Feeling Sluggish? These 3 Energizing Herbs Could Help*
Feel your energy dip throughout the day? Always get a little sleepy around the mid-afternoon slump? Eating a nutritious diet, improving your sleep, and getting your body moving should all keep you more alert and focused. But for those days when you need a little extra support, preliminary research shows that these three herbs can all help boost energy levels.*
1. Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus):
Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, is an adaptogen—a category of herbs that help balance the body's stress response.* It's often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to invigorate qi, or life force energy.
It may improve exercise performance and endurance1, according to one small study on male college students.* It's also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties2 in animal studies of mice.* Finally, it shows some promise for boosting energy after exercise3,* so it might be a good one to throw in your gym bag.
Note: If you have high blood pressure, it's best to avoid this herb since it might elevate it further.
How to use it:
Eleuthero can be consumed in many forms, and it's commonly taken in teas, tinctures, and supplements in capsule or softgel formats.
2. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera):
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is another popular adaptogen. It's been used in Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years and is increasingly popular among modern-day wellness devotees.
It has many potential benefits including supporting a normal inflammatory response4, helping promote healthy blood sugar5, and reducing stress while fostering a sense of calm6.*
Like eleuthero, ashwagandha might help boost athletic strength and promote quicker recovery7.* In Ayurveda, it's also used to support healthy energy levels.*
How to use it:
Ashwagandha is traditionally found as a supplement or powder that can be added to smoothies, lattes, and other beverages.
3. Oil of Oregano (Origanum vulgare):
Oregano oil is made from dried oregano plants, which contain high levels of antioxidants8 that can help support your body's immune response.*
It's also been shown to aid in digestion in preclinical studies9 and fight off energy-zapping bad bugs10 that can contribute to gut microbial imbalance.*
How to use it:
You can find oregano oil in tincture and softgel supplement form. The tincture's flavor can be quite intense, so consider combining 1 to 2 drops with a water and apple cider vinegar blend to start to mask the taste.
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You should avoid experimenting with herbs if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medication for a mood disorder. Consult with a health care provider before taking any new herbal supplements.
Amy Jirsa, LMT, is a master herbalist, E-RYT 500 yoga teacher, forager, and writer from Maine. She is the author of Herbal Goddess: Discover the Amazing Spirit of 12 Healing Herbs with Teas, Potions, Salves, Food, Yoga, and More and the founder of Quiet Earth Yoga.