My Experience with Unconventional Healthy Herbs

June 22, 2020 by Dail Jung

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As concerns over health amidst COVID-19 grow, people begin searching for new ways to live healthier lives. Aside from social distancing and wearing masks, many are forced to stay home and have been seeing a change in their lifestyle. Despite these confinements, some have used this opportunity to focus on keeping themselves healthy, with some even tackling new unconventional methods of boosting their immune systems through healthy herbs. I myself have been taking healthy herbs since last year for health benefits, and thought that sharing my experience with them would be worthwhile. As a general note, these herbs can easily be purchased on online markets in Korea by searching them by name. The three herbs I will introduce today are spirulina, curcumin, and coriander. 

My first healthy herb experience was with spirulina tablets. I went through two entire months of taking the recommended dosage of spirulina every day after a meal. My intentions for intaking spirulina were to increase my muscle growth, as I knew that it contained large amounts of  protein. With sufficient complementary weight training, I did see an increase in muscle mass of around one and half kilograms over the course of 2 months, or 3 kilograms in total over 4 months. Essentially, the science behind this effect is that the high protein content makes spirulina effective at rebuilding torn muscles. Moreover, the supplements had a surprisingly positive effect on my skin as I had less inflammation and outbreaks on my face over the course of those months. Finally, I felt generally more energized after taking the spirulina tablets throughout the day. According to research, it is high in nutritious value and can benefit mental health (from Medical News Today, “What are the benefits of spirulina), so this may be the reason for the generally elevated moods I experienced throughout consuming spirulina. Overall, I would recommend this herb if you want to try an easy method of getting a better physique, better skin, or just feeling more energized for your online courses during quarantine. 

Spirulina

I then tried a different herb, curcumin, for a period of 2 months. Right off the bat, the taste of curcumin was rather revolting at first. At times I would just not want to take my daily dosage as it tasted dry like sand, but after overcoming such hardships, the journey proved to be rewarding. Although there were no notable benefits to my physique, my skin definitely improved much more than it did with spirulina. At the same time, as difficult as it may be to drink or intake curcumin, the practice of doing so every day and building myself up helped generate a sense of confidence for the rest of the day. It almost served as a morning hurdle I had to overcome, and once I did, I felt like I could do anything. Finally, possibly due to the bitter taste, curcumin woke me right up and made me feel far more energized for the day than spirulina. If you are willing to commit to a less tasteful journey of giving your skin a makeover, this is for you!  

Curcumin

The final herb I tried having every day for 2 months was coriander. Coriander has many health benefits as it helps lower blood sugar levels, develop the immune system, benefit heart and brain health, and even promote better digestion (according to Adda Bjarnadottir in “8 Surprising Health Benefits of Coriander”). The stipulated benefits were difficult to notice, but I can easily say that coriander is the most pleasant from a taste perspective. I actually quite enjoyed the fragrance of coriander with my meals, and sometimes even ate it by itself. Generally, the benefits of coriander were the most well-rounded and long term. Coriander can also definitely be used as a remedy for slight coughs or headaches. In conclusion, coriander is tasty, healthy, and refreshing for you and your body. There were no negatives to it, but be careful not to have too much as I had a few headaches after eating entire batches in one day in an attempt to gain all the benefits at once; moderation is key for all healthy herbs! I would highly recommend coriander for those who are new to the concept of herb remedies. 

Coriander

In the grand scheme of things,  healthy herbs do not require much effort to take—possibly with the exception of curcumin. These herbs present an unconventional method with definite health benefits that may work better for some than others. Since we remain indefinitely isolated and worried about our health more than ever, why not give them a try? For me, curcumin worked the best as I enjoyed persevering through a rather difficult journey to attain better physical traits. It can be different for you, but you will never know until you give it a try!

The UIC Scribe was founded in 2006 as the official student-run newsmagazine of Underwood International College. It celebrates diversity of thinking, excellence in writing, and the freedom of self-expression.

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