Which Herbs to Take?

A year ago, as a relative noobie to the world of herbal medicine, I found myself, as many of our customers do, wondering which herbs I should take. For me, and I think for many, that question involves research, consultations with practitioners, and trial and error.

My first step was to determine what exactly I was trying to “fix.” Setting an intention (sankalpa in Sanskrit) is the first step in Ayurveda. Stress reduction was my first goal. Despite years of meditation practice I am still prone to anxiety, and I’d put that at the top of my “fix-it” list.

With this as a goal, I scheduled an appointment with an Ayurvedic doctor for a consult. We discussed different options, and came up with a plan.

Next, I researched my options. Tulsi (Holy Basil)stood out as a perfect choice, and one that would likely have additional benefits. I started with our Tulsi Original Tea, and with the first cup I noticed a difference. It gave me an enduring calm, but didn’t make me drowsy. I found it easier to concentrate, and noticed many of the thoughts leading to anxiety didn’t appear. Soon after, I began taking Tulsi (Holy Basil) capsules twice a day, and the stress has literally melted away.

Turmeric was the second herb I experimented with. Though not touted as an anti-stress herb, Turmeric‘s health benefits are so numerous that I felt I could not exclude it. I began taking our Turmeric Formulacapsules, which contain a small amount of curcuminoid extract and ginger, to assist with assimilation. Turmeric is not as bioavailable as other herbs, and these additions help the body absorb the herb.

I have recently switched from capsules to bulk herbs, mainly because it’s easier to create custom herbal blends according to the seasons or my body’s needs at the moment. I mix the Tulsi and Turmeric in a 2:1 ratio, and grind and mix them together in a food processor. This isn’t really necessary, but Tulsi is a little easier to swallow when it’s been broken up a bit. Twice a day, I take two heaping teaspoons of this mix, and add about 4 ounces of organic almond milk. This could easily be added to a smoothie, or sprinkled on top of oatmeal as well.

So, after six months of taking the herbs, I returned to my doctor for another physical exam. The results were amazing:

  • Blood sugar went from 102 mg/deciliter to 87.
  • Cholesterol went from 198 to 142.
  • Resting heart rate went from 75 to 47.
  • Weight went from 198 to 163.
  • Blood pressure went from 130/85 to 95/62.
  • Mood is much improved, no more anxiety.
  • Sleeping better and able to fall asleep easier.

Now, I can’t say with absolute certainty that the herbs did all of this. I changed my diet from 50/50 conventional food and organic to 100% organic, and began eating according to my dosha and the seasons. I’m doing a bit more meditation and yoga as well, which certainly contributed. The foundation of True Wellness is built on many factors, and herbs alone can’t completely counter a poor diet and lack of exercise. But I’m convinced, and these two herbs are permanent staples in my diet now.


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