Wondering what herbs to take each day? Listen as Dr. Rawls explains the concept of Everyday Herbs and lists his six favorites so that you know right where to start to build your herbal therapy foundation. Read more about the emerging case for herbal medicine here.
Question: What everyday herbs should I take?
Dr. Rawls: So in the book (The Cellular Wellness Solution), I feature what I call everyday herbs — herbs that most anybody can take on a daily basis. And I have some favorites that I’ll share that I think are good for anybody and everybody to take because they have such nice properties.
One of my favorites is rhodiola. This herb is native to Siberia and northern latitudes. But interestingly, they found this species in some of the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains. It is defined as an adaptogen. It reduces fatigue. It helps us, and it increases our tolerance to physical stress. Protects heart cells, protects nerve cells, and improves tissue oxygenation. So it’s a really nice herb.
Reishi mushroom, another favorite. This is a shelf mushroom that kind of looks like a rainbow that would be growing on the side of a tree. It’s rust colored. There are many species. If you’ve ever been walking in the woods and have seen kind of a rust colored rainbow mushroom growing on the side of the tree, that’s a species of reishi. Now, the one that has been most extensive, severely studied is the Asian reishi. And it has some wonderful anti-cancer properties, but also immune-modulating, antiviral properties. It increases stress resistance. Really wonderful effects.
Turmeric, most everybody has heard of that one. It is what you find in Indian curries. Most everyone has experienced this. It’s a relative of ginger, so it’s a rhizome, which is something like a root. Its anti-inflammatory properties are well known, so it’s protecting cells and reducing inflammation in the body by affecting chemical messengers that are associated with that inflammatory response. Really a wonderful herb native to India in Indian curries. Most people in India consume about a gram of curry every day. And despite overcrowding and a higher level of pollution than we have here, India has some of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s and cancer in the world and is felt to be related to high consumption of turmeric and other herbs.
Protecting your liver — all the toxins we’re exposed to kill off liver cells. When we kill off liver cells, we lose the ability to detoxify. Our cholesterol goes up, our blood sugar goes up because our liver cells need to manage those things. And if you lose your liver cells, that’s not good. Milk thistle protects your liver cells but it’s actually been found to induce regeneration of new liver cells. So that’s important. You can actually restore your liver cells. It’s a matter of taking the stress off, and your body does remarkable things.
Gotu kola — this is another one from India, well known for supporting brain health and protecting brain cells, but it protects all the cells in the body, including skin cells and vascular system and everything else.
Shilajit is an interesting substance. I added this one on just because it’s really fascinating. This is found in the Himalayas. And what it is, is phytochemicals from decomposed plants that have been fermented with bacteria and in the process that has created new chemicals called fulvic acid and humic acid that are really, really good for restoring our intestinal health. So it does a lot of great things. It’s considered an adaptogen. Really a wonderful herb.
Discover more in Dr. Bill Rawls' new #1 Bestselling book: The Cellular Wellness Solution: Tap Into Your Full Health Potential with the Science-Backed Power of Herbs.