Top 10 Best Herbal Supplements For People Over 50

Published on March 06, 2023

By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

For most people, taking better care of themselves becomes a priority after age 50.

Whether it’s eating better, exercising, or getting serious about stress management, the lifestyle choices we make as we get older can profoundly impact our health and longevity.

Hence, there are plenty of articles on the best supplements to take for people over 50. Most of which focus on things like vitamin D, fish oil, and B12.

But what about the best herbs for people over 50?

In this article, you’ll learn which herbs may offer the best support for those over 50, including:

  • Cognitive health*
  • Bone & Joint health*
  • Longevity*
  • Heart health*
  • Eyesight*
  • Sexual function*
  • Sleep*
  • Menopause*

    The Best Herbal Supplements For People Over 50

    Thousands of herbs have been used in traditional systems of wellness throughout the world to support adults over fifty.

    This can make choosing the best herbal supplements an intimidating task.

    To help narrow it down, we’ve chosen ten easy-to-find herbs with broad-reaching, science-backed benefits for people over 50.

    Here, we break them down by category so you can choose what’s best for you and your health goals.

    Tap Into Nootropics For Cognitive Health And Memory

    No one likes to admit to having “senior moments.” 

    However, occasional memory lapses and/or trouble concentrating are common side effects of aging.

    This can be compounded by other age-related issues, such as trouble sleeping or hormonal fluctuations due to menopause or andropause.

    If your cognitive health profoundly affects your everyday life and/or you have a family history of serious cognitive health issues, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

    However, if you’re only experiencing occasional absentmindedness these herbs may be able to help.


    Most are familiar with Saffron as a delicious (and expensive) delicacy found in dishes like authentic Spanish Paella or soups.

    However, few people know these precious hand-harvested crocus stems have demonstrated cognitive support benefits.*

    A systematic review of the effects of Saffron on cognitive function found it supported various aspects of cognitive function.*. REF#768 REF#769

    Ginkgo Biloba

    Ginkgo is well-known in traditional herbalism for its beneficial effects on memory and other aspects of brain health.* 

    Science has confirmed this traditional use, showing Ginkgo helps support memory and cognitive function related to neuropsychiatric health. It’s also demonstrated potential benefits in slowing cognitive decline.REF#770

    Lemon Balm

    Lemon Balm boasts many health benefits for adults over 50 as a relaxant and immune-supportive herb.*

    It’s also considered a nootropic, a classification of herbs that help support focus and brain health.*

    For example, Lemon Balm has been shown to support cognitive function and a positive mood.REF#771

    Lion’s Mane

    Lion’s Mane is a type of mushroom prized for its effects on brain health, memory, and other aspects of cognitive function.*

    In a study entitled: “Neuroprotective Metabolites of Hericium erinaceus [Lion’s Mane] Promote Neuro-Healthy Aging,” researchers found two months of Lion’s Mane supplementation helped support healthy brain aging, motor function, neuron size, and function, inflammatory response, and longevity factors in mice.REF#772

    Lion’s Mane is delicious and can sometimes be found fresh in specialty stores or farmer’s markets. It can also be taken as a supplement, such as Gaia Herbs Lion’s Mane Mushroom or Mental Clarity Mushrooms & Herbs.

    Saffron, Ginkgo, and Lemon Balm come together in Gaia Herbs Award-Winning Nootropic Focus. 

    Stay Limber With These Herbs For Bone & Joint Health

    Nearly everyone takes mobility for granted during youth. 

    However, as the years go by, joints and bones may experience some wear and tear.

    The best way to keep your joints and bones healthy is to eat a healthy diet with enough calcium and magnesium, avoid smoking, and exercise and stretch regularly.REF#773

    In addition, herbs like Turmeric and Maca may provide additional support.*

    Turmeric, also known as “the Golden Spice,” has been shown effective in supporting joint health, mobility, healthy aging, exercise recovery, and inflammatory response.REF#774

    Turmeric contains many plant compounds, such as Curcumin, that provide powerful antioxidant benefits.

    Antioxidants help protect cells and tissues from the damaging effects of unstable molecules known as free radicals.

    Perhaps this is part of the reason many devoted yogis age so well. Consumption of daily Turmeric in the form of beverages, like Golden Milk, and meals is commonplace in yogic and Ayurvedic (the traditional wellness practice of India) traditions.

    You can find Turmeric in various supplements, including these Gaia Herbs products:

    Bone health is another top concern for women over 50. 

