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Your immune system is your body’s department of defense. It prevents and deals with foreign invasion (read disease-causing microbes or pathogens) and quashes guerrilla forces (read free radicals) inside.
For the first, it utilizes an army of specialized immune cells and for the second, it relies on a special unit of chemicals known as antioxidants. There’s a third critical unit – gut bacteria – that needs to be managed just right to keep the pathogens away; else, they could turn rogue and help the free radicals.
A climbing vine with delicate flowers and juicy fruits, passionflower is one of Nature’s many “chill pills.” Its leaves and roots are home to relaxing compounds waiting to be tapped into.
Why It’s So Great 1. Induces Sleep It’s funny how we’re always willing to compromise on sleep in the attempt to be more productive. Truth be told, we’ve got it backward. Depriving your body of sleep is depriving it of the fuel it needs to put on a good show.
Neither a nut nor tough to crack, nutmeg is the seed of the plant Myristica fragrans. It can be grated or powdered into a flavoring spice, blending well into comforting baked goodies and energizing beverages. But is it healthy? Rest assured.
The seed has two oils: an essential oil and nutmeg butter. The essential oil is responsible for nutmeg’s unique flavor and fragrance while also carrying health-promoting compounds. Nutmeg butter needs a lot more research on it.
The roots and rhizome (horizontal underground stem) of the jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) plant are not as delicate as they appear. They are home to compounds that can calm your mind and defend your pancreas.
The compounds which seem to shine through are jatamansic acid, nardostachysin, nardal, and nardin.
Why It’s So Great 1. Promotes Mental Well-being Everyday stress can get the best among us down. But what’s reassuring is that the body has everything you need to regain your emotional balance.
Belonging to the daisy family, the chamomile herb offers a bouquet of health benefits through its white and yellow flowers. The volatile oils in the flowers carry a range of compounds that mean your nervous and digestive systems well.
The compounds α-bisabolol, chamazulene, and apigenin are given the most credit for chamomile’s health benefits.
Why It’s So Great 1. Induces Sleep With addictive gadgets, lengthy to-do lists, and the perpetual need pick up the pace, your nervous system is constantly bombarded with external stimuli (like lights, sounds, smells).
Our bodies need to constantly adapt to ever-changing environments and situations. This involves knowing how to deal with both physical and mental stressors, ranging from cold temperatures to social phobias. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it can help your body adapt – without targeting any one system or organ. It casts a wider net of benefits.
Most of the credit for ashwagandha’s benefits goes to a group of compounds called withanolides.