It can be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on the road. Herbal supplements are an easy way to bring your all-natural medicine chest with you to treat ailments or assist in preventing ailments as we age. Women, in particular, can benefit from a range of herbs, seeds and berries that provide natural relief for common symptoms, such as menstrual cramps, hormonal imbalance and headaches.
Here are five herbs, seeds and berries women may want to add to their daily health plan:
1. Cranberries – Regular consumption of cranberries is a great way to ward off urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberry capsules are available over the counter and provide a convenient way to include cranberry as a supplement to your diet, but it is believed that drinking cranberry juice regularly is more effective. Pure, organic cranberry juice is best, but has a strong flavor that might make it difficult to enjoy. Try diluting it with water or adding a natural sweetener to improve the flavor.
2. Feverfew – Feverfew has been used to treat headaches and migraines for generations and can even provide some relief from the nausea that sometimes accompanies headaches. You can take this herbal supplement in capsule form or as a tea, but it is not recommended for pregnant women.
3. Ginger – Ginger is traditionally used to treat menstrual cramps, nausea, morning sickness and other stomach ailments. This flavorful root is great for cooking, but it can also be taken as a tea or in capsule form. You can even make a ginger poultice to place under a hot water bottle on your abdomen for cramp relief.
4. Flaxseed – Lignan-rich flaxseeds can help balance hormones, provide relief from menopausal symptoms, support fertility and protect against certain ailments, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Consuming ground flaxseeds in salads, smoothies, yogurt or other dishes is the best way to obtain the most benefits; however, ground flaxseeds have a fairly short shelf life. The easiest way to include flaxseeds in your diet while on the road is to purchase whole flaxseeds and use a coffee grinder or spice grinder to grind them as needed.
5. Green Tea – Traditional use and clinical research has shown a variety of potential benefits from consuming green tea regularly, including cancer prevention, lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke, preventing diabetes, warding off dementia, lowering cholesterol and boosting your metabolism. Green tea can be purchased in bulk or in tea bags and is easy to include each day through drinking it as tea or using it in recipes.
It is important to remember that some herbs and herbal supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications. There are also some herbs that should not be taken by women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or managing high blood pressure. Before adding herbs to your daily health plan, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider.