Lavender

The flower lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, also known as L. officinalis) doesn’t only lend its fragrance to the cosmetic industry. It has other benefits for the mind as well. Linalool in it reduces nerve activity by increasing a calming chemical called GABA. It also helps induce relaxing brain waves like alpha and theta waves – theContinue reading “Lavender”

Kantakari

The dried roots of kantakari (Solanum virginianum) are good for your respiration. They help the airways relax and make breathing easier when you have a cold or flu. They target certain immune cells to suppress the production of key inflammatory signaling molecules. Kantakari chemicals further activate immune cells called macrophages and neutrophils that eat upContinue reading “Kantakari”

Jatamansi

Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) is a herb for your mind. It increases the levels of the nerve-calming chemical GABA and happiness hormones like dopamine and serotonin, in effect improving your mood and anxiety. Since it also prevents the quick breakdown of acetylcholine, a memory-consolidating chemical, it could improve learning and memory. By nudging your GABA levelsContinue reading “Jatamansi”

Indian Tinospora (Guduchi)

Indian tinospora (Tinospora cordifolia) is an immunity booster. Polysachharides in it activate immune agents like macrophages and help release signaling molecules like cytokines. The herb could also tone down allergic reactions by putting a lid on the production of histamine. By stimulating insulin production and slowing down carbohydrate digestion, it helps maintain steady blood glucoseContinue reading “Indian Tinospora (Guduchi)”

Indian Kudzu (Vidari)

Indian kudzu (Pueraria tuberosa) is a tuber with benefits for your brain, mood, and immune system. Puerarin and daidzein in it protect nerve cells in certain parts of the brain from damage, while flavonoids help produce a relaxing and calming effect by engaging GABA A receptors. The herb also enhances the efficiency of immune agentsContinue reading “Indian Kudzu (Vidari)”

Holy Basil

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is an adaptogen. It helps your body cope with stress by reducing the cortisol levels and increasing the release of happiness hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Stress dampens immunity, but holy basil flavonoids counter by increasing the number of immune agents like natural killer cells, neutrophils, and T helper cells. ItContinue reading “Holy Basil”

Green Tea

Green tea, considered a healthy tea worldwide, comes from the Camellia sinensis plant which also yields black and oolong tea. While a small amount of caffeine makes it a gentle pick-me-up, EGCG and L-theanine are the main weapons in its arsenal. The “jitters” characteristic of caffeine can be countered by L-theanine, which increases GABA levelsContinue reading “Green Tea”

Ginger

Ginger (Zingibar officinale) is a crowd-pleaser not only for its characteristic spicy flavor but also the many favors it does the body. It’s known to quell morning sickness and ease motion sickness to some extent. It’s also had as a digestive aid since it increases peristalsis and expels gas. True to its fame as anContinue reading “Ginger”

Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum) are rich in healthful fiber, alkaloids, and saponins. The fiber turns into a viscous gel in the small intestine, inhibiting carb-digesting enzymes and reducing the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Other chemicals in the seeds help the pancreatic beta cells release more insulin and then nudge carrier molecules called GLUT4Continue reading “Fenugreek Seeds”