Skip to content

Vibrant at Any Age: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Natural Energy

3 min read

by Holly Lucille, ND, RN

Whether you’re a busy mom chasing after your toddler, a professional woman working long hours, or a retiree who’s bringing new meaning to the phrase “young at heart,” you cram a lot into your days. That can take a toll on your stamina, leading to fatigue and stress. But you can take steps to help you cope with your busy life. And herbal supplements can play a role in giving you the energy and stamina you need to thrive.

Amp Up with Adaptogens

Adaptogens can help improve your resilience, both physically and emotionally. They promote balance and restore function. Two adaptogens to try are ashwagandha and rhodiola.

Ashwagandha is a mainstay of Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine– and for good reason. This rejuvenating herb boosts mood, energy, and memory, lowers cortisol levels (a biological marker of stress), and supports sexual health and fertility. Clinical studies show that ashwagandha increases maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max), a commonly used measure of cariorespiratory fitness. In a clinical study of healthy adults published in the journal AYU, those taking KSM-66 ashwagandha extract improved not only in physical health measures like VO2 max, but also psychological and social health parameters measured in a quality of life assessment.

Rhodiola rosea; Photo by Hedwig Storch

Rhodiola is a remarkable herb that grows at high altitudes in Europe and Asia. Herbalists know rhodiola for its ability to to increase stamina and endurance— something sure to help you get through those busy days. This herb may also have a cortisol-balancing effect, making it a great tool to help keep you on an even keel.

Asleep at the Wheel?

A sure way to zap your energy is by not getting enough sleep. Yet, sometimes it can be hard to fall or stay asleep. If you need help getting your zzzz’s, natural sleep aids can improve your sleep without unpleasant side effects– lemon balm and lavender are good choices. Lemon balm is a favorite calming herb with a distinct lemon scent that is often used for relaxation and to help with sleep during times of stress. Lemon balm is also often combined with other herbs to promote sleep.

You might already be familiar with lavender’s relaxing properties. A spritz of lavender essential oil spray on your pillow at night may be enough to bring on the sleep fairies. In a clinical study, researchers at Wesleyan University observed healthy sleepers over the course of three nights. They found that, on the night lavender aroma was added to the sleep environment, women experienced increased light and deep sleep and reported higher vigor than on nights when lavender wasn’t used.

Hormone Hassles

Hormones can really throw a wrench into your schedule. Maybe you have severe PMS that makes you want to hide from the world for a few days every month. Then again, maybe you’re in the throes of menopause. That doesn’t mean your life slows down.

Curcumin occurs naturally in turmeric root; Photo by William Ismael

One surprising natural helper to help you get through your monthly hormone riot is curcumin. In a recent clinical study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, curcumin reduced the severity of PMS symptoms by 59 percent compared to only a 14 percent reduction in the placebo group after just three monthly cycles. The researchers attributed the effects of curcumin on its anti-inflammatory nature and its ability to modulate neurotransmitters.

Another supplement that can help keep your hormones on track is DIM. DIM stands for diindolylmethane, which is found in cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. Research points to DIM’s ability to help the body rid itself of excess estrogen and xenoestrogens– harmful compounds in the environment that mimic estrogen and can decrease fertility and contribute to weight gain. Taking DIM can help fight the effects of these environmental estrogens.

When the going gets tough…

Of course, part of maintaining energy throughout the day is living a healthy life, like exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. When you’re taking care of everyone else, it’s especially important to take care of yourself. Leading a vibrant life depends on it.

Holly Lucille, ND, RN, is a nationally recognized liscensed naturopathic physician, author, educator, and certified CrossFit instructor. Dr. Holly has a private practice in Los Angeles called Healing from Within Healthcare. She is a frequent contributor to several publications, hosts the “Mindful Medicine: The Dr. Holly Lucille Show” on RadioMD, and provides natural health videos at her website,

This article was originally published in Good Health Lifestyles Magazine, Fall 2016, pages 28-30.