Acticvated Charcoal

HFH Staff

For thousands of years, activated charcoal has been used to help detoxify the body. Of course, people in those days didn’t stuff their stomachs with processed foods that cause bloating, constipation and other uncomfortable feelings.

But what is activated charcoal actually doing once it’s inside your system? This wonder substance binds with certain heavy metals and toxins to help flush them from the body. It may even have anti-aging benefits, too!

Ultimately, activated charcoal is an effective way to feel better when you’re bloated after eating, and it’s also an amazing part of an overall detox diet routine. Because let’s face it…even the strictest dieters can have a moment of weakness and overindulge in energy-sapping processed snacks.

Let’s take a closer look at activated charcoal benefits, potential side effects and where to buy activated charcoal. Believe me, your bloated belly will thank you later.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is the byproduct of burning a carbon source like wood or (better yet) coconut shells. The substance is “activated” by high temperatures which change its chemical structure to create much smaller particles with more surface area. The result is ultra-fine charcoal with millions of tiny pores that bind to and help remove many heavy metals, chemicals and intestinal gases.[1] In fact, one teaspoonful of activated charcoal has about the same total surface area as a football field![2]

Why Should We Use Activated Charcoal?

Charcoal has been consumed for centuries as a multi-use remedy. In fact, in the early 19th century, medical journals began publishing research revealing activated charcoal as an antidote for poisons. It works through a process called “adsorption” (that’s ad, and not ab), which means “to bind to” rather than “to absorb.”

Over the years, activated charcoal has become quite a popular supplement. After all, with processed foods readily available more than ever, many people need help cleansing their system of impurities and toxins.

Luckily, activated charcoal can be an effective solution to counteract bloating and other unwanted side effects from overindulging. It systematically supports the elimination of toxins, which can provide you with much-needed relief in the event you didn’t make the best food choices.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal:

When it comes to activated charcoal benefits, there are several reasons why you should consider keeping this supplement on hand.

What is activated charcoal’s role in your daily life? Here are just a few ways activated charcoal works in supplement form to support your health:

1. General Detoxification:

Toxins from low-quality, processed food and environmental pollution sap your energy and contribute to brain fog and digestive issues. Regular use of charcoal can remove unwanted toxins from your body so you can feel better, fast.

2. Releif From Gas and Everyday Bloating:

After digesting foods like beans, bacteria in your body break down the cellulose, generating some less-than-optimal byproducts like gas or liquid stools. Charcoal enters the digestive tract and counteracts this process by binding to byproducts and easing these digestive issues.[3]

3. Binds To Toxins:

Charcoal was first demonstrated as a poison antidote in the 19th century, when scientists ingested arsenic and strychnine then chased it with activated charcoal—and they lived! Today, because it’s neither easy nor ethical to experiment on patients suffering from toxic poisoning, the results of using activated charcoal to reduce the damage from poison aren’t scientifically documented. That said, initial studies showed that activated charcoal made some drugs less bioavailable and the majority of some drugs cleared the body without being absorbed.[4] This is why you want to take charcoal away from other supplements and medications.

4. Anti-Aging:

Activated charcoal may have powerful anti-aging properties. Early studies in animals show that t by binding toxins in the GI tract it may prevent numerous cellular changes associated with aging. One rodent study showed that activated charcoal increased the average lifespan of older test animals by roughly 34 percent.[5]  This early work didn’t use activated charcoal every day and we don’t yet know what level of use may support anti-aging benefits in humans, but it’s interesting to consider that the periodic use of activated charcoal may have some benefits related to longevity, too.  We’ll keep you posted as more data becomes available on this one…

When Should We Use Activated Charcoal?

