In today’s world, it’s easy to lose focus on your body, depleting all your vital energy in order to make it through a hectic schedule that’s ultimately detrimental to your well-being. This endless chase is typically accompanied by a tendency to neglect healthy nutrition and miss out on beneficial natural input that fuels our metabolisms.
Even worse, modern life takes its toll on human bodies by endlessly exposing them to potentially harmful unnatural materials. Fortunately, even in an age where our food is industrially mass-produced, a wide selection of natural extracts are available to provide you with a boost to your health and complement your nourishment. They’re organic, healthy, easily accessible, and usually easier on your budget than artificial options. Let’s explore a few!
Although more famous for its role as a culinary ingredient, turmeric’s role as a healthy herbal supplement is not to be underestimated. Turmeric owes its medicinal properties to the compounds called curcuminoids, the best known of which is called curcumin.
Curcumin is the main constituent of turmeric, and it gives the spice its distinct yellow color. It’s not only a coloring agent, however, as it’s also filled with strong antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory qualities. It’s known to prevent heart disease specifically by improving the functioning of the endothelium (the lining inside the blood vessels). It also enhances cerebral health, preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin also plays a role in cancer prevention by inhibiting metastasis.
2. St. John’s Wort
This beautiful wild flower, with its vibrant yellow color, has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries. In medieval times, the Greeks used it as a component in their famed medical concoctions named theriacs, and its extracted oil was used by The Order of St. John to treat the wounds of their knights.
Today, the natural chemical found in St. John’s Wort, hyperforin, is thought to have an antidepressant effect. With more and more information coming to light as studies advance, St. John’s Wort extracts might revolutionize the antidepressant medication industry as a safe, natural remedy. Combined with healthy methods and practices, it can help preserve mental health.
3. Tea tree oil
Many of Australia’s indigenous peoples have long used the leaves of a small tree as a remedy for several ailments and symptoms. They would crush the leaves and extract the oil to inhale it to soothe coughing or apply it topically for skin wounds. This tree is now known as tea tree (or by its botanical name, Melaleuca alternifolia).
The extracted oil is extremely versatile; it offers a substantial natural alternative to many toxic chemical-laden self-hygiene products widely available today. It can be used as hand sanitizer, insect repellent, antiseptic/antifungal ointment, natural mouthwash, wound disinfectant, and all-purpose cleaning products.
4. Grape seed extract
Grapes are extremely sweet, juicy, and savory fruits eaten all around the world and revered for being the main ingredient of wine—possibly the oldest recreational drink in human history. Did you know, however, that the seemingly useless tiny and bitter seeds inside them are packed with antioxidants, healthy acids, and other components? Grape seed extract is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced LDL cholesterol, and improved blood circulation and venal health.
And the benefits don’t stop there, as it’s known to boost your brain functions and protect your kidneys and liver. It may also prevent cancers, slow down infectious growth and accelerate wound healing. It’s incredible how so many benefits can fit into such a small package.
Sage is an herb with many different varieties. Its leaves are traditionally used to make a relaxing type of tea. Thanks to the soothing, pleasant fragrance, it is also commonly used in aromatherapy.
Sage extracts are nowadays thought to regulate brain chemistry, particularly enhancing cognitive functions and memory. Therefore, it is commonly used as a supplement by students and people in professional fields that demand particular brain power.
6. Kratom powder
Ground from the leaves of a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia, where it has been used as a traditional herbal medicine for centuries, kratom powder is now widely available around the world. In many Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea, kratom has long been consumed by laborers involved in heavy physical work for its mood-enhancing, fatigue-reducing benefits. As a natural topical analgesic, kratom is also used to treat wounds. It’s known as a natural remedy for diarrhea, dry cough, and intestinal infections. Products containing kratom extract include kratom powder, capsules, liquid beverages, and more.
It’s hard to leave out ginseng when talking about natural extracts with health benefits. While the usage of ginseng can be traced back to at least second century China, it remains a common herbal medicine with a diverse range of benefits.
Ginseng boosts overall well-being, strengthens the immune system, regulates blood sugar, cures erectile dysfunction and impotence in men, alleviates menopausal symptoms in women, reduces fatigue, and improves focus. Note that there are several varieties of ginseng, and different types may have different effects.
Garlic is not only useful in adding flavor to delicious dishes or, as the myth goes, repelling vampires. It can also help you strengthen your immune system and protect you from a wide range of diseases and conditions. Its immune-boosting properties are especially handy during cold seasons when the risk of catching common flu is quite high. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces LDL cholesterol, increasing cardiovascular health.
Garlic’s high antioxidant content also preserves cerebral health and protects against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. All things considered, while it may not have the most attractive smell, it should attract all people looking for a healthy natural supplement to aid them in their health journey. It would also be wise to include garlic in a healthy diet, preferably by combining it with healthy vegetables.
A myriad of other natural extracts offer health benefits and uses in various aspects of our health journey. If you decide to walk the natural path, don’t hesitate to discover and experiment with these healthy and natural options.
Laura Henry is a writer and editor with a passion for alternative health products like Kratom, CBD, and the likes, as well as their practices. When they’re not outside with their rescue dog, they spend their time exploring local wellness/new-age spaces and practicing yoga.