Oftentimes in this space we feature a particular nutritional supplement and explain how it can potentially provide certain health benefits. At other times, we flip it around and zero in on a particular health condition that begs medical attention and treatment, offering tips and possible solutions and supplements known to address and possibly alleviate such a condition.
Starting today we take it a step further and broaden our approach as we begin a series that delves into supplements, herbs, and nutrients that you may not know about! They will differ from the dozens we typically feature. The series is divided into an alphabetized format, beginning today by going A through F. We trust you will find this informative and even with a few pleasant surprises as we hone in on some “golden nuggets,” themselves offering a treasure chest of health benefits.
This ancient medicinal herb offers a great place to start for anyone who has been having problems dealing with stress. Per healthline.com, ashwagandha has been in use for about 3,000 years. It dates back to the ancient, alternative form of medicine known as Ayurveda, a practice based on natural healing. This herb is believed to provide a variety of health benefits thanks in large part to its ample concentration of withanolides, which, among other properties, has shown an ability to fight inflammation. Not only can it help relieve stress for a person, while staving off symptoms of anxiety and depression, there is evidence that ashwagandha might also reduce elevated blood-sugar and cortisol levels as well as enhance brain function.
This is a fruit considered to be closely related to blueberries although it has a slightly bitter taste that makes it more suitable for pies and jellies than for a daytime snack. Per facty.com, bilberries have an abundance of anthocyanosides. These are potent antioxidants that can potentially boost eye health by slowing the development of cataracts and night blindness; as well as minimize aggravating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastrointestinal distress. It accomplishes this thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of tannins contained in the fruit. Bilberry can also counter the symptoms of gingivitis that can render your gums inflamed and tender, possibly leading to gum infections and loosened teeth.
As described elsewhere on this site, collagen is a complex structural protein that maintains strength and flexibility throughout your body. It is one of the most plentiful proteins in mammals, per medicalnewstoday.com, with a primary function of providing structural support for your connective tissue, muscle, and skin. Collagen plays a pivotal role in maintaining and promoting skin elasticity, but as you age your body produces less of it and proper supplementation is recommended, a topic that you should also discuss with your physician. With the gradual loss of collagen, your skin loses its elasticity – its “bounce” – which typically leads to the formation of wrinkles. Collagen also can be a health benefit in terms of bolstering muscle mass and improving joint health.
Dandelions are more than just cute, yellow flowers that briefly pop up in the spring and make inviting targets for picking. Yes, dandelion is a weed-like plant – an herb native to Europe and in milder climates in North America – but its apparent health benefits in supplement form are many. Per rxlist.com, these benefits include assisting in the treatment of health conditions such as liver disorders, diabetes, urinary tract issues, jaundice, and anemia while also supporting bone health and healthy skin, and it can even help in stimulating desired weight loss. One of the key ingredients of dandelion, per organicfacts.net, is a carbohydrate known as inulin, which can help bolster the bacterial flora in your intestinal tract, aiding in your gut health and promoting digestion.
Often referred to as “Slippery Elm Bark” (as well as Indian Elm, Moose Elm, Red Elm, or Sweet Elm), elm bark is an herbal remedy found in the inner bark of the elm tree, which is native to eastern Canada and eastern and central United States, per medicinenet.com. The bark is a bountiful source of antioxidants as well as a wide assortment of minerals, to include magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium, as well as vitamin C and various B vitamins, per mindbodygreen.com. This in part explains elm bark’s diverse health benefits, which include bringing relief to digestive distress, stress and anxiety, and psoriasis. Note that slippery elm bark in powder form is especially useful for your pet as it helps coat, soothe, and lubricate their digestive tract. Also notable is slippery elm’s propensity – for humans – for relieving a sore throat, thanks to its demulcent effect; the bark’s mucilage coats the throat, thus soothing the irritation at the same time antioxidants are staving off inflammation.
An all-natural plant that is part of the bean family and most often found in the Middle East, fenugreek is able to provide a wide range of health benefits, such that some people take it year-round as a dietary supplement, even when they’re not feeling sick, per simplyhealth.io. Mothers of newborns like fenugreek for its ability to stimulate lactation, thus aiding in the breastfeeding of infants. It also can be of benefit to women in particular because of its capacity to diminish the uncomfortable symptoms of PMS as well as menopause. Fenugreek’s other reported benefits include its ability to reduce cholesterol and control diabetes.