Meet the Energy-Boosting Herb That Legitimately Tastes Delicious

Consider this your 201-level guide to all the various leaves, seeds, powders, and potions that get so much buzz in the wellness scene—then discover how to actually incorporate them into your life. So whether you want to power up your smoothie with natural supplements, or you're just wondering how to use the cacao powder sitting in your pantry, you'll get the intel you need here. See All

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There's a reason why Starbucks is just as busy in the afternoon as it is during the morning rush: having enough energy to get through the whole day is a struggle and a half. Thankfully herbalist, holistic health coach, and Supernatural founder Rachelle Robinett has an energy boosting solution that doesn't involve a third latte: gynostemma.

"Gynostemma is a plant that contains gypenocides," Robinett says in the latest episode of Well+Good's YouTube series, Plant-Based. They're a type of saponin, aka plant compounds often associated with medicinal-type benefits. Why does this matter? Well, the herb's gypenocides are very similar to those in ginseng, which has long been used for its adaptogenic, energy promoting powers. "That means that gynostemma acts like a fantastic adaptogen as well," she says.

As an adaptogen, gynostemma can either rev you up if you're feeling sluggish, Robinett says, or calm you down if you're a little keyed up. Incorporating it into your wellness routine could lead to more even, consistent energy levels—though eating fiber-rich foods low on the glycemic index for even blood sugar levels is still crucial, too.

Most herbs, of course, taste...pretty funky. But Robinett says that gynostemma is surprisingly sweet and very easy to eat. To see how to incorporate gynostemma into a delicious, naturally sweet snack, check out the video above. That p.m. Starbucks line just got one person shorter.

For other surprising ways to use plants, check out how medicinal mushrooms can boost your immune system and which herbs boost collagen production naturally.  

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