Now that you’re on board with the potential health benefits of activated charcoal, it’s time to take a look at when to use it. And although it may have started as a form of poison control, these days, there are many more common instances when taking activated charcoal can come in handy, such as:

  • Eating out at restaurants: When dining out, it’s important to keep in mind that chefs may cook their food with certain ingredients that may not sit well with your digestive system. Instead of being unprepared for this unfortunate event, you can take activated charcoal to help counteract bloating and intestinal gas issues that could potentially ruin your evening.
  • Consuming processed foods: Ingesting processed foods isn’t the best way to take care of your body. But if you fall off track from your diet with something that has a laundry list of chemicals and preservatives, you can take activated charcoal to help detoxify your system.
  • Drinking low-quality coffee: Some coffees have toxins. The detoxifying effect of activated charcoal can be handy if you happen to sip an unfavorable cup of joe.
  • Overindulging on party food: Whether it’s the holidays, a birthday or just any type of party, you know there’s going to be delicious food choices. However, they might not sit so well in your gastrointestinal tract. If you happen to overindulge on party food (snacks and sweets can be so tempting!), activated charcoal may just be able to come to your rescue.
  • When traveling: Sometimes traveling (especially flying) can cause indigestion and other unsatisfying feelings. Try adding an activated charcoal supplement to your packing list the next time you get a chance to travel.

While there are times you should take activated charcoal, there are also certain situations where you should not…

When To Avoid Taking Charcoal?

First, make sure neve tor take activated charcoal with medications or other supplements. Charcoal binds a lot of substances—even the good stuff, like prescription medications, vitamins and minerals. Taking charcoal at a different time of day than you take other supplements or meds gives it time to pass through your system and not bind to things you want your body to absorb. (That means best practice is to take your activated charcoal supplement away from the ingestion of other vitamin or mineral supplements. Otherwise, it may interfere with their absorption.)

Pro tip: Be sure to seek medical advice about whether charcoal can interfere with your over-the-counter medications or any health issues.

What To Look When Buying Activated Charcoal?

When it comes to purchasing an activated charcoal supplement, make sure to do your homework, first. A few things you should keep in mind include:

  1. Look for pure charcoal made from coconut shells: Unfortunately, other charcoal supplements on the market may contain commonly used materials like wood, peat, bamboo and debris. (No thanks!)
  2. Choose a charcoal that is activated: If the charcoal is activated, it is porous and allows the supplement to do its job acting like a sponge as it detoxifies the body.
  3. Ensure the supplement is free of fillers: This will ensure the supplement is in its purest form and will not be disrupted by other ingredients.

How To Take Activated Charcoal?

Since everyone responds differently to varying doses of supplements, you should always consult a health professional beforehand. That’s the case with activated carbon (otherwise known as activated charcoal).

What is activated charcoal’s recommended dose? Simply take 1,000mg of activated charcoal to detox. In fact, just two capsules of our 100% coconut shell-sourced activated coconut charcoal does the trick. Pay attention to how you feel to make sure everything comes out all right (bad pun intended).

As for frequency? While activated charcoal products certainly come in handy in single-dose situations to counteract bloating or other digestive issues, it isn’t just for isolated incidents. You can absolutely take activated charcoal as needed.

Side Effects of Activated Charcoal:

If you take too much activated charcoal, your body will let you know. So, what are some potential activated charcoal side effects?

You may experience constipation if you take too much of this popular supplement. If you get a little bound up, cut back on your dosage. In addition, make sure to drink plenty of water, as it will help keep the digestive process moving (hopefully).

And, if you are successful in your bathroom efforts, consider yourself warned: if you use activated charcoal, it may result in black bowel movements. If that is new and unexpected for you, and only associated with the introduction of the activated charcoal, fret not; that is normal. If this happens, file it away as a note on how long food takes to pass through your bowel (called transit time).

 

Read more →

Major causes of Hair Loss.

HFH Staff

Balding can be a serious upsetting symptom to encounter, as it can affect our enthusiastic state and even shift our feeling of personality, influencing personal satisfaction.

Shredding of hair is a characteristic interaction and we can normally lose up to 100 strands of hair each day. So don't be frightened in the event that you discover hair stopping up your drains, this is totally typical. However, in the event that this gets in excess, it merits investigating. These days a lot more ladies appear to encounter balding and at a more youthful age.

