The 7 top herbs for energy can give you that extra boost you need to get through your day. More than just a pick-me-up when your energy lags, these herbal energy fixes help improve your health and balance your system.
7 Top Herbs for an Energy Boost
You can energize yourself without the worry of dangerous stimulants. Here are several of the best herbs to give you an extra boost when you need it.
Siberian ginseng is popular among athletes, but you don't have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of this herb. According to WebMD, it works by increasing stamina, reducing fatigue and minimizing the effects of stress.
You can enjoy Siberian ginseng as a tea, in capsules or in pills. Be sure the supplements you purchase contain real Siberian ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus. Do not take this herb if you have lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Ginkgo improves energy flow at a cellular level by increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your body. ATP aids the brain in metabolizing glucose for energy, which improves mental function. When you feel mentally drained, ginkgo is the herb for you.
Green tea contains caffeine, and as such, works as a mild stimulant. Instead of reaching for a cola mid-day, try brewing a cup of green tea. It gives an extra shot of energy to finish your day and also provides health benefits. Green tea is known for being an antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and antibiotic thanks to high levels of polyphenols.
Ashwagandha is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine and is known for easing fatigue and nervous exhaustion. According to The Chopra Center, it can also build your resistance to stress, which may improve your energy level. Avoid ashwagandha if you take medications for anxiety, seizures or insomnia.
Astragalus increases the metabolism and is an excellent remedy for fatigue. You can purchase it in the form of a tincture, tea or capsules. It is extremely safe, but you should not take it if you have an infection or high fever because it may strengthen the virus instead of you. You should also avoid it if you take blood thinning medications or beta-blockers. It is commonly used with other herbs, like ginseng, and has been shown to reduce fatigue in athletes.
Stinging nettle as a tea (infusion) can give you more energy than a cup of coffee, without the negative stimulant effects. It's no wonder; nettles are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. Create an infusion using a quart of boiled water and an ounce of dried nettles and allow it to brew overnight. Strain out the herbs and refrigerate. Drink it within a few days and enjoy it often for the full benefits.
Reishi is a rare mushroom that is called "the elixir of life" in China. According to Natural News, it is used for increasing energy, boosting the immune system and reducing stress. You can ingest it as a tea, tablet, syrup or tincture. It works so well to increase energy levels that many people drink Reishi tea in place of coffee.
Dangers of Stimulants
Often, people will turn to stimulants when they feel that afternoon slump. Most experts agree, the over use of stimulants can actually do more harm than good. They can increase your blood pressure as well as your heart rate which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Stimulants can also cause irritability, nervousness, sleep problems, headaches and stomach problems.
Several herbs can act as stimulants. Think about ephedra or guarana, which have been criticized for being unsafe. Ephedra was even banned by the FDA in 2004, though most herbalists agree that the problem was with the abuse of this powerful herb, not the herb itself.
Use Only Occasionally
Using these 7 top herbs for energy occasionally is not harmful, but if you seem to be constantly fatigued, you should speak to your medical practitioner. Your fatigue may be caused by an underlying illness. Consider, too, that your diet can be zapping your energy. Eliminate caffeine, sugar and additives from your diet, and you will be surprised at how your energy levels improve.