Stress, illness, overexertion, and aging are all common causes of fatigue. While it may be tempting to turn to stimulants such as caffeine for an extra boost, it can actually leave you even more tired in the long run.
This is because stimulants tap much needed energy reserves rather than restore them. Fortunately, mother nature offers an array of energy-boosting herbs that can help fend off the effects of stress and restore energy naturally. Remember to always consult with your doctor if you use prescription medications because some herbs interact with pharmaceutical medicines.
Here are five potent energy boosting herbs that can help you get up and go:
1. Siberian Ginseng
Also known as “eleuthero”, Siberian ginseng is an effective herbal tonic for relieving stress and fatigue; athletes have been known take eleuthero to help boost performance. While not a true ginseng, eleuthero contains potent compounds that help improve stamina and energy, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity. Siberian ginseng is included in a class of herbs known as “adaptogens” because they help the body adapt to stress. Siberian ginseng can be taken safely for extended periods of time. This herb helps to improve adrenal function; in modern society the adrenals are often depleted due to illness, overexertion, or stress.
Ashwaghanda has long been revered in the ancient science of Ayurveda for its restorative properties. It is also considered an adaptogen herb and is beneficial for reducing the harmful effects of stress. Ashwaghanda is also known to help regulate mental and emotional well being, as well as lowering blood sugar, boosting the immune system, and reducing harmful inflammation. Ashwaghanda pairs well with eleuthero and the two herbs can be taken together.
Traditionally, Rhodiola rosea has been used to improve energy, mood, physical endurance, immunity, and mental performance. Research has backed up many of the traditional uses of Rhodiola and has proven it to be safe in recommended doses. One study performed on medical school students found that those who took Rhodiola experienced improved academic performance as well as better sleep and overall well being.
4. Panax Ginseng
Widely used around the world, panax ginseng is reputed for its tonifying, energizing properties. Panax ginseng nourishes depleted adrenal glands so the body can more readily cope with the demands of physical, mental, and emotional stress. It also reduces inflammation and may even help the body better cope with the effects of cancer.
Known as the “herb of the Olympians”, cordyceps is actually an odd-looking fungus in its natural form. This medicinal mushroom helps to boost levels of ATP, the molecule our cells use to store and release energy. By increasing energy at the cellular level, cordyceps helps to boost both physical and mental function. This herb has also been used to help fight the effects of cancer and improve kidney function. Cordyceps also boost immunity. Many modern herbalists consider American-grown cordyceps superior to other sources due to potential contamination with heavy metals.