There are many different types of hair loss that can occur including hair thinning, Androgenic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, and Telogen Effluvium.

Common causes of hairloss.

Hormonal imbalances

A large number can impact the pace of hair development and shedding and these incorporate testosterone, cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone.

PCOS is a condition portrayed by high testosterone, which when changed over to its more strong structure DHT can be especially harming to the hair follicle.
In spite of the fact that estrogen is a chemical that is crucially significant for solid looking locks a lot of it isn't acceptable all things considered.

At the point when we experience an estrogen overabundance state we thusly experience low progesterone levels and progesterone may improve hair development as it has been appeared to diminish transformation of testosterone to DHT going about as an androgen blocker. However, too little estrogen is additionally an issue on the grounds that in the perfect sums this chemical has a defensive job against balding and assists with keeping the hair follicle solid.

Another instance of the Goldilocks head this is the reason it merits examining any hormonal uneven characters you may have as these chemicals impact the whole body. Insulin and thyroid chemicals are likewise generally embroiled in going bald as referenced already. 

Nutrient deficiencies

There are numerous supplements that are needed for hair to develop further as they can affect hair development and hair structure.

Studies have shown relationship between certain supplement insufficiencies and examples of going bald, the most widely recognized being low status in iron, zinc, amino acids, and selenium. Different supplements that are associated with keeping our hair solid incorporate nutrient A, nutrient C, and the B nutrients.

Despite the fact that many enhancement recipes focused on towards going bald contain an assortment of nutrients and minerals it's imperative to check your own levels to ensure you are enhancing effectively and keeping away from the danger of harmfulness.

Hereditary hair loss

Both men and women foster this kind of going bald, which is the most well-known reason for balding around the world. In men, it's called male example balding. Ladies get female example balding. Whether or not it creates in a man or ladies, the clinical term is androgenic alopecia.

Regardless of which term you use, it implies that you've acquired qualities that cause your hair follicles (what every hair outgrows) to recoil and at last quit developing hair. Contracting can start as ahead of schedule as your teenagers, yet it as a rule begins sometime down the road.

In ladies, the principal observable indication of inherited going bald is normally generally speaking diminishing or an extending part.

At the point when a man has inherited going bald, the main sign is regularly a retreating hairline or bare spot at the highest point of his head.

Preventions

You understand what they say, offense is the best protection. What's more, with regards to our wellbeing, being proactive by keeping a solid eating regimen and way of life is fundamental on the off chance that we need to keep up sound looking locks for as far as might be feasible.

Focus on nutrient density and variety

To diminish your danger of inadequacies the most ideal approach to do this is to expand the assortment of your eating routine and pick nutritious food sources. As examined over, this will seem as though an entire food varieties diet based on a lot of products of the soil yet additionally including sound fats and protein.

To forestall the danger of supplement insufficiencies we suggest checking your supplement status consistently with your medical care expert.

Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet

The Mediterranean eating regimen is the exemplary illustration of a mitigating diet zeroed in on a lot of cancer prevention agent rich leafy foods matched with quality protein and has been appeared to help decrease Androgenetic Alopecia.

Adequate protein consumption from sources like chickpeas, beans, and quality creature items is additionally a truly significant factor to consider with regards to hair wellbeing as our hair follicles are for the most part comprised of the protein, keratin.

Lack of amino acids is an extra danger factor for balding.

Read more →

What are the health benefits of Potassium?

HFH Staff

The significance of potassium is exceptionally belittled.

This mineral is delegated an electrolyte since it's profoundly receptive in water. At the point when disintegrated in water, it creates emphatically charged particles.

This uncommon property permits it to direct power, which is significant for some cycles all through the body.

Curiously, a potassium-rich eating regimen is connected to numerous amazing medical advantages. It might help lessen pulse and water maintenance, ensure against stroke and help forestall osteoporosis and kidney stones.

This article gives an itemized survey of potassium and how it helps your wellbeing.

1.What Is Potassium?

Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body.

It assists the body with managing liquid, convey nerve messages and direct muscle constrictions.

