs have active ingredients in them that when consumed are used by the body.  Here’s a short list of benefits herbs can provide to the body:

  • stimulate blood flow
  • calm the nervous system
  • reduce inflammation
  • support the immune system

Herbs tend to be restorative and you’ll have to give them time to work, in some cases up to 2-3 months. Using these gorgeous plants is not the same as taking an over-the-counter medication. Herbs are typically gentler on the body and need more time to work. Although sometimes they are quick acting. I remember a time when I ate too much pizza (LOL) and had terrible indigestion afterward. I was miserable. So, I made a cup of Rosemary tea and chewed on some Fennel Seeds. I was amazed by how quickly I felt better. I love knowing that if I have indigestion again I don’t have to go further than my kitchen cabinet for a remedy. It works every time for me.

You’ve probably enjoyed a hot cup chamomile tea before bed to help relax you into a deep sleep. Or maybe peppermint tea for an upset stomach. Teas are a great way to get herbs into your daily routine. Hot teas and summer solar infused teas are very soothing and nourishing to the body.

We can consume herbs in other ways, too. In capsule form or tinctures. I love using tinctures because sometimes pills or capsules will upset my stomach, so tinctures work best for me. In general, a few drops in a glass of water or warm tea 2-3 times a day is all it takes.

And of course, we can cook with herbs! This is one of my favorite ways to consume herbs. If a recipe calls for ½ teaspoon of basil… well, I probably will use 1-2 tablespoons (so, I have to buy my herbs in bulk ?). Do you add extra herbs to your meals? I love hearing how people use herbs in the kitchen.

Okay, so let’s talk about some herbs that can help boost your energy and improve alertness. But first let me explain that there are many herbs that can help accomplish our goal of improving energy. I have selected just a few to give you an idea of the possibilities. Let’s dive in…

Herbs have different tastes just like foods. They are sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty, and I’ve identified each of these tastes along with the herbs for your information. Some herbs have a combination of these, which is interesting, right?

  1. Sweet Ginger – known as a synergist (it helps to increase the potency of other herbs) is stimulating, moving energy through the body by increasing circulation. It also improves digestion. Ginger tends to be warming, so if your body runs hot, you may want to use this in very small amounts.
    1. Dried or fresh ginger can be added to a tea
    2. Add ginger to your favorite dish (salmon – yum!)
  2. Spicy Peppermint – In her book, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, Rosemary Gladstar says, “Peppermint has often been called ‘a blast of green energy’”. How fun is that? I love the aroma of any type of mint. Studies have shown that simply smelling Peppermint can enhance your mood, improve memory and alertness.
    1. Use dried or fresh peppermint in a tea
    2. Peppermint essential oil in a diffuser is lovely or simply smell directly from the bottle
    3. Peppermint is often used in desserts so have fun with this one!
  3. Slightly Bitter & Salty Nettle (AKA Stinging Nettle) – okay, you might not like the idea of using ‘Stinging’ Nettle, but please hear me out. It’s full of nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and more that can help boost energy. While researching this herb for this post, I decided it’s a ‘must have’ in my herbal apothecary; this one plant can do more than restore energy! I have a little Nettle growing in my yard but not enough to harvest. I’ll likely purchase the dry herb and use it in tea. Note: Fresh Nettle has tiny ‘stinging’ hairs, so if harvesting yourself or purchasing fresh, be sure to wear gloves. ?
    1. Dried Nettle can be used as a tea
    2. Try it in tincture form
    3. Fresh Nettle can be cooked/steamed and added to food. If you have a local fresh source, you can use it in place of spinach.
  4. Bitter Coffee – most of us don’t think of coffee as an herb but it is likely one of the most popular herbs consumed by many of us (including me) worldwide. Okay, okay, I know… many health experts recommend eliminating coffee from the diet. If it’s over-used or your nervous is over-stimulated, then yes, by all means, remove it from your diet. As always, anything in excess can potentially be harmful to the body. So, take care. Coffee stimulates energy, circulation and even digestion (as many of us know first hand ?). It’s also loaded with anti-oxidants, tastes yummy and is my favorite part of the morning.
  5. Subtly Bitter Sweet Ginseng – commonly esteemed as the ‘king of all tonics’, ginseng is often used to restore energy in the body and boost mental clarity. The wonderful root has wonderful properties that not only promote endurance but strengthens the body’s ability to resist stress. There are three different types of Ginseng, my favorite is Siberian.
    1. Great in tea (because this a root, it’s best to bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes, then let it steep for at least 30 minutes – add more tasty herbs like peppermint to enhance palatability)
    2. Useful in tincture form, too.

You don’t need to include all of these in your daily routine. Choose one and start there. As mentioned earlier, it is often necessary to use an herb for several weeks to get the best results, so give yourself time as you experiment with these noble plants.

A word of caution: if you are someone who tends to have ‘high’ energy, possess a driven (type A) personality, you will want to be selective about ‘energizing’ herbs as they can be overly stimulating for some with these personality types.

I’d love to hear which herbs you’re using for energy and mental alertness cuz I so enjoy learning from others. Please leave a comment below to get the conversation started.

 

 

Resources: Alchemy of Herbs, The Way of Herbs, Herbal Therapy & Supplements and Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

Disclaimer:

The information written in CRY Herbals’ emails, blog & website is for creative and educational purposes only. This information should not to be used as a substitute for medical advice. All questions regarding any health condition should be addressed to your own primary care physician or other healthcare provider. We are simply ordinary folk who love experimenting and working with natural herbal products to enhance and support the body in health and wellbeing. It is joy and honor to explore the historical and contemporary practices of herbalism for the purposes of education and personal fulfillment. 

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