Mama Nature has many remedies for that which ails us. Today, some of those remedies for women who may need help in the energy department.
Dr Marilyn Glenville’s Health Digest ‘Natural News for Women’
A daily, high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement is a must, and here are some herbs that you can add to your meals or take as supplements to replenish your energy levels.
Aloe Vera has been used for thousands of years as an immune booster and skin healer. It can also boost energy by improving digestion and blood sugar balance. Always read the labels, especially with aloe vera juice, and avoid preservatives such as benzoic acid or sodium benzoate.
Ashwaganda is an Indian herb that seems to have potent immune-boosting and anti-stress properties. It has an earthy flavour that is an acquired taste and you can take it in capsule and tincture form.
Bee pollen is not, strictly speaking, a herb, but it is often recommended by herbalists because it’s one of nature’s superfoods – power-packed with nutrients, including amino acids, minerals, vitamins and enzymes. One or two teaspoons of fresh, raw pollen a day is suggested as an energy booster. Some people may be allergic so take a few grains first to make sure you are not.
Burdock root can be used like carrots, and boosts energy by increasing circulation.
Cinnamon is a herb widely used in cookery that can boost digestion and metabolism. Even just a little cinnamon, such as small amounts sprinkled on toast, can do the trick. A dash of cinnamon or half a teaspoon with every meal may help keep blood sugar levels in check and energy levels balanced.
Garlic may have a mild blood sugar-lowering effect and, like oily fish and oats, garlic is also linked with heart health because it can lower cholesterol.
Ginger is a herb commonly used in cooking that can aid the digestive process and in turn increase your energy.
Ginkgo is great for those who tend to forget things very easily or have a hard time maintaining concentration levels. It helps improve memory and mental alertness throughout the day.
Ginseng is a very popular product with numerous health benefits. It is believed to help the body adapt to stress and can help balance blood sugar levels and boost mood. Siberian ginseng rather than the more intense Asian Ginseng is generally recommended for energy boosting, and studies have shown that it can help combat fatigue.
Maca is marketed in some countries as an alternative to vinegar, and is suggested to have libido- and stamina-boosting effects. Studies have yet to confirm this, but there is no doubt that maca is power-packed with minerals that can boost energy, such as iron and calcium.
Nettle helps to balance and regulate blood sugar, which is vital for healthy energy levels. It is also mineral-rich and studies suggest that it can nourish the adrenal glands. You can eat nettles as a vegetable or you can make an infusion by putting 3-4 tablespoons of dried nettle leaves in a cup or mug of near-boiling water. Steep for an hour and strain. Use in soups, stews, or simply drink.
Rosemary is believed to boost mental alertness and memory. To help you stay awake at your desk, put a few drops of the essential oil on a cotton ball and place it on your desk as you work.
A list of foods and drinks that you may think are energy boosting but, in reality, actually do the opposite.
Alcohol: Made from yeast and has a similar effect to sugar in your body, giving you a temporary high, followed by a long low.
Drinking: If you drink a lot, start by reminding yourself that you don’t actually need to have a glass in your hand to have a good time. Set yourself a target of three to five drinks a week and stick to it. If you find this impossible, seek professional help.
Coffee: A diuretic that depletes your body of vital energy-boosting nutrients. It also contains caffeine, which disturbs normal sleep patterns.
Fizzy drinks: Many contain caffeine as well as sugar and colourings that act as stimulants, playing havoc with your blood sugar levels, causing short-lived energy highs and prolonged energy lows.
Chocolate: Contains theobromine, which has an action similar to, but not as strong as, caffeine.
Cigarettes: Contain cancerous chemicals and the stimulant nicotine, which is a sedative in large amounts.
Smoking: This is perhaps one of the hardest energy-draining habits to break and one for which you may need to seek advice if you want to quit. It really is worth persisting though, as many people who give up find that their energy levels soar. To reduce your cravings you need to boost your body’s ability to eliminate chemicals and a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and drinking lots of water can all help to detoxify your body.
Stimulants are one of your body’s greatest energy drainers. To cut down or quit, identify which stimulants you are using as pick-me-ups and cut down your consumption of them gradually.
Note: Remember, herbs are generally safe, but caution should always be taken when you ingest them. To be on the safe side, if you are pregnant or hoping to be, suffer from allergies, are on medication or have a pre-existing medical condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, you should not use any herbs without consulting a qualified practitioner your doctor first.