Health and Wellbeing Herbs and Foods

Keep yourself in tip top condition with botanicals known to support a healthy mind, body and soul.

Health is what Indigo Herbs is all about. We want to share our passion for the remarkable nutritive and healing properties of the plant world so that you can reach your personal best. We would even go so far to say that health and nutrition are one of the cornerstones of the evolution of human society.

Whether you want greater vitality, a more satisfying sex life, clearer skin and brighter eyes, sharper thinking, or better mood, Nature has the answer. Improved performance at sports, weight loss, increased longevity – all these, too, are possible with help from botanicals. What’s more, scientific studies are now confirming what herbalists have known since antiquity – that herbs work.

Optimum nutrition is key. Wholefoods and nutrient-dense superfoods provide the foundation for good health and prevent many illnesses from ever developing in the first place.

Taking responsibility for a healthy lifestyle also includes adequate sleep, detoxification, exercise, emotional/spiritual fulfilment, and replacing bad habits with good ones (you know the ones we mean!).

However, if the body is already in a state of unbalance – and consequently suffering poor health – botanicals can gently and naturally restore harmony. They may take a little longer than their pharmaceutical counterparts, but in time they will work their magic.

All our botanicals are pure, ethically sourced and of premium quality. Check out the list below to see what appeals.

 

Aloe Vera

(Aloe Barbadensis Miller)
Aloe Vera Benefits

For all round good health and wellbeing Aloe Vera is hard to beat. This nutrient dense superfood is also classed as an adaptogen, with two particular compounds - acemannan and aloctin A - supporting adrenal health and the immune system. Aloe Vera's power as an adaptogen balances the endocrine system which in turn stimulates the body's adaptive and defense mechanisms, allowing an increased ability to deal with emotional, physical and environmental stress.

Aloe Vera is also powerfully antioxidant, containing phytochemicals which amplify the antioxidant effects of other compounds such as vitamins C and E. Including antioxidants in your diet is essential for overall health, as an overload of toxic substances can lead to mood swings, brain fog and low energy levels, amongst other things, all of which can threaten our wellbeing. 

 

Ashwagandha

(Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha Benefits

Considered “nature’s gift to mankind”, Ayurveda has used Ashwagandha for centuries to promote physical and mental health, improve vitality, longevity and resistance against infections and diseases.

Ashwagandha is one of those rare herbs which is both energising and calming at the same time. It works holistically on the entire body to bring it back to homeostasis and help it to function efficiently. For example it could provide energy to someone feeling sluggish or it can have a calming effect on the nerves of someone feeling tense and anxious. Some of the many benefits of Ashwagandha include; immune system support, combats stress, improves memory, reduces depression and anxiety, protects the brain, is anti-inflammatory and boosts the libido of both men and women. 

 

Barley Grass

(Hordeum vulgare L)
Barleygrass Benefits

Barleygrass is naturally high in many key nutrients that help to support the immune system and overall wellbeing, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and enzymes. This tender young grass is also extremely high in chlorophyll, a natural cleanser to the body which will help to counter the effects of eating processed foods and give an overall energy boost. 

A healthy digestive system is one of the cornerstones of good health, Barleygrass is a natural source of organic sodium which is needed by the lining of the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid (without which our food cannot be digested). Also rich in digestive enzymes, these substances can help to reduce toxic and indigestible materials in food. 

Barleygrass is a complete protein (containing all of the essential amino acids), and an antioxidant powerhouse, with some of the highest levels of the master antioxidant "super-oxide dismutase"(SOD). 

 

Bee Pollen

Bee Pollen Benefits

Bee Pollen is considered one of nature’s most complete foods due to its comprehensive and balanced nutrient profile. A complete protein, rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and anti-oxidants, it is considered an immune system builder that will also enhance vitality.

Bee pollen is a great brain booster, lifting brain fatigue, improving alertness and helping concentration levels over an extended period of time. Rich in the B vitamins; B1, B2 and B3 – these are essential for a healthy nervous system and powerful detoxifiers, especially to the brain. They are often referred to as “anti-stress” or “morale” vitamins - when the nervous system is working optimally anxiety and stress can be greatly lessened. It also helps alleviate nausea, sleep disorders, stress and anxiety by bringing the body into nutritional balance and well being.

 

Cats Claw

(Uncaria tomentosa)
Cat's Claw

This fantastic herb can be thought of as a great adaptogen that can help quite a few different problems. Traditionally it is used for joint pain, stomach and colon problems and as an immune booster.

Cats Claw has many varying phytochemicals which contribute to it's multifaceted uses. Used as a tonic, Cats Claw has the ability to rebalance the body. It can be used for many common ailments.

