Herb balls are a convenient, tasty method to “take your medicine”. Fun and easy to make, they are infinitely customizable to suit your particular tastes and health needs. Read on for suggested combinations of herb powders that can be made into balls to support a number of health issues.
Refer to my latest Ask The Herbalists blog for detailed instructions on how to make the balls as well as ingredient suggestions.
Stress-busting herb balls:
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – calming adaptogen, strengthens ability to respond to stress
- Eleuthero (Eleuthero senticosus) – energizing adaptogen, provides strength to deal with stress
- Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) – secondary adaptogen, strong immune system support
- Hawthorn berry (Crataegus spp.) – cardiovascular, particularly heart, strengthener
Use equal parts of these herb powders if stress has taken its toll on you, resulting in frequent illnesses, occasional heart palpitations/fluttering. (As always, be sure to see your medical practitioner if symptoms persist.)
Digestive bitter balls:
- Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinalis) – stimulates bile production, supports liver function
- Burdock root (Arctium lappa) – stimulates digestive enzyme and bile production, mild laxative
- Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) – soothes mucus membranes
- Cardamom (Elletaria cardamomum) – carminative, reduces gas
This combination will be inherently bitter tasting, as “bitter”, by definition, stimulates digestive secretions for improved breakdown of food. Marshmallow root coats and protects the lining of the stomach, and cardamom reduces bloating and flatulence.
Anti-inflammatory herb balls:
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa) – COX-2 inhibitor (similar to how ibuprofen works)
- Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) – 5-LO inflammatory inhibitor
- Ginger (Zingziber officinalis) – general anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, warming
Turmeric and boswellia are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse combination because they each inhibit different inflammatory enzymes to combat inflammation in different ways. Ginger is added for additional warming and to harmonize the formula.
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) – mild adaptogen, mildly estrogenic, demulcent
- Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) – emmenagogue (supports healthy menstruation)
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – calming adaptogen, may alleviate emotional symptoms of PMS
- Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) – mental tonic, calms racing thoughts
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp) – warming, stimulating, mild cardiovascular tonic, slightly astringent
Both shatavari and dong quai are traditional “women’s herbs” that are frequently used in supporting menstrual imbalances. The remaining herbs were included to support common symptoms PMS and/or menopause.
(Type 2) Diabetic support:
- Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) – blood sugar regulator, dulls sweet taste sensation
- Fenugreek (Foeniculum vulgare) – blood sugar regulator
- Hawthorn berry (Crataegus spp) – cardiovascular tonic
- Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) – adaptogen, supports liver function, anti-oxidant
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp) – cardiovascular tonic, blood sugar regulator
The goal of this formula is to promote healthy blood sugar levels and protect the cardiovascular system from potential damage over the long term.
These are just a few powder combinations to get you started – the possibilities are endless! (Mountain Rose Herbs has an extensive selection of powdered herbs.)
Have fun experimenting!