Generally 98% of the potassium in your body is found in your cells. Of this, 80% is found in your muscle cells, while the other 20% can be found in your bones, liver and red platelets.



Once inside your body, it capacities as an electrolyte. When in water, an electrolyte breaks down into positive or negative particles that can lead power. Potassium particles convey a positive charge.

Your body utilizes this power to deal with an assortment of cycles, including liquid equilibrium, nerve signals and muscle compressions.

Hence, a low or high measure of electrolytes in the body can influence numerous pivotal capacities.

2. Potassium Helps Regulate Muscle and Heart Contractions

The nervous system directs muscle compressions. However, modified blood potassium levels can influence nerve signals in the sensory system, debilitating muscle withdrawals.

Both low and high blood levels can influence nerve motivations by modifying the voltage of nerve cells. The mineral is likewise significant for a sound heart, as its development all through cells keeps a customary heartbeat.

At the point when blood levels of the mineral are too high, the heart may get widened and flabby. This can debilitate its withdrawals and produce an unusual heartbeat.

Moreover, low levels in the blood can likewise modify the heartbeat. At the point when the heart doesn't thump as expected, it can't successfully siphon blood to the mind, organs and muscles.

Now and again, heart arrhythmia, or an unpredictable heartbeat, can be deadly and lead to abrupt demise.

3. It Helps Regulate Fluid Balance

The body is made of around 60% water.

40% of this water is found inside your phones in a substance called intracellular liquid.

The rest of found external your cells in zones like your blood, spinal liquid and between cells. This liquid is called extracellular liquid.

Strangely, the measure of water in the ICF and ECF is influenced by their convergence of electrolytes, particularly potassium and sodium.

Potassium is the principle electrolyte in the ICF, and it decides the measure of water inside the cells. On the other hand, sodium is the fundamental electrolyte in the ECF, and it decides the measure of water outside the cells.

The quantity of electrolytes comparative with the measure of liquid is called osmolality. Under typical conditions, the osmolality is something very similar inside and outside your cells.



Basically, there's an equivalent equilibrium of electrolytes outside and inside your phones.

Notwithstanding, when osmolality is inconsistent, water from the side with less electrolytes will move into the side with more electrolytes to balance electrolyte fixations.

This may make cells contract as water moves out of them, or swell up and burst as water moves into them.

That is the reason it's imperative to ensure you burn-through the correct electrolytes, including potassium.

Keeping up great liquid equilibrium is significant for ideal wellbeing. Helpless liquid equilibrium can prompt parchedness, which thusly influences the heart and kidneys.

Eating a potassium-rich eating regimen and remaining hydrated can help keep up great liquid equilibrium.

Read more →

Why healthy sleep is important?

HFH Staff

In the present high speed world, a decent night's rest has become something of an extravagance. It's tumbled down our rundown of needs behind work, errands, social time, and diversion.

In any case, rest shouldn't be an extravagance. It's as essential to your physical and psychological well-being as food and water.

The body's requirement for rest is a moderately new exploration field. Researchers are investigating what befalls the body during rest and why the actual interaction is so fundamental. We do realize that rest is important to:

  • keep up basic body capacities
  • re-establish energy
  • permit the cerebrum to handle new data
  • fix muscle tissue

1. Sleeping issues

Sleeping problems are conditions that keep you from resting soundly consistently. Infrequent rest aggravations like stream slack, stress, and a bustling timetable may meddle with your rest. In any case, if your rest is upset regularly, it could be an indication of a rest issue.

Several sleeping disoders are:

  • Insomnia is a condition set apart by inconvenience nodding off, inconvenience staying snoozing, or both. 
  • Sleep apnea is a rest unsettling influence that happens when your aviation route gets hindered over and over while you rest. 
  • Narcolepsy includes daytime "sleep assaults," which are described by out of nowhere feeling exceptionally drowsy or nodding off all of a sudden.

Sleep quality is pretty much as significant as rest amount.