Originally sourced from the depths of the Amazonian jungle, the Ashanika Indians have been using this vine for centuries as a cure all. The plant itself features in their creation folklore concerning how they came into the world.

 

Chlorella

(Chlorella vulgaris)
Chlorella Benefits

A powerful superfood with extraordinary nutrient density, Chlorella furnishes the body with the optimum nutrition necessary for tip-top health and wellbeing. It is also effective in bringing balance to bodily systems such as; hormones, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and the digestive system.

For the body's engine to purr, it needs regular cleaning and this is where Chlorella comes into its own. This single-celled algae is one of nature's most potent detoxifiers, able to safely remove heavy metals and environmental toxins from the body in a process known as chelation. It also cleanses and oxygenates the blood due to its extremely high chlorophyll content, which alkalises the body too. 

Finally, Chlorella has been found to accelerate healing, protect against radiaton, relieve arthritis pain and is useful as part of a Candida detox. 

 

Cordyceps

(Cordyceps sinensis)
Cordyceps Benefits

Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, Cordyceps is recommended as a tonic for "all illness", with the ability to improve energy, endurance, stamina, appetite and disrupted sleep patterns. It is one of the most powerful immunomodulating and energy enhancing adaptogens that is often compared with Ginseng for its restorative qualities.

Cordyceps is especially revered for its ability to enhance cells' ability to utilise oxygen - increased energy uptake by cells directly translates as a sustained energy boost to the body, making this fungi especially popular with athletes. 

 

Green Tea

(Camellia sinensis)

Tea has been used as an all round panacea for emotional, physical and stressful situations for time immemorial, however all teas were not created equal and Green Tea is in a league of its own when it comes to benefits to health and wellbeing.

Of over 700 compounds found in Green Tea, two in particular are almost exclusive - l-theanine and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). L-theanine is an amino acid that has a relaxing (although not sedative) effect, able to bring about a state of "calm attentiveness". It can sharpen focus and concentration whilst reducing stress and enhancing overall wellbeing. Similarly, EGCG has a calming effect on the brain, especially when stressed and over-stimulated - it too has the ability to produce a relaxed yet attentive state. 

Green tea is made from unfermented leaves, meaning it retains the highest levels of antioxidants compared with any other teas.

 

Hemp

(Cannabis Sativa)
Hemp Benefits

Considered one of the most nutritionally complete foods in the world, Hemp Seeds contain the perfect balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 essential fatty acids, are a complete source of plant based protein and are bursting with health supportive vitamins and minerals. The ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is between 1:1 to 4:1, the hemp seed ratio is 4:1 and it is this ratio that is critical to cellular health - healthy cells equal a healthy body and mind.

Including these delicious, nutty seeds in your diet is an ideal way to provide all of the nutrients necessary for a balanced mood and a focussed mind.

 

Kelp Seaweed

(Laminara digitata)
Kelp Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of Kelp Seaweed is its high iodine content. One of the lesser known but extremely important minerals, iodine is vital to every single cell in the body. It is absolutely essential to the thyroid which stimulates the mitochondria in cells to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) - their fuel supply, with low ATP resulting in sluggishness and inertia. The thyroid also fuels metabolism, adequate iodine is crucial to this important gland and Kelp has been found to have a normalising effect on the thyroid.

People who up their iodine intake frequently report a feeling of wellbeing, higher energy, clearer thinking, better sleep and digestion. There is no better way to do this than to supplement with a wholefood such as Kelp. 

 

Lion's Mane Mushroom

(Hericium erinaceus)
Lions Mane Mushroom Benefits

Also known as "Nature's gift to your nervous system", the Lion's Mane Mushroom contains compounds which act as nerve growth factors (NGF). A small protein that is needed for the maintenance and growth of certain neurons, NGF is crucial to the overall health of the central nervous system. A healthy nervous system is able to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life much more efficiently than one that is compromised.

World renowned fungi expert Paul Stamets believes that this could be the world's first "smart mushroom", containing compounds that have been shown to regenerate myelin sheaths (the insulating layer around nerve cells, especially in the brain). This highly neuroprotective benefit specifically supports cognitive function - including memory, attention and creativity. Buddhist Shaolin monks used the Lion's Mane mushroom in meditation practices, believing it enhanced their concentration thus enabling them to better cultivate the mystical life force "Qi".

