4 Herbs Rich in Iron and Their Benefits
par Kobie Babb
Iron is one of the most important minerals required for proper body growth and development. It is an essential element found mostly in red blood cells, where it serves various functions, including the production of blood. Iron also plays a key role in boosting the functionality of our immune system and treating anemia, a medical condition in which the body lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells.
Naturally, our body derives iron from two main sources – plants and animals. Iron derived from plant sources offers greater health benefits since they often come packed with a host of other rich nutrients. Iron-rich blood can better transport oxygen throughout the body and keep vital organs functioning optimally.
Depending on a person's age and sex, the recommended amount of iron consumed daily may vary. However, pregnant women tend to need more iron than others with up to 27mg daily recommendation.
When people lack iron, they may develop a range of health issues, including fatigue, dizziness, reduced energy levels, shortness of breath, fast heart rate, headache, feeling sick or weak, and irritability. Fortunately, herbs like sarsaparilla, burdock root, and others can help to boost our iron levels and restore normalcy significantly. These herbs contain lots of other crucial elements that help us heal and grow stronger. Some of them (and their other benefits) are:
The Sarsaparilla plant has various species, all of which are highly rich in iron alongside other nutrients. This woody tropical plant grows naturally in Mexico, South America, The Caribbean, Jamaica, Honduras, and the West Indies. Common species of sarsaparilla include:
The medical value of sarsaparilla isn't new to humanity. Centuries before now, physicians had used this amazing plant to cure several ailments such as fever and digestive disorders.
Sarsaparilla is available in stores as flavoring agents and beverages but is best consumed in its pure form as an herb. The plant can cure rheumatoid arthritis, kidney problems, fluid retention, syphilis, and gonorrhea. One study reveals that sarsaparilla contains certain steroids (sarsaponin) that improve skin lesions in individuals with psoriasis. The root of sarsaparilla contains a wide range of beneficial substances that are highly effective for anti-aging and keeping the skin fresh and healthy.
Sarsaparilla contains anti-inflammatory substances that effectively treat joint pain and swelling due to gout. Recent studies suggest that some chemicals in sarsaparilla can kill or slow down the growth of cancer cells.
2. Burdock root
Burdock is a vegetable that grows naturally in Northern Asia and Europe. Many parts of the burdock plant are beneficial for the body, while the root is believed to be the most beneficial. Due to its high medical value, burdock is now grown in the United States. The plant has deep and long roots that can come in various colors, including brown, beige, and black.
Burdock is a large weed and comes from a genus that closely relates to daisies and sunflowers. Its root has long been consumed as food and as medicine (in the form of herbs).
Burdock root is highly rich in iron and other essential nutrients. It's known to be a good source of insulin which improves gut health and aids food digestion. This large weed contains various kinds of powerful antioxidants such as luteolin, quercetin, and phenolic acids. These antioxidants are effective in protecting the body from oxidative stress due to free radicals. Besides establishing an equilibrium between free radicals and antioxidants, burdock root also helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Since free radicals and inflammation are thought to boost the development of cancerous cells, burdock root's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can therefore kill or prevent cancer.
When it comes to blood purification, burdock root does wonder. The plant eliminates toxins from the blood and boosts its flow throughout the body. One study reveals the root could help regulate blood glucose levels and treat diabetes. And, in individuals with acne and eczema, burdock root can help them restore healthy and young skin.
3. Yellow dock root
You can't read about herbs with great detoxification properties without finding yellow dock root somewhere on top of the list. For this reason, it's often an essential element in most traditional blood cleansing formulas where it helps to get rid of toxins from the body.
Yellow dock boosts the body's ability to break down fats and lipids through the stimulation of bile production. Many skincare experts have recognized the astringent properties of yellow dock and used it for skin toning and cleansing.
This great plant can be all they need to restore normalcy for people who have irregular bowel movements. The anthraquinones in yellow dock root make it very effective in smoothing bowel movements, speeding bowel transit time, and preventing constipation.
Ancient physicians used yellow dock root to treat a series of health issues such as skin inflammation (dermatitis), rashes, obstructive jaundice, psoriasis, and scurvy (a vitamin deficiency). In the respiratory tract and nasal passages, yellow dock shows amazing anti-inflammatory properties as it cures pain and swelling.
Yellow dock root is an excellent source of non-heme iron, which makes it very effective in treating anemia. It promotes healthy blood cells and strengthens the capillaries for improved blood flow throughout the body. Due to its richness in vitamins, the plant helps to boost the immune system.
4. Dandelion root
If you've ever had to deal with a stubborn garden weed that keeps showing up despite all your efforts, chances are it's the dandelion plant. The dandelion plant isn't just tough on the lawn; it's equally tough against excess free radicals in the body due to its richness in various antioxidants. The plant has yellow flowers, and all its parts offer great medical benefits– especially the root.
In individuals with excess body liquid, dandelion root acts as a diuretic where it stimulates the production of more urine to eliminate the excess liquid. This plant's root works excellently in regulating blood pressure and keeping the heart functioning optimally. Due to its high potassium content, people suffering from high blood pressure can use this weed to help them lower blood pressure.
If you're a fitness and weight loss enthusiast, dandelion root can help speed up your progress. Its ability to speed up carbohydrate metabolism while reducing fat absorption is second to none. Dandelion root is both antiviral and antibacterial. As a result, it helps to improve immunity and reduce the development of hepatitis B.
Being a rich source of plant-based iron, dandelion root purifies the blood, reduces blood sugar, and prevents heart failure. Beta-carotene and polyphenolic compounds which have anti-aging properties, are also richly packed in this amazing herb. Other important use of dandelion root includes fighting inflammation, healthy intestinal growth, promoting healthy liver, and combating cancerous cells.
These herbs are highly rich in iron and other essential minerals required for healthy living. Undoubtedly, incorporating these herbs into our diet can dramatically improve our overall health and reduce our chances of falling sick.