Plant-based herbs that have medicinal and energy promoting properties have been recognized by indigenous peoples for countless generations. Ancient cultures from China, India and Africa used herbs as both food and medicine, often not distinguishing between the dual properties. Today, people are rediscovering the value of herbal supplements to boost energy and increase vitality. Before embarking on an herbal supplement regime, you should consult a health care professional who can educate you about dosage, risks and potential side effects.
Asian ginseng, or Panax ginseng, has been utilized to boost energy and fight fatigue for centuries in many Asian countries. According to MedlinePlus, Asian ginseng is frequently used for work efficiency, physical stamina and athletic endurance. You can purchase and consume ginseng as a tea, capsule and tablet.
Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon basin and commonly used in many South American countries, especially Brazil. The fruit of a guarana plant is an effective energy booster because it contains about twice the caffeine content per gram compared to coffee beans, as cited in “Medical Herbalism.”
Rhodiola root has been used in traditional herbal medicine to combat fatigue, depression, blood anaemias, sexual dysfunction and infections. More recently, rhodiola has shown to be effective for improving cognition, boosting the immune system, enhancing athletic performance and promoting weight loss, according to "Medical Herbalism."
Kelp is a type of seaweed and considered a “superfood” because of all the nutrients it contains. Specifically, kelp is rich in B vitamins, which are essential for cellular metabolism and energy production in your body.
Licorice root can act like a natural steroid, stimulating your body to produce adrenaline, as noted in “The Complete Book of Chinese Medicine.” Further, it helps regulate and balance your blood sugar content, which ensures a steady flow of energy production. Licorice should not be used frequently as a supplement because your body can adapt to its use and dampen its effects.
Turmeric is another energy-boosting herb that works by targeting the digestive system, which promotes more efficient break-down and utilization of food. Turmeric is in curry powder and consumed as a spice with food.
Gotu Kola is an herb from India used in Ayurvedic medicine to rejuvenate and replenish your body after physical exertion. It is claimed to be a useful remedy for naturally strengthening and building muscle tissue.
Ashwagandha, or winter cherry, is considered a rejuvenating tonic capable of boosting your energy levels. Ashwagandha is often consumed as a tea and recommended for increased endurance, sexual stamina and anti-inflammatory effects.
Astragalus is a Chinese herb that has antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can support your immune system, combat fatigue and boost energy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Astragalus is especially effective at combating fatigue associated with chronic asthma.
- MedlinePlus: Panax - Asian Ginseng
- "Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices of Herbal Medicine;" David Hoffmann; 2003
- "The Complete Book of Chinese Medicine: A Holistic Approach to Physical, Emotional and Mental Health;" Wong K. Kit; 2002
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Astrgalus