Anti aging herbs are being widely studied and touted for the benefits to delay the signs of aging and cure many diseases. Is this valid? Firstly, it can be said that if you believe they will work, they are likely to work for you. The power of the placebo effect is well known. However extensive independent research has shown that herbs do have substantial benefits.
Why is Stress so Bad?
Stress has been associated with many physical conditions. The major culprit here is cortisol, produced as part of the “fight-or-flight” response together with adrenalin. Small doses of cortisol can improve memory and provide a quick burst energy as well as increased immunity and lower pain sensitivity. Long term it suppresses the immune system, impairs brain function, raise blood pressure, decreases bone density plus other damage. Cortisol has been rated as the biggest single cause of aging.
What Can We Do?
Fortunately there is a lot we can do. Learning to relax and meditate is one of them, but the following quick-acting herbs have been found to be useful to reduce cortisol in our bodies:
Siberian Ginseng acts as a “magic bullet” to inhibit cortisol and increases the production of adrenalin. Take a dose of Siberian ginseng in the morning and at lunch time, or before stressful events, but avoid taking it in the evenings as the adrenalin makes you hyper-alert and you may not sleep. A common dose would be 150 – 300 mg. Up to 1500 mg is safe, according to Dr Dharma Singh Khalsa in his book, “The Mind Miracle”. You can find suitable ginseng supplements here
Jiaogulan has similar effects to ginseng but is more powerful, having up to 3 times the active ingredients. It has been widely studied and found to have substantial anti-aging benefits, including improved memory and heart and arterial properties as well as anti-cancer properties. It was discovered by scientists investigating “pockets of longevity” in the Chinese mountains, where it grows and is routinely taken. You can get it as a herbal tea here
Other Plants With Anti Aging Benefits
There are several other anti-aging products derived from plants and herbs, for example astaxanthin, resveratrol and grapeseed extract, amongst many others. All of them have been shown to have genuine benefits. The best ones for you would depend on what conditions you or family members suffer from. It is a personal matter, with people reacting differently to different herbs. You will need to find out what suits you best.
Does Your Lifestyle Promote Aging?
But aging is also a lifestyle and belief system thing. It takes a while to build up all the toxic effects which promote aging. But subject yourself to continual stress and eat unhealthily and you will suffer the consequences. To counter this requires a holistic approach. You need to incorporate meditation and relaxation techniques and eat healthily. Find out what foods you are sensitive to and avoid them – remember that Type II diabetes is a symptom of gluten sensitivity for many people and brown/whole wheat bread has more gluten than white. Combined with a judicious selection of herbs this should put your lifestyle on a sound basis. Several suitable further reading books are available from Amazon, including the recipe book pictured.