Numerous individuals with sleep issues rest for a satisfactory measure of time however don't arrive at a profound enough phase of rest to feel very much refreshed constantly in the first part of the day. Awakening often in the night can likewise keep you from arriving at the basic phases of rest.

2. Sleep deprivation

Despite the significance of rest, 35.2 percent of American adultsTrusted Source get less than 7 hours out of every evening. Around 70 millionTrusted Source U.S. grown-ups have constant rest issues.

Lack of sleep cumulatively affects your wellbeing. The more you abandon satisfactory rest, the more awful your medical issues could turn into.

Long haul lack of sleep can cause an assortment of issues:

Memory issues

During rest, your mind gathers up plaques and proteins that structure during the day. Without legitimate rest, these plaques and proteins may remain.

Over the long run, this can meddle with how you measure and recollect new data, just as how you structure long haul recollections.



Weakened immunity

In the event that you don't get sufficient rest, your body's safe safeguards can't bear upping against attacking microscopic organisms and infections, including the basic cold and influenza.

Decreased libido

Individuals who experience lack of sleep may likewise have a lower sex drive because of a drop in the degrees of testosterone.

Cardiovascular conditions

Coronary illness, hypertension, and other cardiovascular conditions are more normal in individuals who are persistently restless.

Weight acquire

Exploration shows that not getting sufficient rest causes you to desire high-fat, fatty food sources. Furthermore, the synthetic compounds in your cerebrum that typically advise you to quit eating aren't as viable in the event that you don't rest enough. This can make you put on weight.

The main concern

Think about a sleepless body as a vehicle with a punctured tire. The vehicle is running, yet it's moving gradually with less capacities and less force. The more you drive in that condition, the more you'll harm the vehicle.

Notwithstanding more genuine medical problems, lack of sleep can likewise cause helpless equilibrium and increment your danger of mishaps. Continue to find out about the effect of lack of sleep.

3. Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis causes impermanent loss of muscle control and capacity. It happens at the times just previously or just after you've nodded off. It can likewise happen as you're attempting to awaken.

Sleep paralysis is quite possibly the most well-known sleep disturbances. One reviewed Trusted Source assessed that 7% of individuals may encounter it.

Side effects of sleep paralysis incorporate being not able to move your appendages, body, or head while you're attempting to rest or awaken. These scenes may last a couple of moments or a few minutes.

Sleep Paralysis doesn't have a solitary known reason. All things being equal, it's frequently considered as an inconvenience of some other condition.



For instance, individuals who have the rest issue narcolepsy may oftentimes encounter rest loss of motion. Other basic conditions, for example, emotional well-being issues and lack of sleep can assume a part, as would medication be able to utilize and substance use.

Treatment for rest loss of motion fundamentally expects to address the hidden condition or issue that might be causing the deficiency of muscle work in any case.

For instance, specialists may recommend antidepressants to individuals who have rest loss of motion brought about by explicit psychological well-being issues, like bipolar problem.

You could possibly forestall a few scenes of rest loss of motion. Find preventive procedures, just as medicines for this normal rest aggravation.

Read more →

Advantages of natural food.

HFH Staff

1. Good for healthy skin.

As well as advancing better generally speaking wellbeing, real food supports and secures your skin.

For example, dark chocolate and avocados have been appeared to ensure skin against sun harm.

Studies propose that eating more vegetables, fish, beans, and olive oil may help lessen wrinkling, loss of flexibility, and other age-related skin changes.

Likewise, changing from a Western eating routine high in handled food varieties to one dependent on genuine food may help forestall or diminish skin inflammation.

2. Lower in sugar

Studies show that eating sweet food varieties can expand your danger of stoutness, insulin obstruction, type 2 diabetes, greasy liver infection, and coronary illness.

As a rule, real food is lower in sugar than many handled food sources.

Despite the fact that organic product contains sugar, it's additionally high in water and fiber, making it a lot more grounded than pop and handled food varieties.

 

3. High in fiber

Fiber gives numerous advantages, including boosting stomach related capacity, metabolic wellbeing etc.

