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Top Two Herbs to Support Healthy Energy

Energy: do you ever wonder where it comes from? When you have it, life is easy, stress is manageable and you get a lot of things done. However, we all know what it's like to be dog-tired, and it is during these times that having a little extra help from Mother Nature can make all the difference.

One of my favorite energy-supporting herbs is rhodiola, also known as Rhodiola rosea. It is an herb that has been used for centuries in Russia and Scandinavia. Also known as golden root or roseroot, it grows in dry, sandy ground at high altitudes in Europe and Asia. The earliest surviving recorded applications of the herb were by the physician Dioscorides in ancient Greece. In traditional folk medicine, rhodiola was used to promote physical endurance and energy, and to help support healthy mood.*

Many studies have been published on rhodiola, and the most important compounds in the herb are known as rosavins. Rhodiola is classified as an "adaptogen" because of its ability to help the body adapt to stress.* The herb may promote mental clarity and well being, and it also has free radical scavenging ability, making it a good antioxidant.*

It is a very safe herb with low toxicity, but not everyone should use it. It can have side effects for some users, so check with your healthcare practitioner before taking a rhodiola supplement. The typical daily dose is 100 mg to 170 mg of the herb in a standardized form containing 2.6 percent rosavin.

My other go-to-herb, when it seems like there just isn't enough energy to get life done, is Panax ginseng. It has been used in traditional health practices for more than 2,000 years to support Qi (pronounced "chee"), strength and physical performance*. It has also been used to support memory, concentration and energy.*

The primary active ingredients in Panax ginseng are a class of compounds called ginsenosides. Like rhodiola, it can have some side effects, so be sure to check with your healthcare practitioner before taking it in supplement form. The recommended amount is 100 mg (containing 7 percent ginsenosides) taken two to three times daily.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women's health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman's Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women's Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.

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