The human life expectancy rate continues to increase steadily partly due to innovative medical treatments and radical new advancements in technology. While science plays a role in increasing the longevity of human life, alternative medications are also a key component in keeping the body and mind healthy. For centuries, many cultures have used the healing properties of various herbal remedies in order to cure conditions, treat infection, and create a general wellness within the body. Many of these herbal concoctions have been passed down through generations. Today, sharing of ideas and access to rare herbal remedies has become streamlined through the use of the internet. Countries and cultures are able to share their vital information with one another in order to achieve the best health.
As Eastern meets Western in the realm of medicinal remedies, many experts continue to search for the perfect anti-aging potion. The truth is, many herbs have amazing anti-aging properties that, when used appropriately, can help the body in multiple ways.
Many of the herbal remedies known to have anti-aging properties are known as adaptogens. Adaptogens are commonly referred to in Chinese culture as the “longevity herbs”, and have become increasingly popular in Western culture as a way to maintain and preserve energy, vitality, and youth. Research has shown them to be safe to use. Instead of focusing on a specific condition of the body, adaptogens encourage a superior overall functioning. They keep the body in balance, or homeostasis. This means that when your body is facing a stressor or a change, it will refocus the energy and bring your system back into balance. For instance, if you are experiencing high blood sugar, adaptogens will encourage the body to respond by lowering glucose levels.
While there are many herbs that have some form of anti-aging properties, here are 12 of the most widely used herbs that help people look and feel younger.
1. Holy Basil
Related to sweet basil, holy basil has the amazing ability to increase energy, reduce stress, and encourage longevity. The key component of holy basil, eugenol, has a beneficial effect on the nervous, digestive, reproductive, immune, cardiovascular and urinary systems. It is often recommended for those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions.
Often used in traditional Chinese medicine as a “superior herb”, Reishi helps to improve coronary heart disease, cancer symptoms, high cholesterol, arthritis, as well as other various immune disorders. It is known to increase energy and encourage overall optimal health as well.
Another marvelous Chinese herb, astragalus, has incredible effects on the immune system. It improves seasonal allergies, fatigue, inflammation, heart disease, liver toxicity, cancer, and diabetes. With the power to decrease blood pressure and increase blood circulation, many pharmaceutical companies have been researching astragalus to use in combination with their new prescription drugs. Most interesting is the ability Astragalus has to slow the aging process. It does this by encouraging the health of telomeres, which hold the chromosomes together. By elongating the telomeres, astragalus strengthens each DNA strand.
With over 900 varieties of sage available, Spanish sage and garden sage are used most often for their healing properties. Known by the Aztecs as the “herb of immortality”, sage has the ability to fight cancer, boost the immune system, and protect the heart. It also improves sleep, enhances memory functioning, and diminishes headaches.
Found in the skin of red grapes as well as the Japanese knotwood root, this amazing anti-aging compound has been shown to extend the lifespan by 15% during studies performed on rodents. Resveratrol has also proven to be successful in preventing cancer and diabetes, as well as diminishing the symptoms of heart disease.
6. Green Tea
Packed with essential antioxidants, green tea helps to decrease the formation of cancer-causing free radicals from the body. Free radicals affect healthy cells and encourage multiple signs of aging. Green tea prevents wrinkling and skin damage by destroying these free radicals. It also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a potent plant nutrient that balances blood sugars, speeds up weight loss and reduces your risk of certain types of cancer.
Amazingly enough, oregano does more than just flavor your favorite dish. It acts as a strong and effective broad-spectrum antibiotic, as well as an antifungal remedy. The antioxidant powers of oregano also reduce damaging free radicals.
Tumeric is widely used in India, where citizens have a lower prevalence of both cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Tumeric contains the compound curcumin, which gives it a yellowish color and is thought to protect cells against cancer. It also helps prevent blood clots and promotes blood circulation. This herb was even the inspiration for a well-known anti-coagulant medication that is widely used today.
9. Gingko Biloba
Although gingko biloba has been used primarily to improve metal functioning and memory, researchers have now found gingko to be a key herb for increasing the longevity of the body as well as the mind. Along with improved cognitive functioning, this herb also prevents the weakening of physical muscle tissue and strength.
While heart disease kills more Americans every year than any other condition, Hawthorne has shown to be successful in treating patients suffering from heart failure. In fact, Hawthorne may be as effective as certain prescription heart medications.
11. Siberian Ginseng
Also known as eleuthero, Siberian ginseng is an amazing performance enhancing herb. Not only is it a significant immune system booster, but research has also shown it to assist in the treatment of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, fatigue, and menopausal symptoms, just to name a few.
12. Fo-Ti Root
Otherwise known as He Shou Wu in Eastern culture, Fo-Ti Root has amazing anti-aging properties. It works best when consumed daily to increase the longevity potential. This incredible herb is popular for reversing gray hair and calming the nervous system.
If you are looking for a way to improve your health, gain energy, and look your best, you might want to start by adding these amazing herbs to your daily diet.
Lauren Hill is a freelance writer and enjoys writing on topics that help everyday people in their everyday lives.