Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena (Aloysia tryphilla; also called Lippia citriodora) is a flowering herb originally from South America with, as the name suggests, a citrus flavor. The leaves and flowers release their fragrance when bruised. Milder than other “lemony” herbs, the leaves blend easily into desserts, salad dressings, soups, jams, and drinks. But that’s not where itsContinue reading “Lemon Verbena”

Mandarin Rooibos

Literally, red bush tea, rooibos tea is a popular drink that originated in South Africa. The tea is made by fermenting the leaves of a plant called Aspalathus linearis, which is what gives it the red hue. The unfermented green tea has more antioxidants and is more expensive. Mandarin rooibos is a flavored version ofContinue reading “Mandarin Rooibos”

Vidanga

The black pepper-like fruits of vidanga (Embelia ribes) help your body better respond to leptin, the satiety hormone. The result is better portion control. Embelin in the herb also protects heart tissue from free radicals by supplying and activating antioxidants. By increasing the efficiency of a nerve-calming chemical called GABA, velvet bean can also makeContinue reading “Vidanga”

Velvet Bean (Kapikacchu)

Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) is a nerve tonic and immunity booster, thanks to a compound called levodopa which is a precursor for dopamine, a mood-lifting hormone. Velvet bean also reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases the happiness hormone serotonin. It also makes you feel energetic by driving the production of ATP, the body’s fuel,Continue reading “Velvet Bean (Kapikacchu)”

Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is gaining in popularity because of its multiple health benefits. It strengthens your immunity by attacking bacteria and increasing the production of an immune molecule called CAMP. But at the same time, it also controls the resulting inflammation by inhibiting the function of certain enzymes and signaling molecules. Turmeric curcuminoids fight freeContinue reading “Turmeric”

Tribulus (Gokshura)

Saponins and flavonoids make the fruits and roots of tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) so healthy. The herb can lower your blood pressure by inhibiting ACE, an enzyme that narrows down the blood vessels. Thanks to the nitrates and potassium salts in it, tribulus can help your kidneys by increasing urine output and flushing out toxins. AnContinue reading “Tribulus (Gokshura)”

Spearmint

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is much more than a flavoring agent in mouthwashes or lip balms. The herb increases peristalsis in the digestive tract, making food leave your stomach more quickly. At the same time, it ensures that the peristalsis well controlled so that it doesn’t cause spasms. Spearmint can also help control inflammation, a sideContinue reading “Spearmint”

Shatavari

Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) owes most of its benefits to a group of compounds called steroidal saponins and flavonoids. It’s most well known for helping balance hormone levels in women, possibly by protecting the ovaries against free radicals. That apart, it protects the stomach lining from corrosive stomach acids and helps increase absorption of nutrients inContinue reading “Shatavari”