Food sources like avocados, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and blackberries are especially high in sound fiber, close by beans and vegetables.

Burning-through fiber through entire food varieties is far superior to taking an enhancement or eating prepared food with added fiber.

 4. Different varieties

Many diverse genuine food alternatives exist, including a wide assortment of meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, natural products, nuts, vegetables, entire grains, and seeds. 

Eating similar food sources again and again can go downhill. It's better to remember different food sources for your eating routine. 

Try attempting new food varieties.

5. Healthy fats

Unlike the trans and prepared fats found in vegetable oils and spreads, most normally happening fats are solid.

For instance, additional virgin olive oil is an extraordinary wellspring of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that advances heart wellbeing.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty oils, which may build fat consuming and help with weight reduction.

In addition, long-chain omega-3 unsaturated fats help battle irritation and secure heart wellbeing. Greasy fish, like salmon, herring and sardines, are incredible sources.

Other genuine food varieties that are high in sound fats includes avocados, nuts, seeds, and entire milk dairy.

 

Read more →

ASHWAGANDHA - Everything You Need to Know

HFH Staff
Ashwagandha can help reduce stress and promote balance in your body.* In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about this helpful herb — from its origins and history to its benefits and uses — so you can decide for yourself if Ashwagandha is right for you.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha herb plant

Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. In Sanskrit, the word "ashwa" means "horse," while "gandha" means "smell."


The translation of Ashwagandha is roughly "the smell and strength of a horse," which alludes to its traditional use to support vitality and a healthy libido.* Once ground, the herb smells like a horse and was thought to impart the power of one, too.

Its species name, somnifera, means "sleep-inducing" in Latin. Somnifera indicates its traditional Ayurvedic use for supporting somnolence, or sleepiness.* Ashwagandha's Hindi name is "asgandh," another nod to its potent odor that's reminiscent of horse sweat.4,12

Origins of the Ashwagandha Herb

The Ashwagandha plant (scientific name Withania somnifera) is a small evergreen shrub that is short and squat with velvety leaves and bell flowers that contain orange berries similar in appearance to small tomatoes.

Ashwagandha is native to the Indian subcontinent, specifically the drier areas of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It also grows in parts of Africa, and it can grow in temperate climates, including Western North Carolina, where Gaia Herbs is located.

We grow Ashwagandha on our 350-acre Certified Organic farm in Brevard, North Carolina, and we also source it from India. The root of the plant is the part we use in our herbal products, and we harvest Ashwagandha root in fall when the plants’ beneficial phytochemicals are at their peak.

Ashwagandha as an Adaptogen

Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen, meaning it promotes balance in many different systems of the body.*14

Adaptogens are herbs that meet three specific criteria developed by Russian scientist N.V. Lazarez (who is best known for discovering other adaptogens such as Siberian Ginseng, and teaching renowned adaptogen research scientist Israel Brekhman).

According to Lazarez, adaptogens have to:

  • Be non-toxic
  • Reduce and regulate stress by helping the body adapt*
  • Benefit overall well-being*

Ashwagandha meets all of these criteria.

The History of Ashwagandha in Ayurveda

Ashwagandha powder

In Ayurveda — Traditional Indian Medicine — Ashwagandha is a rasayana, or a plant that promotes longevity, vitality, and happiness.*8,12,14

Rasayanas are traditionally given to small children and the elderly as a tonic to support overall well-being.* The root is often dried and ground, then given as a powder mixed with ghee, honey, and milk as Ashwagandha can often have a bitter taste. This warm beverage is often consumed before bedtime.14

Ashwagandha is included in our Golden Milk to help support a feeling of relaxation.*

Ashwagandha is one of the most commonly used herbs for the "Vata" constitution, which is associated with air and space. Balanced Vata energy helps maintain supple skin and joints, a healthy body weight, vitality, healthy cognitive function, and a healthy nervous system.6

Ashwagandha is also used traditionally as a tonic for memory, vitality, and hormonal function, which supports balanced Vata energy.*14

It is also used to support sleep quality, and the ground powdered root can be applied topically to help maintain healthy, comfortable joints.* 12

