Running Can Be Hard on Your Body

It’s no secret that running can be hard on your body.

And increasing your mileage and intensity the way that you do when a) training for a marathon or b) just improving your miles in general can put many different strains on your body.

Some common effects of increasing mileage include (varying from person to person):

  • A feeling of heaviness in the legs
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Sorer, longer recovery times (from increased inflammation from increased training)
  • Getting a cold more easily (or harder to get rid of colds: intense exercise can deplete the immune system, which leaves you even more vulnerable – especially during cold and flu season)
  • Fatigue (especially if you’re not managing your nutrition correctly around your training)

You might already see us for sports massage, to help your leg heaviness and improve recovery time & function in the muscles.

What about everything else?

Introducing: Herbal Medicine for Runners

I got together with Sonya, our medical herbalist, and asked her whether we could offer a herbal mix that could help with some of these other stresses of event training.

This mix, herbal medicine for runners, is mixed specifically for person to person, to support whatever you need the most.

The herbs included have been known to:

  • Support the immune system
  • Support joint health
  • Decrease inflammation,
  • Help with fatigue, and
  • Support the cardiovascular system

How Herbs Can Support Your Running: The Evidence

If you’re like me, you might be wondering ‘how do we know that these herbs do these things that you’re saying?’

Well, Sonya kindly provided some research links that I can share with you.

Click on each link to get more details.

Exercise performance: There is some evidence that ginseng may improve exercise performance:

For inflammation: There are a number of anti-inflammatory herbs, but one in particular is turmeric. Turmeric is also good for treating inflammation fo the digestive system (certain runners will know what we’re talking about here…).  Natural anti-inflammatories can help aid your body’s repair processes.

Joint health: Many herbs can support joint health. One example is Frankincense which has been shown to be helpful in managing conditions such as osteoarthritis:

Cardiovascular system health: Hawthorn is one of a number of herbs that support cardiovascular health. Hawthorn has a wide range of benefits such as increasing cardiac output and performance, reducing blood pressure and blood lipids.

Immune system: Herbs support the immune systems in a variety of ways such as having anti-bacterial or anti-viral properties or directly impacting on how your immune system functions.  Echinacea is one of those that works in a variety of ways:

Struggling with sleep?

Sleep is something we all struggle with from time to time.

If your sleeplessness is affecting your training, Sonya can also put together a sleep mix for you as a separate mix to your runner’s mix.

Herbal Medicine for Runners: How It Works

If you’re training for a race and/or increasing your mileage, and would like support with any of these things, here’s how to book your initial consultation.

From the online booking below, choose ‘herbal medicine’ (available at Walthamstow or Angel), and choose ‘initial appointment’.

In the notes of your booking, please note that you’d like a ‘herbal medicine for runners’ session.

You’ll receive a form to fill out ahead of your session and an email confirmation.

During the consultation, Sonya will ask you questions to help ensure all the herbs are okay for you to take and to work out what proportions of herbs will work best for you.

Within 10 days, you’ll receive a report and recommendations around simple nutritional changes you can make to support your training, along with a recommended herb mix individually tailored for you.


How much does it cost?

The initial cost is £70 (at Angel) or £65 (at Walthamstow) for the 60-75 min consultation, and the herb mix is around £35 for a month’s supply (just over £1 per day). If you decide to have a follow up that would usually be in 2-4 weeks and would be the shorter follow up consultation.

How long does it take to feel a difference?

This varies from person to person. Me personally, and others I’ve known, have had very quick responses – for me there were a couple that took effects within hours.

For others, there may be some initial discomfort (like with massage, where as muscle tension working out gets a bit more sore before it gets better) and/or take a few weeks before they feel an improvement.

We recommend that you start taking your herbal medicine at least a few weeks before your event to get the full benefit and allow time for the small chance of unexpected reactions.

I have more questions…

If you have any other questions as to whether this might be right for you, or if you have enough time before your event to start taking it, Sonya offers a free 5-minute phone call to assess whether this may be able to help you (please note this doesn’t include any nutritional or herbal advice, just whether or not it’s advisable for you to come in for an initial consultation).


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