The power of plants
7 healing plants to keep healthy and balanced. By Jenya Di Pierro.
As we enter Stress Awareness Month, eating well with natural foods is a key recommendation by top stress experts. Like oxygen and water, food is vital for our health and wellbeing — it makes fresh, wholesome food one of our top tools for staying vital and alive. Herbs can play a key role in this natural diet. But powerful herbs can play a vital role in easing other conditions too, not just stress. If you are looking to add beautiful, healing plants to your diet protocols, then here is a list of seven ones you need to know about — some well known, others less well known — that will help to keep you healthy and balanced — this month and beyond.
Echinacea is the hero herb to relieve a wide range of infections. It’s antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal, has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and is particularly useful in cases when patients developed resistance to antibiotics. It’s a key ingredient of some formulas for prevention and early onset of infections.
2. St John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is a wonderful mood-elevating herb. It reduces SAD (seasonal affective disorder) during winter, relives neuralgic pain, is an effective natural anti-depressant and has powerful anti-viral properties. Bright yellow flowers of this plant are an embodiment of sunshine and kindness. Look out for it in the summer to make a beautiful infusion.
Rehmannia is an adaptogen from China that I use for chronic fatigue, depletion and a wide range of autoimmune conditions. I always include it in my long covid preparations, as in addition to improving energy levels, it reduces phlegm and increases lung energy, which is often the epicentre of covid and is strongly linked to fatigue, especially when accompanied by shortness of breath.
Shisandra is a liver herb and is believed in traditional Chinese medicine to balance all bodily systems. Indeed, the liver is responsible for detoxification, hormone clearance and mood, as energetically this is where we hold our emotions. Shisandra enhances glutathione production in the liver, stimulates glucogen and protein syntehthis and may protect against liver cancer. It tastes lovely and is a perfect addition to the smoothie in the morning.
Ginkgo is one of the oldest trees on the planet, hence it is well known for its anti-ageing properties. However, its most beneficial effects nowadays are linked to improved blood flow to the brain, clot and stroke prevention. Needless to say, it should be your go to herb for prevention of cardio vascular side effects from vaccination.
This is the most in demand herb in my clinic right now, as our ability to digest has diminished significantly due to stress, infections, bad diet and toxins. Wormwood provides digestive support by stimulating the flow of hydrochloric acid and restoring beneficial microbial balance in the gut. If you suffer from excessive bloating, reflux, irregular stool, dysbiosis or SIBO, bitter infusion of wormwood should be part of your morning and evening routine.
Brahmi is a beautiful herb many of us can benefit from right now. It is one of the most sattvic herbs that has been known since Vedic times. In Ayurveda, sattvic foods are thought to be pure and balanced, offering feelings of calmness, happiness, and mental clarity. Brahmi enhances brain function, improves memory and concentration, calms anxiety and increases resilience to stress. As we navigate through uncertainty, tension and turbulence, Brahmi is there for you to open your mind to new beginnings and possibilities that the change can bring.