 

Maca

(Lepidium meyenii )
Maca Benefits

Maca is a rich source of many important nutrients and phytochemicals that are known to exert an adaptogenic effect on the body. Adaptogens are primarily used to support adrenal function which in turn helps the body to find balance and restore levels of vitality. Maca nourishes and enhances the function of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland which helps to regulate hormone production, lessening mood swings and relieving PMT symptoms in women. 

Due to its rich nutritional content and adaptogenic qualities, Maca will naturally have a positive effect on energy, stamina and mood. A nutritional powerhouse, Maca is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – especially B Vitamins which are renowned for their brain boosting qualities. This dense nutrition is also responsible for its ability to boost energy levels in a sustained and balanced way. 

 

Maitake Mushroom

(Grifola frondosa)
Maitake Benefits

The Maitake Mushroom has long been revered in Asia as an all-round fortifying health tonic with longevity properties. With an ability to increase adaptability and reduce stress, these potent mushrooms have been used to treat individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with positive effects. 

Maitake is also a powerful immune booster, stimulating the production of immune cells which in turn allows the body to quickly and efficiently deal with pathogens and illness. This Japanese mushroom roughly translates as "dancing mushroom" - named as such because people were said to jump for joy when they found one due to their value and health benefits. 

 

Moringa

(Moringa oleifera)
Moringa Benefits

Also known as the "Tree of Life", the mighty Moringa tree is a nutritional powerhouse that certainly lives up to its name. The leaves are brimming with live giving nutrients, antioxidants and amino acids - it is a complete protein, supplying all of the essential amino acids our bodies cannot make. When the body gets all of the necessary nutrients to run smoothly, the natural outcome is a general sense of vitality and wellbeing. Regular consumption has been linked to higher energy and stamina, restful sleep and better resistance to illnesses.

As well as being a nutrient dense superfood, Moringa has adoptogenic qualities with several studies have showing that it balances hormones in pre-menopausal and menopausal women.Research shows its antioxidant content can help to prevent complications due to aging and natural hormonal changes. It also supports the immune response and promotes energy and adrenal health. 

 

 

MSM

MSM Powder

Sulphur is the most abundant mineral in the body with almost half of it found in muscles, bones and skin. It plays a hugely important role in many physiological processes and can be obtained from cruciferous vegetables and onions and garlic. However, since the sulphur was broken many decades ago by chemical fertilisers, our soil is no longer supplying enough sulphur to fruits and vegetables, meaning that supplementation with sulphur (normally in the form of MSM) can be beneficial to our health.

Sulphur is needed for enzyme activity, hormonal balance and immune system function. It is also very alkaline, helping to keep the body's Ph intact, and will keep cells running at optimum efficiency. When all of the bodily systems are running smoothly the natural outcome is a general sense of comfort and wellbeing.

 

 

Oyster Mushroom

(Pleurotus ostreatus)
Oyster Mushroom Benefits

Alongside all of the other medicinal mushrooms, Oyster Mushrooms join the ranks as an overall health tonic and general wellbeing addition to you diet. Containing significant levels of many important minerals, B vitamins and protein, Oyster Mushrooms are both delicious and nutritious. They are prescribed in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for an overall boost to health and as a joint and tendon relaxation aid. 

Oyster Mushrooms also give the immune system a boost due to their rich content of polysaccharides known as beta-D-glucans, stimulating white blood cells to destroy viruses and pathogens.

 

Psyllium

(Plantago ovata)
Psyllium

Psyllium husks are an excellent source of plant based fibre that can be consumed to increase fibre intake and enhance overall wellbeing. It is a prebiotic fibre (meaning it feeds the good bacteria in the gut), which contributes significantly to the health of the digestive system. A healthy colony of good bacteria is essential to healthy immune function, increasing the body's ability to fight off infection, reduce inflammation and maintain healthy tissue and cells.

The fibre in Psyllium will also contribute to an overall sense of fullness which can prevent overeating, keeping weight in check. It can slow sugar absorbtion, promoting healthy blood sugar levels, and it will move food quickly through the colon - keeping bowel movements regular and eliminating toxic build up. 

 

Reishi Mushroom

(Ganoderma lucidum)
Reishi Mushroom Benefits

One of the oldest mushrooms to have been used therapeutically, the Reshi Mushroom belongs to a special class of Chinese Medicine known as "tonic herbs". These are herbs that make a powerful contribution to overall health and vitality and are not just prescribed for illness, rather they should be incorporated into one's daily diet to reap their various benefits. Traditional Eastern Medicine attributes the success of Reishi Mushroom to its ability to "defend the equilibrium" and maintain balance in the body.

The Reishi Mushroom is a powerful anti-inflammatory and a known adaptogen.Its adaptogenic qualities specifically help to improve liver function - this important organ is responsible for flushing toxins from the body and in circulating healthy blood and nutrients.

