Health and Wellness trends to jump on in 2024

There are two main focuses that we are gravitating towards and prioritising more this year that I love, and they are (1) longevity and (2) brain health.

Unless you have been lucky enough to live in a blue zone for generations, it may be a concept that is newly on the radar for you.

We understand now that preventive health equals longevity, and it means taking charge of our own health goals.  We are being inspired by holistic health as it is more and more backed by science, and 2024 is set to be redefined as we move away from a one size fits all model and discover what we need as individuals to ensure we are operating at our highest level physically, spiritually, in every aspect of our existence.

Personalised nutrition, movement and mental health are at the forefront of 2024.

When it comes to a more natural approach to hacking your mental clarity and focus, our favourites (of course) include the power of our cognitive enhancing herbs:

Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis)  - Drink in Alive + Energise

Yerba mate is a traditional South American herb that is starting to gain popularity worldwide due to its several beneficial chemical compounds including: Xanthines (Caffeine and theobromine), caffeoyl derivatives, saponins, and polyphenols making it a powerhouse of antioxidants.

Yerba Mate is mainly used for physical and cognitive performance with its slightly stimulating effects, but also may help to reduce inflammation as a result of these.

Matcha (Camellia sinensis) - Drink in Minty Matcha

Matcha provides a revitalising but less overstimulating quality to help improve mental clarity than its coffee counterpart.

Matcha has hit the highs of mainstream popularity in the past few years popping up everywhere in lattes, desserts, fancy restaurants to health food shops.

Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) has been a long-standing favourite beverage for thousands of years and has been studied for its most abundant components polyphenols called catechins. Matcha comes from the very same plant however, the way that it is grown results in a unique nutrient profile boosting the chlorophyll and amino acid content.

Ginkgo (Gingko biloba) – Drink in Alive + Energise

Ginkgo really has taken the world by storm so much so, that the trees are grown specifically to meet the demand across many countries.

So what is all the hype about? The most important constituents present in the dried leaves are the ginkgolides, bilobalide, and flavone glycosides which have many actions on the body namely circulatory and cognition enhancing, as well as neuroprotective according to scientific evidence.

We personally believe its best enjoyed in a cuppa when you need a 3pm pick me up, or if you’re cramming for that exam (caffeine free of course), as Ginkgo may also improve concentration and memory. So keep calm and sip some Little Wildling Co tea, you’ve got this!

Bacopa (Bacopa Monnieri) - Drink in Alive + Energise

Bacopa or Brahmi as it’s called in India (not to be confused with Gotu Kola also known as Brahmi), is one of the long-standing traditional herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine for cognitive health, especially our long-term memory, concentration, and mental performance.

Clinically, Bacopa is used in memory and cognition, but also to treat anxiety, epilepsy, and specifically learning & memory in ADHD, and the research is there to back it up! Studies have found Bacopa improved memory consolidation, information processing and a reduction in anxiety amongst healthy volunteers. In children, it had improved visual & motor function, short-term memory & mental reaction times as opposed to placebo groups.

Studies in children with ADHD showed treatment with Bacopa resulted in improved learning and memory, whilst uncontrolled trials with Alzheimer’s disease showed improvements in placing people, time and places, as well as reading, writing and comprehension, and an overall improvement in quality of life.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) – Drink in Alive + Energise and Hibernate + Chill

A member of the adrenal loving club, Siberian Ginseng has a party trick - it also doubles as a cognitive performance enhancer. It can basically help you through physical and mental stress while minimising the impact on the body.  Siberian ginseng’s key constituents include Polysaccharides (eleutherans) and triterpanoids. Its best used in times of chronic debility rather than acute phases of infection as it works to rebuild the body’s vitality over time, and its apoptogenic action means it has a balancing effect on the body.

Other great herbs for your brain health and function:

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Actions: Carminative, spasmolytic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, circulatory stimulant, hepatoprotective.

Indications: Improve memory, concentration, or mental performance. Enhance Phase II detox, prevent cardiovascular disease, tension headache, nerve pain, hair loss, wound healing.

Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng)

Actions: Adaptogen, cognition enhancing, male tonic, immune modulating, cardiotonic, anticarcinogenic

Indications: Debility, chronic immune deficiency, fatigue, physical stress, convalescence, improve mental and physical performance, tonic for elderly, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, post-viral syndromes, improve concentration.

Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Actions: Neuroprotective, cognitive enhancing.

Indications: Neuroprotection, neurotrophic activity, to improve cognitive function, neurodegenerative diseases, ischemic stroke.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

Actions: Promote healing, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic, nervine tonic, antifibrotic

Indications: To promote healing and prevent adhesions, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, thrombophlebitis, burns, diabetic neuropathy, disc prolapse, peptic ulcer, scleroderma, wounds, ulcers, post-surgery healing, cellulitis, restless legs, anxiety, improve concentration and cognitive performance.

Sources:

https://restorativemedicine.org/library/monographs/lions-mane/

Bone, K, 2007, “The Ultimate Herbal Compendium”.