Anti-Aging Top Ten Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices that have been used for centuries for their powerful anti-aging properties, are safe to take on a long term basis. All of the ten herbs are easy to find in health shops in the form of capsules, tablets, teas, tinctures, or as food.
Bilberry is a powerful circulatory antioxidant tonic with a strong infinity with the eyes, protects against degenerative diseases, or at the very least slows down degeneration. Bilberry can be used to treat or prevent diabetes related glaucoma, to treat or prevent the formation of cataracts (along with Vitamin E). Bilberry contains phyto-chemical compounds that help improve blood flow to the heart and the extremities. It’s plant compounds limit blood clots, calcium deposits inside the arteries, help prevent and treat varicose veins and hemorrhoids. For people with arthritis, bilberry helps to relieve joint inflammation and prevents the deterioration of joint collagen.
Dong Quai is a Chinese herb best known as a reproductive tonic for women.
This herb can be taken long term for menstrual problems, before during and after the menopause. This herb can lower blood pressure, improve digestion, and purify the blood. However, this herb should not be taken during pregnancy.
Garlic, we all know that garlic is good for us. The Ancient Egyptians gave garlic to their laborers to give them strength to build the pyramids. The Romans gave garlic to their soldiers for strength in battle. During the First World War before the widespread availability of antibiotics, garlic was used on the battlefield to disinfect wounds and prevent gangrene. Garlic is rich in sulfur, foods rich in sulfur help to maintain healthy joints and assist in their repair. You either love garlic or you hate it. If you hate it, then garlic capsules might be the answer for you or increase your onion intake as it has similar healing properties with a milder taste. Garlic has been found to support our natural bacterial bowel flora, ‘the friendly guys’. Garlic has anticoagulant properties that keeps the blood thin, lowers cholesterol, and blood pressure. It helps to strengthen the immune system in general and improves digestion. Garlic can also help expel worms and alleviate rheumatism. It is an invaluable tonic for all the cells and glands in the body, as well as being helpful for sinus problems and hay fever.
Ginger is my favorite spice and has been scientifically validated as an anti-inflammatory helping to ease joint stiffness and pain. It is use as a preventative measure against arteriosclerosis and heart disease, also excellent for lowering high cholesterol levels. Ginger improves digestion by increasing gastric juices, and strengthens the peristalsis of the intestines. Well known for its use in motion sickness, vomiting and nausea. Increases and strengthens a poor circulatory system, a general immune tonic that helps to relieve symptoms of colds and flu. Take a warm bath at the first sign of a cold and drink an infusion of ginger tea. This will encourage sweating allowing toxins to be released. Chew a piece of fresh ginger for a sore throat. Caution – Do not over use ginger in early pregnancy or with peptic ulceration.
Ginkgo comes from the ginkgo tree, which grows to a huge size, and remarkably can withstand a nuclear blast. Ginkgo is taken in the East as a long term anti-aging tonic, they have known about it’s protective properties for a very long time, centuries in fact. It is best known as a circulatory tonic in particular for strengthening the tiny little capillaries to all the organs, but especially to the brain. The capillaries become more flexible and as a result more oxygen is delivered to the brain and eyes (to protect against degenerative eye diseases), so important as we age. Ginkgo also protects the nervous system and fights oxidation. In some studies it was found to treat inner ear problems like tinnitus or vertigo and depression.
Gotu Kola is an excellent cell re-generator and nerve tonic. It has been used for centuries to slow down aging and speed up wound healing. This herb also has a calming effect and anti-anxiety affect. In some ways has a similar affect to ginkgo, in the sense that it too is a good brain tonic, another great herb to take long term for the prevention of age-related mental decline. This herb is also particularly good for the health of the skin.
Hawthorn Berry is a perfect heart tonic as it works on the heart muscle to strengthen it, normalizes the heart beat, and increases blood flow. This herb is also a really good antioxidant, neutralizing free-radical damage in cells and capillaries, excellent for angina or the prevention of high blood pressure. Using hawthorn in the case of angina helped patients reduce their medication and in some cases it helps some suffers to eventually give up medication altogether. This herb is a tonic so it works over time and can be taken for the long term.
Milk Thistle is an effective herb for encouraging detoxification as it helps the liver and works to help stabilize blood sugar levels. This herb works well in cases of liver related problems, diabetes, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Milk thistle encourages the liver to make a powerful antioxidant and to regenerate new cells.
Saw Palmetto is a good herb for men to treat the prostate. Twenty years of studies have revealed that the pharmaceutical drug works in less people than than the herbal extract of saw palmetto. It takes about a month or two for people to notice many symptoms subside. This herb is well worth taking on a long term basis especially if you have any urinary symptoms. I word of warning this herb will not treat any urinary infection.
Turmeric is a spice extensively used in Indian cuisine. It has antibacterial properties and for more than three thousand years ago it was used to treat obesity. This spice turns everything yellow, has has a very slight bitter and a vaguely gingery taste. Turmeric has a beneficial effect on the liver, stimulating the flow of bile and the breakdown of fats. In Asia turmeric was used to treat stomach disorders, menstrual problems, blood clots and liver-related problems like jaundice.
Modern research shows that turmeric protects the liver and due to some potent anti-inflammatory properties enhances tissue healing and rejuvenates. Some people have found it to be useful for pain and swelling in such conditions as arthritis.
It is not suggested that you take all ten herbs and spices in capsules or tablet form. Decide which one most suites your set of symptoms and take the rest in a food from. For instance you might want to protect your heart and circulation, take hawthorn berry capsules and include more garlic and ginger in your diet.
Sonia Jones ND
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