Saturday, January 15, 2011
Top 5 Holistic Supplements
What it is: An extract made from the roots of the ginseng plant—a type of medicinal foliage that dates back to prehistoric times.
What it does: Calms frayed nerves. Experts call ginseng an adaptogen, meaning it may help increase your body's resistance to stress. "If I had to recommend just one supplement, ginseng would be it," says Frye.
What it is: A concentrated powder made from the ginkgo tree's leaves.
What it does: Many guys on antidepressants experience, um, unforeseen side effects? You know, in bed? Ginkgo can help by improving circulation, which could also mean better short-term memory thanks to increased blood flow to the brain.
St. John's Wort
What it is: A yellow flowered plant first used medicinally in ancient Greece; buy it in capsules, teas, or liquid extract.
What it does: "St. John's Wort is mostly used to treat mild to moderate depression," says Frye. If you're bummed because you just broke up with your girlfriend, feel free to give it a shot. It may pick you up.
Grape Seed Extract
What it is: Just what it says—an extract from the seeds needed to grow a grapevine.
What it does: Its antioxidant properties fight free radicals, compounds that pop up when you smoke or drink too much. "If people are exposed to a lot of toxins, an antioxidant may help counteract their damage," says Frye.
What it is: A type of algae that comes packed with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
What it does: Think of spirulina as a produce replacement, giving you the nutrients from fresh greens without a salad bar. "If you're not getting five servings of fruits and veggies," says Frye, "spirulina could be a good substitute."
Source: Joyce Frye, D.O.