Although they aren’t meant to replace prescribed medication or doctor-approved therapies, herbal supplements can be good additions to your care plan. Here are three that are worth knowing about.
The leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree have been used for medicinal purposes since as far back as 2600 BC. The ginkgo leaf extract used today has been shown, notably, to improve blood circulation, which allows the brain, eyes, ears and legs to function better.
On top of being a sleep and digestive aid, this herb that’s part of the mint family has calming effects that make it useful for treating anxiety and restlessness. The oil or extract from lemon balm can be added to food and beverages.
A type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega-3 has a long list of potential health benefits, including relieving stiffness and joint pain, and lowering triglyceride levels – which translates to a decreased risk of heart disease. This fatty acid occurs naturally in plant sources such as nuts and seeds and in certain fish.
These and countless other health-promoting products, not to mention a huge stock of nutritional food and beverages, can be found at your local health food store.
Note that any product – natural or otherwise – strong enough to produce a positive effect, such as alleviating stress or pain, also comes with risks and side effects. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking herbal supplements, especially if you take medications, are pregnant or breast-feeding or have chronic health problems.