Q. Dear Terry, “I’m trying to decrease my coffee intake in the morning. I’m looking for other natural ways to boost my energy. What do you recommend?” – Taylor Y., Chesapeake, VA
A. Dear Taylor, When it comes to increasing energy, I think adaptogens are a great choice. Adaptogens have a normalizing influence on the body and have been clinically proven to increase energy and stamina. Two of my favorite adaptogens are ashwagandha and rhodiola.
Ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit word used to describe the smell of a horse, referring to the scent of the plant’s roots after harvesting, but also to the feeling of strength and vitality that many of those using the herb experience as well. Traditionally, ashwagandha has been prescribed for many things: calming nerves, reducing inflammation, and increasing both libido and stamina.
I prefer root-only ashwagandha extracts that are standardized for withanolide content.
Like ashwagandha, rhodiola has a long history of traditional use that, in more recent years, has become validated by clinical and scientific studies. Native to northern Europe and Asia, rhodiola figured prominently in the medicine systems of the arctic, Siberian, Mongolian, and other cold-climate cultures. In traditional medicine, rhodiola has been used for fatigue, illnesses, infections, altitude sickness, and sexual health.
Important constituents of rhodiola include salidroside and the compounds rosavin, rosin, and rosarian. It is primarily these compounds that are responsible for the cognitive, stress-reducing, and energizing effects of the herb.
I would look for a rhodiola that is standardized for those key compounds.
You may also want to consider adding andrographis standardized to andrographolide content to your daily regimen.
Terry . . . Naturally
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