Fatigue seems to be a way of life for many of us. When your body undergoes high amounts of stress, regardless of the cause, stored nutrients are used more quickly in order to recover. This is because all stress leads to an unnatural release of hormones, adrenaline rushes, and increased tissue oxidation.
An ideal approach to avoid this body flux is to reduce stress, but we all know that cannot always be the case. My personal approach to avoid losing energy is to reduce stress levels as much as I can, while increasing the quality and quantity of nutrients that I give my body.
With that goal in mind, ten years ago, I began adding ‘superfoods’ and herbs into my diet, and almost immediately noticed a change. I experienced so much relief from fatigue; sometimes within just hours of ingestion. With that, here are my four favorit super-food-herbs for enhancing energy and vitality.
You should always check with your healthcare practitioner before starting any new herbs or supplements. The herbs below have not been approved for use by the FDA during pregnancy or lactation.
Tulsi - Holy Basil
Tulsi, or Holy Basil, is considered by eastern herbalists to be the number one herb for balancing stress in our body. Tulsi is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to the physical, emotional and environmental stressors we are exposed to each day. This adaptation occurs by providing nutrients and antioxidants that help our bodies maintain homeostasis.
When you look at the meaning behind the name Tulsi, it’s clear that ancient traditions knew how powerful this herb could be. “Tula” means “balance” and ”Si” means “horizontal line.” Together, they form the name “Tulsi”, which refers to its ability to balance us at all levels, from emotional down to a cellular level.
Tulsi tastes great, so it lends itself well to being the base of ORGANIC INDIA’s Tulsi Teas. I love to enjoy a cup every morning. You can also take tulsi in a capsule form for convenience and specific dosing.
The Moringa Tree is native to India and Africa, and its leaves have been eaten for thousands of years as a staple in the local daily diet. Moringa leaves contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and all 18 amino acids, which provide the building blocks of protein. The moringa leaf is in fact, one of the most nutrient-dense foods by weight, that we know of.
To give you a few examples of how nutritious this plant is, gram for gram, the moringa leaf contains:
- 7 times the amount of Vitamin C as Oranges
- 4 times the amount of Calcium as Milk
- 3 times the amount of Protein as Lentils
I love to put moringa leaf powder into my daily smoothies. It’s a really easy way to get this nutritious superfood into your body. You can also mix the moringa leaf powder with water and a squeeze of lemon juice for a hydrating pick-me-up!
Get yours in a powder, capsule or packet!
Ashwagandha is most well-known as a powerful adaptogen, for its restorative benefits, and its ability to support the body's stress response. It is Ashwagandha’s unique profile of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals that nourish the body, giving it nutrition that it needs to manage stress and energy production.
Some of the benefits of Ashwagandha include:
- Supports the nervous system; promoting relaxation and calm
- Helps to balance our endocrine system
- Helps the body adapt to stress from all sources
- Promotes endurance and strength
- Supports immune health
- Helps normalize mood and sleep
The dried roots are usually cut and sifted for tea, powdered, tinctured, or encapsulated. A traditional preparation of ashwagandha, which happens to be my favorite, is to use the dried ashwagandha root powder and concoct a delicious soothing tonic of warm milk, ghee and honey. Ashwagandha is also easy to include in smoothies; check out this Sleepy Time Smoothie recipe!
Amalaki or Amla
Amalaki is a powerful adaptogen and super fruit used in many eastern medicine traditions for its healing properties. I enjoy my fair share of juicy nectarines and sweet summer berries, but there’s nothing like an exotic, nutrient-packed super fruit like amalaki.
Amalaki provides a Vitamin C and antioxidant boost. It’s considered to be one of the highest concentrations of relatively heat-stable vitamin c and its co factors, including bioflavonoids and polyphenols.
Because of its powerful combination of nutrients, amalaki helps:
- Rejuvenate the digestive system
- Provide oxidative protection
- Support healthy liver function
- Support the immune system
It’s common to find Amalaki in capsule form, though sometimes I like to add the bulk powder into smoothies. You can also make a hydrating drink by putting the powder into a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of sweetener!
By incorporating some of these super foods and herbs into your diet, you’ll be replenishing your body’s stores of micronutrients that it so desperately needs in order to maintain energy production and recover from stress. I hope you’ll try some of these, and that you’ll enjoy them as much as I do!
You can learn more about the specific properties of these herbs through ORGANIC INDIA's free online herbal education program, HerbalU!
About the Author
Robin Shirley, CHHC, AADP, is the founder and host of the Take Back Your Health Conferences and Retreats, where you can learn the Take Back Your Health Lifestyle and how to eat well to reduce the symptoms of chronic disease. She is excited to be starting a family after recovering from a difficult, thirteen year struggle with Chronic Lyme Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis. You can find more about Robin and her events at www.ClubTBYH.com