by Dr. Will Cole
As a functional medicine practitioner, my job is to identify the underlying causes of why people are going through health problems and find natural solutions to treat them. Adaptogens and other herbs are things that I utilize on a daily basis in my clinic and one of my favorite healing tools as they are powerful, backed by science, and have a variety of uses. No matter what your symptoms are or what area of your body you are looking to restore, there’s going to be an herb that can help. These are 5 of my favorite super herbs that I use most often and can be found in REBBL beverages across the country, making it easy to incorporate these healing herbs into your everyday life.
Inflammation is at the root of almost every modern-day health problem including brain problems like anxiety and depression, autoimmune conditions, heart disease, and even cancer. While inflammation is a normal part of healthy body function – it is what activates in your body to protect you against viruses and subsides when the threat to your body is over – inflammation becomes a problem though when it is ongoing and never stops, even when the threat has passed. It’s this chronic inflammation that contributes to the many health problems we face as a society today.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight inflammation. Yes, the spice you probably already have in your spice cabinet is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory tools. Turmeric is derived from the stems of the root plant Curcuma longa which is closely related to ginger. Curcumin is the active component within turmeric that is responsible for driving-down inflammation. In fact, it is so powerful it has been shown to decrease inflammation in cases of lupus, cancer, viral infections, weight loss resistance, and more.
The great thing about turmeric is that you can harness its power just by adding in turmeric to your favorite recipes, elixirs, and smoothies. Since up to 10 grams per day has been shown to be safe and effective, you can feel free to season your foods and beverages as much as you’d like! Adding in black pepper alongside turmeric can work wonders as well since piperine, a compound in black pepper, has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000 percent. I personally like to sip on REBBL’s Turmeric Golden-Milk to get in my daily dose of turmeric – and bonus, it includes black pepper.
Ashwagandha is no stranger to controversy as many people are confused as to whether or not it can help ease symptoms or exacerbate them. This herb has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to help a variety of ailments that have been backed by recent research such as:
- Improved immune function
- Enhanced brain health
- Calmed anxiety
- Boosted thyroid function
- Regulated blood sugar
But the controversy around ashwagandha isn’t unfounded entirely. Because of its ability to boost thyroid function those with hyperthyroidism should just be more cautious and speak with their doctor to learn more about their thyroid hormone levels. For those who are able to consume ashwagandha and reap it’s benefits, they can create their own elixirs or choose from a number of REBBLs: from Ashwagandha Spicy Chai and Vanilla Spice Protein to Banana Nut Protein and 3 Roots Mango Spice to Cold-Brew Protein and Dark Chocolate Protein.
While many herbs are considered adaptogenic, mushrooms can boast adaptogenic abilities as well and reishi is one that I use on a regular basis. Since adaptogens work to help restore balance to various areas of the body that are out of whack, reishi’s superstar talent is its ability to help those who are struggling with blood sugar problems. With close to 50 percent of America considered either prediabetic or diabetic, many people can tap into the benefits of this fungi. The various polysaccharides and triterpenes found in this mushroom work to decrease excessive fat storage in those with weight gain and weight loss resistance and can also lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It can also help to down-regulate the enzyme alpha-glucosidase that breaks down starch into sugar.
Reishi Cold-Brew Elixir is my go-to Ketotarian beverage when I need a pick-me-up with nourishing reishi.
4. Schisandra Berry
Schisandra is a powerful adaptogen that can get overlooked in favor of some of the more well-known herbs, but should take center stage more often – specifically for those struggling with fatigue and stress.
Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. It should start off high in the morning to help wake you up and slowly taper off throughout the day to help prepare you for sleep. It is also inversely proportional to melatonin, meaning when your cortisol is high, melatonin is low and vice versa. Your body releases cortisol through a complex web of communication known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis). When this communication system isn’t working correctly it can lead to an imbalance in cortisol rhythm causing cortisol to be high when it should be low, low when it should be high, always high, or always low. This cortisol imbalance can lead to what is known as adrenal fatigue and stress. Schisandra is able to restore cortisol balance and help to support correction of HPA-axis dysfunction.
Found in the Andes mountains of Peru, and therefore also referred to as Peruvian ginseng, this adaptogen is the go-to for anyone needing a boost of energy. In fact, because of its energy enhancing abilities, it is a popular choice among athletes as it’s been shown in studies to help increase endurance.
Maca is also a source of Vitamin C which makes it a great immune supporter. There are actually three different types of maca – Red which has sweetest and most mild flavor, yellow which is the least sweet, and black which is a nice middle ground between red and yellow.
Maca comes in various forms: from tinctures to powders to capsules. You can also find maca in many REBBL favorites like: Maca Mocha, Maca Cold-Brew, Vanilla Spice Protein, Dark Chocolate Protein, and Cold-Brew Protein.
If you want to learn more about your own health case please check out our free health evaluation. We offer in person as well as phone and webcam consultations for people across the country and around the world.
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