It should be noted that Ashwagandha impacts the Ayurvedic mind-body type called Sadhaka Pitta, which has an effect on body and emotions.*

According to Divya Alter, chef and owner of Ayurvedic restaurant Divya’s Kitchen, “If you are of high Pitta (fiery) constitution or have accumulated acidic toxins, taking Ashwagandha alone in tablet or powder form will be too heating; you may feel hot flashes and irritation in your stomach or liver.”* 15

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend combining Ashwagandha with cooling herbs, such as Licorice, or mixing Ashwagandha with cooling foods, such as ghee, raw sugar, milk, or rice.16

Ashwagandha Uses

Ashwagandha Plant

Ashwagandha has been extensively studied over its four millennia of use.

This herb offers support similar to the adaptogens Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus, sometimes called Siberian Ginseng) and Ginseng (both Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius) for a healthy stress response.*

Because of this, it is sometimes known as “Indian Ginseng," although it is unrelated to the Ginseng species. Ashwagandha provides calming and nourishing stress support, while Ginseng supports energy and stamina.* 12

Dr. Mary Bove, previously the Director of Medical Education at Gaia Herbs and currently a member of the Gaia Herbs Scientific Advisory Board, considers Ashwagandha to be:

  • Grounding
  • Calming
  • Restoring

Traditional Ashwagandha Health Benefits

Sprouting Ashwagandha plant

As we’ve mentioned, Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic herb that can help your body in many ways, including:

  • Adapting to stressful conditions*14
  • Supporting the nervous system and the endocrine system*
  • Supporting cardiovascular and immune health*3,4,8,14

Let’s take a look at its traditional health benefits in more detail.

1) Stress and Anxiousness

Cortisol is a stress hormone released from the adrenals that has evolutionarily helped the body to mobilize a "fight or flight" response to a perceived imminent danger, freeing up resources for a vigorous fight against an intruder or flight from danger.

Cortisol naturally follows a daily rhythm, rising in the morning to help mobilize the body's forces for the daily needs and lowering in the evening to allow the body to sleep and perform restorative processes.3

Between constant deadlines, financial pressures, and a steady stream of negative news, the chronic stress of modern human culture regularly activates the cortisol stress response, which can impact nervous system function. 3,4

Ashwagandha has been shown to promote healthy levels of cortisol and the healthy inflammatory processes that are stimulated in the response to stress.*

Because stress is at the heart of many health conditions, helping the body adapt better benefits every bodily system including, healthy function of the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems, as well as the brain, muscles, and joints.*

Healthy, normal cortisol output also supports the adrenal glands, which naturally allows the body to focus on reproductive health.7

2) Nervous System

The nervous system impacts every breath, feeling, decision, and experience in our lives and is vital for overall health and well-being.

Ashwagandha has been shown to support the structure and function of the nervous system, and it is also considered to be a neurosupportive and nootropic herb.* Nootropic herbs are those that promote healthy cognitive function.*12

Ashwagandha supports healthy nervous system function by providing antioxidant support and naturally supporting the pathways in the brain for Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that's responsible for sustaining calmness and maintaining muscle tone.*2,7,8

Ashwagandha also supports a calm and stable mood because it helps regulate natural cortisol rhythm, so it has traditionally been used as a supplement for people coping with adrenal fatigue.*

3) Reproductive Health

In the endocrine system, the adrenals play a "starring" role; their functions are necessary for our survival while reproduction is not.

As such, the HPA axis and the stress response are naturally connected to sperm production and fertility in men, and hormonal balance and fertility in women.

