For more energy, beautiful skin, or a mini-rehab: Our beauty editor Anna reveals her favorite nutritional supplements
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”: That’s how the old saying goes. Today, many prefer to employ a few extra helpers in the form of capsules and powders that are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. I read in the Süddeutsche Zeitung that Germans spend more than a billion euros every year on nutritional supplements. Wow.
But I don’t want to wave my finger at you here – quite the opposite. This article is all about a few supplements that I find really useful. What you do need to know: How well these actually work depends on many factors, for example on your own level of stress, whether you smoke, sleep a lot (or not), and how healthy you eat otherwise. No pill will undo regular sugar and white flour overload or the after-effects of last night’s party immediately. But for giving some general support to your body, these kind of health boosters are great.
I’ve largely sworn off of the classic, synthetic vitamin and mineral tablets over the last few years, however, and prefer to trust natural dietary supplements inspired by traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic teachings. These medicinal plants and herbs have proven themselves for thousands of years and they work very well for me. Here are a few favorites.
1. Herbal Shots by Nouri
Herbalism used to sound a bit wacky, but nowadays herb walks are booming in big cities – as are care products based on pure plant power. This is exactly where Berlin-based company Nouri comes in with its three natural, highly concentrated herbal shots: The Focus Shot contains extracts of eleuthero, an adaptogenic medicinal plant that naturally supports the body in times of stress and increases concentration. The Boost Shot is my savior when the afternoon lows come knocking – that one contains the Incan herb maca, ginger, and guarana to push up those energy levels.
For the Lust Shot, the name says it all: With extracts of the schisandra berry, the damiana plant, as well as chili, cardamom, and pepper, this vial acts as a natural aphrodisiac. Oh, là, là, là! I’ve already tracked down someone in the office who is going to drink it before their next date…
2. The Super Elixir by WelleCo
The Super Elixir is basically the Rolls-Royce of beauty supplements. It was developed by nutrition expert Dr. Simone Laubscher and former supermodel Elle “The Body” Macpherson, the latter of whom says that she owes her radiant skin and her flawless body to this green powder alone. Well, surely she has to do sports and eat healthy like the rest of us mere mortals.
But: After a few weeks of mixing The Super Elixir into a glass of water daily (tastes “eh”) or a smoothie (tastes much, much better), I feel more energetic and lighter. And no wonder, the ingredients include an armada of vegetable and fruit varieties – cold-pressed and certified organic – various Chinese herbs, enzymes, as well as pre and probiotics with cleansing and metabolism-boosting properties. What’s more, this alkalizing powder restores the body’s acid-base balance, which has a positive effect on your complexion.
3. Natural Health Boosts by Biocol Labs
Cold season always begins in the fall, when that constant weariness sets in as well. I discovered Biocol Labs, a Portuguese company that calls itself “The Post-Chemical Pharmacy”, some time ago for fighting these kinds of aches and pains. Their pills and ampoules, which rely on the natural healing properties of trace elements, herbs and vegetable extracts, have often saved me from stronger medicines. Plus, how great is the packaging?
My favorites: Something for Achoos! and Something for a Cactus Throat fight any and all flu symptoms with echinacea, propolis, copper, Icelandic moss, and Acerola, a vitamin C source. I take Something for the Calorie Bombs if I’ve eaten too heavily or too much fatty food for a few nights in a row: The substance it contains, chitosan, binds to fats in the gastrointestinal tract while chromium picolinate contributes to a normal metabolism. “Something for a Mini Rehab” is great for those mornings when you bitterly regret all of those cocktails the night before. Artichoke, milk thistle, and the nutrient choline effectively support the regeneration of the liver. Otherwise, drinking plenty of water, getting some fresh air, and – in an emergency – some aspirin is all you need.
4. Power Dust by Moon Juice
In Los Angeles, the Moon Juice store is something of a holy temple to detoxing, even if you can’t actually hear the word “detox” any more: It doesn’t fit anywhere as well as it does in L.A. In the beginning, founder Amanda Chantal Bacon only sold cold-pressed juices, but she has always mixed her own exotic powders of medicinal herbs and mushrooms. It’s exactly these Moon Dusts that she’s made for all situations that have become their trademark in the meantime and are extremely popular worldwide.
I often take Power Dust after yoga because it very supportive of muscle regeneration thanks to bioactive minerals and proteins from the schisandra berry as well as ginseng, rhodiola root, and astragalus root. The latter has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for ages as a natural tonic.
When I first went to Moon Juice four years ago (it’s located at 507 Rose Ave, Venice), I left the shop with a ginger shot, a chocolate maca milk, and a can of pollen and ashwagandha for more vitality and harmony. It set me back 70 dollars and felt like I was born again. Crazy. Something like that only happens to you in L.A.
Anna Bok was born and raised in Berlin. After stops in Freiburg and Florence, she made her way to Hamburg in 2007 to study journalism and art history – where she stayed and worked as a freelance journalist with various publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Blonde. She’s now returned to Berlin after nearly 10 years in the Hanseatic City. When Anna isn’t writing about beauty, fashion, or traveling, you’ll often find her on her yoga mat (recommendations for studios in Berlin welcome!).