I believe that everyone, women in particular, should become familiar with herbal remedies. Their benefits are too many to even fathom – even for scientists. While I hold great respect for allopathic medicine and have benefitted from its care numerous times, herbs have personally helped me heal in deep and far reaching ways that have changed the course of my life. Without journeying towards herbs and plant medicine I might never have run a marathon without an inhaler, or conceived a child, or slept a full 8 hours, or changed the way my being responds to stress. I could easily be on steroids, inhalers, birth control pills, daily ibuprofen, and living a very sedentary, sickly life if I hadn’t set out to learn about plants. Knowing about what remedies I hike alongside everyday and the healing traditions and plant medicines that go back thousands of years all over the world has been the most empowering experience of my life.
So learning, of every kind, brings us closer to where we are meant to be – in health, and energy.
I believe that each of us should consume different phytonutrients everyday from herbal teas, herbal meals, herbal supplements and the odd munch of a native leaf (that has been properly identified first). Now more than ever the body is inundated by chemicals, stress, indoor living, radioactive devices, intense UV rays, and a culture of toxic news that burdens the balance of our bodies. Daily proactive support from herbs and supplements offers a complexity, variety, respect, and language that the body deserves and responds to immensely well. To feel as alive and connected to this life as possible, one must learn about the plants and why they are here.
While there are oodles of fantastic herb books out there, the list below captures those that I first responded to with wild enthusiasm and clarity.
Body into Balance; An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care, Maria Noel Groves
The Herbal Medicine Handbook, James Green
Making Plant Medicine, Richo Cech
Adaptogens, David Winston & Steve Maimes
Powerful antioxidant to address modern inflammation: Turmeric extract with standardized curcumin content of 95% always taken with a full meal. Supports heart, lung, and brain cellular health, improves bile production and the integrity of the gut, increases fat absorption, alleviates painful menstruation, promotes liver health, wonderful alternative to NSAIDs and incredible tonic for athletes of all kinds.
Adaptogenic full body balancing and stress management support: Schisandra Berry. Slowly and gently creates profound changes while activating immune cells and tonifying different organ systems that restore balance, and help the body cope with stress. Particular affinity for the adrenals, liver/digestion, hormones/fertility, and nervous system.
Mental focus, anti-anxiety, stress and sleep support – L-Theanine. An amino acid found in green tea leaves, L-Theanine is clinically proven to create a state of calm and focused relaxation, without drowsiness. Incredibly safe to take, L-Theanine is an effective and affordable remedy that should be on hand for anxiety and stress. Extensive safety studies allow individuals to find the dose that is right for them. We love that it stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to that achieved through meditation while being immune enhancing and anti-tumor.
To support health heart, hormones, mental health, eye health and so much more - important at every age: Omega 3s (ALA plant based or DHA/EPA from fish or algae). Most of us are severely deficient. Omega 3s play an important role in our overall health and greatly help to protect and support brain function. Wonderfully anti-inflammatory and so deeply nourishing to our cells, we all need to be taking this supplement and consuming numerous forms in our diet.
It's always hard to pick and choose - and we all have our own plant allies - but the above herbs and supplements are essentials that I have had tremendous success with personally, and throughout my practice. Read about them, experience them, and enjoy!
*Extra care should always be taken before starting anything new—particularly for those with previous conditions. Kindly keep in mind that the content of this blog post and our website is for informational and sharing purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical treatment. Never refrain from or delay seeking medical treatment or a medical consultation because of something you’ve read on this site. Please contact your healthcare practitioner for information specific to your health history.