    If you’re concerned about bone health, Ashwagandha may deserve a place in your supplement cupboard.*

    Also known as “Indian Ginseng,” this versatile herb is a staple in Ayurveda, the traditional wellness practice of India.

    It is traditionally used for various purposes related to stress, hormonal balance, sleep, anxiety, stamina, thyroid health, and immunity.*

    Ashwagandha has also demonstrated supportive properties for bone health during menopause.*

    A study on the effects of Ashwagandha in menopausal women published in Cell Death and Disease REF#775 found Ashwagandha’s plant compounds, known as withanolides, “increased expression of *osteoblast-specific transcription factor and mineralizing genes [*osteoblasts are bone-forming cells], promoted osteoblast survival and suppressed inflammatory cytokines.”

    This is just one of many potential benefits of taking Ashwagandha for folks over (and under) 50. We’ll discuss more of Ashwagandha’s health benefits coming up.

    You can also learn more in these articles: How Ashwagandha Can Benefit Women and 8 Surprising Ways Ashwagandha Benefits Men.

    Meet “The Herb of Longevity” For Aging and Immune Support

    As demonstrated by projects like Stanford’s Longevity Project and The Blue Zones, many diet and lifestyle practices may help increase your chances of living a longer life.

    Herbalism also has a history of recommending certain herbs to promote longevity and graceful aging.*

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example, a mushroom known as “the herb of longevity,” “mushroom of immortality,” or “the king of mushrooms.”

    It’s called Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), and science is beginning to validate its centuries-old use as a longevity mushroom.*

    According to a study entitled: “Emerging Roles of Ganoderma Lucidum in Anti-Aging”REF#776 Reishi contains specific plant compounds such as antioxidants, enzymes, and polysaccharides that support various aspects of longevity by:

    • Preventing free radical damage (free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and tissues resulting in aging)
    • Supporting immunity
    • Promoting brain health
    • Supporting joint health
    • Supporting overall cell health

    The easiest (and more palatable) way to take Reishi is as a supplement, such as in these Gaia Herbs products:

    Learn more about Reishi in Reishi Mushroom Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects.

    Turn To Herbs For A More Youthful Heart

    Most people don’t think much about their heart health before 50.

    However, given heart disease is still the world’s #1 killerREF#777, it is wise to care for your heart as you age.

    In addition to eating a heart-healthy diet, addressing inflammation, exercising, lowering stress, and getting enough sleep, some herbs have shown promise for supporting heart health in people of all ages.*

    Hawthorne has long been used in traditional herbalism to support normal heart and circulatory system functions.*

    Research has identified several plant compounds, including antioxidants known as oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) and flavonoids, believed to be responsible for Hawthorne’s heart-supportive benefits.REF#778 

    In addition, phenolic acids, triterpenes, fatty acids, and sterols may also play a role.

    These compounds have demonstrated a supportive effect on various aspects of heart and circulatory function, including:REF#778 REF#779 

    • Coronary blood flow 
    • Exercise tolerance
    • Inflammatory response
    • Antioxidant enzyme activity
    • Cholesterol balance
    • Blood pressure

    In other words, Hawthorne may provide a variety of benefits for a healthier heart.*

    Turmeric and its active component, Curcumin, have also demonstrated a broad range of supportive benefits for the heart in many studies.REF#780

    One of the main ways Curcumin supports heart health is by promoting a healthy inflammatory response via its antioxidant properties.*

    This has downstream effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, arterial integrity, and many other aspects of cardiovascular health.REF#781 

    Gaia Herbs has several synergistic formulas designed to support heart health, including*:

    Discover more ways to promote heart health in: Get Your Heart Pounding The Gaia Way

    Discover This WWII Herbal Secret For Healthy Eyesight

    Eyesight is often one of the first things to waver as we age.

    However, eyesight problems are no longer mainly exclusive to seniors and the over-50 crowd.

    Research has shown these issues are affecting people at younger ages. 

    This is partly due to increased screen time and a lack of outdoor time. 

    Excess screen time exposes the eyes to potentially damaging blue light while creating vision fatigue from excess short-range focus.REF#782

    A lack of time spent outdoors robs us of natural sunlight (important for eye health)REF#783

     and the opportunity to exercise our long-range vision as we focus on objects in the distance.

    So, less screen time and more time spent outdoors are two ways to help preserve your eyesight.

