8 'Unusual Herbs' That Are Great For Your Health

While I was growing up, I didn’t take a lot of medicine; it simply wasn’t the type of household that I was raised in. Don’t get me wrong, if things got real crazy (like when I had chickenpox or strep throat), a round of antibiotics is exactly what I was given. However, if something could be handled in a more holistic fashion, that’s just what my mother preferred to do.

I’m pretty sure that’s a big part of the reason why one, my immune system is still going strong to this day, and two, I’m so “pro herbs” my damn self. It’s also why I like to write about the things that I’ve learned about them as often as I can. Today, what I want to tackle is some herbs that you may have never heard of that could be just what you’re looking for when it comes to achieving optimal health.

Now before diving in, I think it would be totally irresponsible of me if I didn’t advise that you only take this as an introduction to the following eight. What I mean by that is after checking out the list, please do some thorough research on your own, please pay attention to what articles may say potential side effects may be (some herbs are pretty damn powerful), and pretty please run these by your doctor before taking them (especially if you’re currently on any type of medication). At the same time, though, as an avid herb taker myself, I wouldn’t be singing the praises of them if I wasn’t such a fan of what herbs are able to do, in general.

So, are you ready to learn about some cool herbs that you (probably) don’t hear about every day? Let’s do this.

1. Aritha (Soapnut)

If you’ve ever been curious about what Ayurveda actually means, probably the easiest way to break it down is it’s a popular form of alternative medicine. One of its main philosophies is that most diseases are brought on either by stress or an imbalance in the system — and since things like asthma, diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart disease are all directly tied to stress…Ayurveda is certainly onto something.

What does this have to do with aritha (which also has the “nickname” soapnut)? It’s something that is used in Ayurveda when it comes to achieving, well, all sorts of things. Because it’s a solid source of vitamins A, E, and K, it can help to do everything from making migraines more bearable and bringing relief to asthma to reducing dandruff and taming frizzy hair. In fact, if healthy hair is your goal this year, mixing some soapnuts with some of your favorite hair products could be what makes it so much easier to get what you’re after.

2. Brahmi

Brahmi is a really interesting herb due to the things that it is able to accomplish. If you want to improve your memory, try Brahmi. Looking to get a better night’s sleep? Try Brahmi. Sick of feeling anxious and stressed out? Yep…you already know: try Brahmi. Apparently, because of its potent antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it can even help to improve your cognitive function and reduce ADHD symptoms. Like I oftentimes say: the more you know, the more you freakin’ know.

3. Epazote

From what I’ve read and researched about this particular herb, it’s used in a myriad of ways, from cooking to essential oils to teas (apparently, it tastes like a mixture of oregano, mint, and citrus…hmph). The reason why you might want to consider adding it to your health and wellness regimen is that it is high in fiber (which makes it great for treating constipation and bloating), it has a good amount of magnesium, potassium, and calcium in it and it can help to boost your immunity, strengthen your bones and help you to shed a few pounds. As a bonus, epazote is also good for helping to keep your blood pressure under control, too.

4. Gokshura

An herb that gets rave reviews in Chinese medicine is gokshura. Although the West is still catching up on learning about it (surprise, surprise…#totalsarcasm), men have used it to increase their testosterone while women have relied on it for menopause symptom-related relief (including irritability, hot flashes, low lubrication, and yes, a low libido too). Something else that makes this an herb worth noting is some studies have revealed that it helps strengthen ovarian health as well.

5. Mullein

If your respiratory health is what you’re trying to get under control, try mullein. Since it’s got solid anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties, this is an herb that has a reputation for keeping your respiratory state in good condition. That’s why those who are looking for alternatives to medicine when it comes to coughing, bronchitis, asthma, and overall congestion sometimes rely on this herb. The way most people prefer to consume it is either in tea or powder form.

6. Rhodiola

Are you stressed out all of the time? Maybe you’re so overworked that you find yourself feeling drained and fatigued more than you would like. For both of these issues, something that brings some much-needed relief is rhodiola. Since the roots of this herb are adaptogens, and those help your body to handle stress more effectively, how could someone who doesn’t exactly watch the clock when it comes to work not have this in their possession? Plus, if working out is another way that you try to keep your stress levels under control, this is an herb that can help to improve your exercise performance, too.

7. Safed Musli

A rare herb from India that seems to be going through a bit of an international overharvesting crisis right now is safed musli which is also known as Chlorophytum borivilianum. Whether you’re looking to increase muscle mass, boost the testosterone levels in your partner, reduce stress, help to prevent hair loss, or naturally treat male infertility, safed musli is an herb whose name comes up in all of these topics as far as natural alternatives go. Impressive indeed.

8. Shatavari

Another name for Shatavari is Asparagus racemosus, and yes, it is a part of the asparagus crew. Its antioxidant properties help to fight off free radicals, its anti-inflammatory benefits are great at keeping your immune system in top shape; and if you’re looking for something that will slow down the signs of aging in your skin, Shatavari is good for that, too. Because I will always and forever be on the lookout for all-natural things that can make your sex life better than ever, that’s another reason to do your own additional research on this herb.

Word on the street is it’s so good at balancing your hormones that, not only can it give your libido a boost, it can also make PMS more bearable, it can make it easier to breastfeed and it can help with perimenopause and menopause-related symptoms. Yeah, Shatavari is that girl.


There you have it: eight herbs that you might not have ever heard of that can do your body a world of good. Again, run them by your physician, get them from a reputable health company, and follow the directions as given. If you do all of that, you should be on your way to having some unusual herbs doing some awesome things in your life.

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