Strong abdominal muscles can support a wide range of physical activity and may also reduce your risk of experiencing lower-back pain. If you are looking beyond exercise for a way to strengthen your abdominal muscles, adding herbs may help. While you must still continue to do exercises that strengthen your abdominal muscles, certain anti-inflammatory and high-fiber herbs may help speed the process. Consult your doctor before using any type of herbal remedy.
Take American ginseng to get beneficial ginsenosides, which support oxygen circulation when contracting and relaxing your muscles. Greater oxygen circulation will encourage your abdominal muscles to work harder so they become stronger.
Supplement your diet with eucommia, which according to "Yoga Journal," supplies collagen to injured or weak muscles, particularly in your lower back and knees. Eucommia may also benefit weak abdominal muscles. Collagen is essential for building and maintaining tissues and muscles.
Try horsetail. It contains silica, which can help repair and regenerate connective tissue and improve muscle strength.
Add high-fiber herbs to your daily diet. Include flaxseed, chia seeds or psyllium in your recipes or add them to certain foods. Lewis Harrison, author of "Master Your Metabolism: The All-Natural (All-Herbal) Way to Lose Weight," says fiber helps rev up your metabolism. A high metabolism may help your muscles work harder when you exercise, which will translate to increased strength.
Perform exercises that target your abdominal muscles, and add the herbs as a boost, rather than a replacement. Try crunches, planks, yoga and Pilates, which are effective for building strength in your abdominal muscles.
- Yoga Journal: Damage Control
- The Green Pharmacy; James A. Duke
- Master Your Metabolism: The All-Natural (All-Herbal) Way to Lose Weight; Lewis Harrison
- Prescription for Herbal Healing; Phyllis A. Balch