    Certain herbs, such as Bilberry, have also been shown helpful for promoting healthy eyesight.*

    A 2017 study published in PLOS One entitled: “Neuroprotective effect of bilberry extract in a murine model of photo-stressed retina” found bilberry extract supported healthy eyesight and retina function through its antioxidant properties.RE#784 

    Fun fact: Bilberry jam was given to British pilots during the second world war to help improve their night vision.REF#785 

    You can find Bilberry in Gaia Herbs Healthy Vision with Lutein from Marigold—another herbal nutrient that promotes eye health.REF#786

    Try This High-Altitude Root For Libido Support

    Changes and dips in libido or sexual desire tend to be par for the course as we age.

    There are many reasons for this, such as hormonal changes—including natural decreases in sex hormones during and post-menopause and andropause, certain medications, and other age-related health issues.REF#787 

    However, adults can stay sexually active well into their golden years if they choose to. 

    It may take a little more effort than it did in your twenties, but a healthy sex life is absolutely possible.

    Maca Root can be an excellent complement to a healthy lifestyle for those needing libido support.*

    Maca, also known as “Peruvian Ginseng,” has demonstrated various potential benefits for libido in men and women.*

    For example, research published in The Journal of The North American Menopause Society showed Maca could help enhance sexual desire in post-menopausal women by reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.REF#788

    Additional research published in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies found Maca supported sexual desire in men and menopausal women over 50. REF#789

    In a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel trial entitled: Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in healthy adult men, researchers concluded that Maca enhanced sexual desire in men after eight weeks of use.REF#790

    There are several reasons Maca may help support sex drive in men and women, including its supportive effects on:

    • Sex hormones, like testosterone and luteinizing hormoneREF#791 REF#792
    • The Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal (HPA)/Hypothalamus Pituitary Gonadal (HPG) axes, which affect the entire endocrine/hormonal systemREF#792
    • Stress response (Maca is an adaptogen, a type of herb that helps the body adapt to stress*)

    We discuss the possible mechanisms behind Maca’s possible aphrodisiac qualities in detail in Does Maca Root Work For Libido? What You Need To Know.

    A Maca Bonus for Menopausal Women: Maca has also shown potential benefits for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbance,REF#793 mental/emotional well-being, and blood pressure.REF#794, REF#795

    Gaia Herbs offers authentic, organic Maca Root in:

      Lean On Ashwagandha For Sleep

      Getting enough sleep can be challenging when you’re young, especially during the parenting years.

      However, for many people, sleep becomes even more frustrating with age—especially during menopause, andropause, or due to grief, pain, or other health issues.

      When sleep doesn’t come easy due to hormonal fluctuations or stress, lean on Ashwagandha for support.*

      As previously mentioned, this herb is a prized staple in Ayurveda for supporting physical, mental, and emotional well-being.*

      It’s also been shown effective in numerous studies—including double-blind, placebo-controlled trials—to provide the following sleep benefits REF#796 REF#797 REF#798

      • Sleep duration
      • Sleep quality
      • Wake after sleep onset
      • Sleep efficiency
      • Mental alertness upon waking
      • Sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep)

      Scientists have concluded the active plant compound Triethylene glycol in Ashwagandha leaves is responsible for its positive effects on sleep.*

      Ashwagandha’s effects on the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis, which governs your cortisol awakening response, have also been shown to support sleep.REF#799 REF#800

      The cortisol awakening response refers to the naturally higher levels of cortisol (your body’s master stress hormone) a healthy body should produce after a sustained rest period.REF#801

      To learn how to take Ashwagandha for sleep, check out: Ashwagandha Dosage: How To Take Ashwagandha Effectively.

      You can try Ashwagandha for sleep in Gaia Herbs’ best-selling SleepThru®.

      Tips On Getting Started With Supplements Over 50

      Always check with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before beginning a new supplement regime.

      Although herbs are generally very safe and effective, some can interact with certain medications and may not be appropriate for people with certain conditions.

      It’s also essential to choose the highest quality herbal supplements. 

      High-quality herbal supplements will ensure you get all the benefits and nutrients of the herbs without worrying about contaminants, adulterations, or false labeling claims.

      Here’s what to look for in high-quality herbal supplements:

      1. Certified organic or wild-crafted herbs
      2. Third-party testing for identity, purity, and contaminants
      3. No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or fillers
      4. Transparency in sourcing, like Gaia Herbs' “Meet Your Herbs” herb traceability program

      Finally, remember that you cannot out-supplement an unhealthy lifestyle.

      In other words, herbal supplements will work best with a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, good sleep, and social connections.

      All these together provide an excellent foundation for longevity and graceful aging.

      To learn more about supplements and other healthy ways to support yourself over 50, check out:


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