The body produces cortisol from the same precursors used to make reproductive hormones, and, under stress, the body will preferably produce cortisol instead of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.7,14

Ashwagandha can assist by helping to maintain already healthy cortisol levels, so the body can free up those resources to be used for reproductive hormones.*

4) For Men

In untrained healthy men performing resistance training for eight weeks, consuming Ashwagandha root showed that it supported healthy muscle strength and recovery.*13

This may be because Ashwagandha promotes healthy levels of creatinine kinase, which reduces the natural muscle damage that happens from exercise and supports muscle recovery.*13

In men, Ashwagandha has also been shown to support a healthy stress response, healthy sperm levels, and normal levels of testosterone.*7,13

5) Fitness

Man running outside

Metabolically, Ashwagandha seems to have an overall anabolic action, supporting weight gain during the natural growth phase.*

Ashwagandha-fortified milk given to children has been shown to support a healthy weight, as well as healthy total plasma proteins and hemoglobin levels.*

It has also been shown to support normal lean body weight and fat-to-muscle ratios.*10,13

Ashwagandha may also support healthy fat oxidation and support healthy blood glucose and blood lipid levels within already normal, healthy ranges.*3,10

6) Joint Health

Ashwagandha root has been studied for its support of a healthy inflammatory response and joint health.* It has been shown in some studies to support occasional joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and discomfort in healthy men and women due to normal wear and tear.*8.9

This may be because, as shown in human studies, it seems to naturally mitigate levels of C-reactive protein, which is a systemic marker for the body's inflammatory response.*3

7) Sleep

A good night's sleep is a key part of living a healthy life. Known for its grounding and recuperative properties, several studies have shown that Ashwagandha supports healthy sleep.2,3,4,7.10

This is why Ashwagandha is included in some of our most popular supplements to support sleep, including Gaia Herbs SleepThru® and Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore.*

Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore also nourishes the adrenal glands, which influence the body's sleep patterns, stress response, and more.*

8) Immunity

Ayurvedic practitioners have long believed that Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs for immune-system support for young and old alike.*

One animal study found that Ashwagandha strengthened the immune systems of mice by promoting an increase in white blood cells.*22

While more studies are needed to substantiate Ashwagandha’s role in immune support in humans, an increase in white blood cells of this type could, theoretically, help humans maintain their health longer.*

9) Heart Health

Heart health is one of the most-asked-about wellness concerns of the 21st century and many people are looking for natural ways to support their heart.

One study noted that Ashwagandha offered antioxidant support to the heart, which could potentially help protect it against free radicals in the blood.*23

In addition, Ashwagandha may potentially provide anti-inflammatory benefits that make it easier for the heart to work efficiently.*23, 24

The same study also noted that Ashwagandha supported healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels — two major factors in stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems.*23, 24

In fact, the group taking the highest dosage of standardized Ashwagandha extract experienced — on average — a 17% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides.*23

SOURCE: https://www.gaiaherbs.com/

 

Read more →

What is Matcha? - Even more Powerful than Green Tea??

HFH Staff

Green tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world.

It offers various potential health benefits, such as weight loss and improved heart health (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

Matcha, a particular variety of green tea, is marketed as even healthier than other types.

It is grown and prepared differently than other green teas. What’s more, the whole tea leaf is consumed.

What Is Matcha?
Matcha and regular green tea both come from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is native to China.

However, matcha is grown differently than regular green tea. The tea bushes are shielded from sunlight for about 20–30 days before harvest.

The shade triggers an increase in chlorophyll levels, which turns the leaves a darker shade of green and increases the production of amino acids.

After harvesting, the stems and veins are removed from the leaves. They are then stone-ground into a fine, bright green powder known as matcha.

Because the whole leaf powder is ingested, matcha is even higher in some substances — such as caffeine and antioxidants — than green tea.

One cup (237 ml) of standard matcha, made from 4 teaspoons of powder, generally packs about 280 mg of caffeine. This is significantly higher than a cup (237 ml) of regular green tea, which provides 35 mg of caffeine.

However, most people don’t drink a full cup (237 ml) of matcha at once because of its high caffeine content. It’s more common to drink 2–4 ounces (59–118 ml). Caffeine content also varies based on how much powder you add.

Matcha, which can have a grassy and bitter taste, is often served with a sweetener or milk. Matcha powder is also popular in smoothies and baking.

 

source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/matcha-green-tea#what-it-is

Read more →