 

 

Rhodiola Rosea

(Rhodiola rosea)

Rhodiola Rosea is a potent adaptogenic herb that has been extensively studied since the 1940's, when Russians discovered its strengths from the native peoples around the Altai Mountains. Rhodiola's adaptogenic benefits partly stem from a phytochemical it contains - salisdroside - a compound that relieves anxiety and stress. Rhodiola helps to balance cortisol levels - the stress hormone - in the body. If they are too high it can bring it down, conversely if they are too low it can bring them up, this is the power of an adaptogen.

Rhodiola repairs exhausted and burnt out adrenals, making it highly effective to combat stress, fatigue, anxiety and worry. It enhances wellbeing by supporting two neurotransmitters that are essential for mood and mental function - serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are crucial to sharp focus and memory and have a huge impact on the ability to stimulate feelings of happiness.

 

Shiitake Mushroom

(Lentinula edodes)
Shiitake Benefits

Possibly the most popular mushroom in the world after the button mushroom, Shiitake has long been a favourite of the Chinese and Japanese. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses this mycelium heavyweight as a stimulant to boost overall health, relieve hunger, strengthen the immune system, stimulate “qi” (life force) and improve circulation.

The incredible amount of B vitamins found in Shiitake mushrooms also make them an excellent remedy for low energy and brain fog. 

 

 

Siberian Ginseng

(Eleutherococcus Senticosus)
Siberian Ginseng Benefits

It is commonly thought that Siberian Ginseng was the first ever herb to have the term “Adaptogen” applied to it. It aids in the recovery from strenuous exercise and extreme mental exertion, whilst its adaptogenic qualities make it a must have herb for those engaged in highly stressful jobs or high energy activities. It is also extremely useful to those working in abnormally high or low temperature environments.

Besides protecting your body from stress, Siberian Ginseng also increases oxygenation of the cells, thereby increasing endurance, alertness and even visual acuity. It is used by Russian Cosmonauts for these very reasons, all whilst promoting the natural healing power of our bodies. 

Participants of various studies consistently report that Ginseng improves overall wellbeing, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, sex and personal satisfaction. 

 

Spirulina

(Arthrospira platensis, and Arthrospira maxima)
Spirulina Benefits

This nutrient dense super-algae provides significant benefits to overall health and wellbeing. It is a fabulous source of vegan/vegetarian protein, highly digestible and containing all of the essential amino acids our bodies cannot make. Proteins are the building blocks of the body, used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin. Spirulina contains almost the full spectrum of B-vitamins, these are essential to the health of the central nervous system and the brain. Ensuring a plentiful supply of these important vitamins will positively influence mood, cognition and memory.

Spirulina is also high in chlorophyll which is wonderfully alkalising to the body and oxygenates the blood. Research suggests it is difficult for disease to take hold and thrive in an alkaline environment, and healthy cells need adequate oxygen levels to maintain health and growth. 

 

Suma

(Pfaffia paniculata)
Suma

Suma root is a therapeutic herb that originates in South America and has been used for centuries as a general "cure all" and energy booster. It is packed with many health supportive nutrients such as electrolytes, amino acids, antioxidants and a wealth of important vitamins and minerals. These nutrients work symbiotically to provide the body with the building blocks that are essential to maintaining optimal health. 

Suma joins the ranks of "herbal adaptogens" - a special class of plants containing compounds which improve the body's ability to cope with stress and other harmful biological and environmental factors. It has a restorative and balancing effect on many biological processes throughout the body and brain. 

The rich nutritional profile of this root makes it especially useful to athletes or body-builders with high-intensity exercise regimes. Suma's high electrolyte and amino acid content helps to restore many important compounds lost through sweating and exertion. Also containing the phytonutrient "germanium", this compound helps to distribute oxygen to the body - an important factor in athletic performance. 

 

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

(Ocimum tenuiflorum)
Tulsi

Tulsi - meaning "the incomparable one" - has been highly revered in India for thousands of years. It is regarded as a powerful adaptogen, widely used to combat stress and promote health throughout the entire body. 

Stress leads to elevated cortisol levels which can cause havoc in the body if not kept in check. Holy Basil has the ability to regulate cortisol levels and balance hormones levels naturally. Tulsi has also been found to counter metabolic stress through the normalisation of blood glucose and lipid levels. 

The complex combination of phytonutrients in Tulsi work synergistically to create a general sense of wellbeing, working to boost energy and enhance focus in order to deal with the stresses and strains of daily life.