Mental health and physical health are so closely intertwined that properly addressing the ailments identified in one often requires also addressing potentially unidentified ailments in the other. In many cases, the most effective way to restore optimal health to both body and mind is to supplement with adaptogenic and other herbs that help balance both systems simultaneously and naturally, without causing harmful side-effects. Here are five must-have herbs that may be exactly what your body needs to achieve optimal mental and physical health:
1) Turmeric. Turmeric, the primary active component of which is curcumin, is one of the most clinically studied herbs today that contains powerful mind-body healing capacities. A common healing herb in both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric possesses a unique ability to ease and even cure systemic inflammation, which is a common cause of many chronic health conditions and autoimmune disorders that plague people today.
Because of its natural ability to normalize various bodily processes commonly aggravated by stress and other life factors, turmeric is considered to be one of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs that helps promote systemic balance and facilitate the healthy metabolism and assimilation of nutrients. By counteracting these disease-causing physical, chemical, and biological stressors, turmeric can effectively heal and protect against illnesses that affect both mind and body.
2) Ginger. Often under-appreciated because of its relative commonality as a food, ginger is another powerful healing herb that has been used the world over to prevent and heal diseases of all kinds. Some of ginger’s many benefits include its ability to settle a nervous or upset stomach, which for some people can lead to persistent mental anguish and disruption of other bodily functions. Raw ginger has long been consumed for its general calming effect, which can help promote general healing while staving off disease.
Ginger helps specifically improve digestion by aiding in the breakdown of proteins and fats, which in turn helps prevent gas, food buildup, and other negative conditions that can decrease immune function and trigger disease. Supplementing with ginger can also help lower blood pressure, ease morning sickness, and lower bad cholesterol levels.
3) Aloe vera. Like ginger, aloe vera possesses an incredible ability to ease nausea, improve digestion, cleanse the colon and digestive tract, and maintain healthy elimination and bowel function. Consuming aloe vera can also help ease inflammation and improve the oxygenation of blood, two benefits that for many people can make all the difference in promoting lasting health.
There are so many benefits to consuming aloe vera, in fact, that simply adding the gel or juice of this powerful, succulent plant into your daily dietary regimen can effectively remedy a whole host of physical and mental illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, kidney stones, ulcers, high blood pressure, nutrient deficiencies, constipation, diabetes, candida and other yeast infections, skin disorders, and cancer.
4) Tea tree oil. Typically used topically to heal various skin conditions and infections, tea tree oil is considered by many to be “nature’s miracle healer.” A highly-versatile, all-purpose healing oil, tea tree oil, which comes from the Melaleuca tree, is an exceptionally powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, curative, bactericidal, fungicidal, insecticidal, stimulating, and sudorific herb capable of treating many different physical and mental ailments.
Drinking Melaleuca tea, for instance, especially when blended with other beneficial herbs like rosemary, passion flower, hibiscus, and ginseng, can help calm and soothe the nerves while providing sustained energy and motivation. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to a diffuser by itself or with other essential oils can also help clear the lungs and airways of harmful buildup, promote alertness, and boost general feelings of health and well-being.
5) Holy basil. Another powerful adaptogenic herb, holy basil is known to help elevate mood and spirit while calming the mind. Like ginseng and licorice, holy basil is said to enhance the mind-body-spirit connection by addressing the underlying health conditions afflicting each of these important human systems. Besides generally relieving stress and boosting immunity, holy basil helps fight chronic inflammation, boost energy levels, promote clarity of mind and thought, and improve digestion.
Known more commonly as tulsi, holy basil is also recognized for its ability to fight various allergies and allergy symptoms, which often lead to feelings of “brain fog” and mental incapacity. Individuals that supplement with holy basil, particularly in conjunction with other adaptogenic herbs, have found that they are able to breathe better, digest food better, think better, and generally feel better, regardless of their particular health conditions.