Have you ever been confused about the difference or benefit of taking turmeric, ashwagandha, triphala, insert herb, insert herb, insert herb etc? You are not alone. We hear about all the incredible balancing, anti-inflammatory and calming effects of herb after herb and it can feel confusing! A lot of my clients come to me and are taking 5 different herbal supplements and aren’t sure if any of them are even doing anything from them. It can become costly and eventually most people end up stopping once the bottle ends without knowing what it even did.
I’m here to offer a little piece of mind when it comes to herbal supplements.
We often treat herbal supplements like our western medications. Pop the pill and wait for effects. Herbs don’t work in that way. If you think waaaayyy back before western medicine, when herbs were used as our primary medicine, humans had a different relationship to nature and herbs. If you were taking an herb you were either growing it and had a relationship of nurture with the plant, or the herbalist of the village was growing them with love and care. I would love for everyone to have that closeness with the plants they consume, but let’s be real, some of us don’t even have a sunny window to grow our own herbs. However we can take away one important fact from this...
Our bodies need time to acclimate and build a relationship with our herbal supplement.
It isn’t always a quick chemical reaction, but an understanding that is built between our body and the plant. This brings me to my next point,
It is really important to take one supplement at a time.
You should try one supplement, solo, for at least a month before adding more to the mix. This is the only way you are going to know how your body reacts to the herb! I would even recommend keeping a journal to track your feeling day to day. After a month you can either stop taking it to notice the difference if you aren’t sure if there is anything happening, or you could add another you think would be helpful and continue to track. But remember, your body and the plant are learning each other and it takes time!
Beware of folks trying to sell you supplements and always research the brands you buy.
This one is tricky. There are so many amazing brands and so many crappy brands and all kinds of info coming left and right about new herbal supplements. Most supplements are not FDA regulated (because it would take away from big pharma) and that often means the factory conditions are not regulated as much as they could be. Also, just like doctors and new drugs, a lot of people get a cut of what they sell to their clients and this could be the reason you are taking 20 different supplements. Trust your own research and your body. Take is slow with new supplements and know where they come from.
Ayurvedically, it is best to cook with your herbs and spices to receive their benefit.
I will never prescribe a supplement unless I truly believe the extra boost would be the benefit you need. Most herbal supplements (surprise!) exist as herbs in their plant form! It is best to build a relationship with what you put in your body, and cooking is an excellent way to do that. You get to feel the texture of the plant, the aroma of the plant or spice and experience the taste. This is really the most beneficial way to receive the plants healing because you will be enjoying all of it’s facets with all of your senses.
I am always available for 1 on 1 consultations to get a complete ayurvedic map! I offer a food plan, routine, and 5 senses healing over the course of a year. I can answer all your personal supplement questions and find the herbs that will suit you best. Reach out with any questions!
Also, I am verrrryy picky about where I get my supplements from. I trust Banyan Botanicals, a company started in New Mexico under the direction of Dr. Vasant Lad (a top dog ayurvedic doctor from india) AND their company works to preserve endangered indian herbs and spices. You can look through their selection HERE
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