Herbs to Help Combat the Aging Process

We’re all looking for that “fountain of youth” hoping it will magically appear before us one day. Until that “fountain of youth” does appear there are things we can do to help battle the aging process. The following is a list of herbs that you may want to add to your daily regimen. Remember that diet and exercise are the best age fighters, but these herbals show promising results for those who are into alternative health.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) helps counteract neurological slings and arrows of aging by helping improve blood flow to the brain. It may also help you think more clearly, cause you to be more alert and sociable and remember more. It’s been shown to elevate mood, relieve tinnitus (ringing in the ears), help with dizziness and anxiety.
A daily dose of standardized extract is 60-240 milligrams a day. A dose higher than 240mg can be dangerous.

American and Asian ginseng (Panax quinquefolius & P. ginseng) helps tone skin and muscle, improves appetite and digestion. It is also shown to restore depleted sexual energy. Some doctors give it to patients who are weak due to chronic illness.

Echinacea (Echinacea) is best known as an immune booster. It shows promising results for treatment of colds, flu, and infections. As we age our immune systems weaken so echinacea is a good herb to use as we age.

Evening primrose (Penothera beinnis) is useful in a number of conditions, not all of which are age related, but this is a good herb none the less for treating eczema, some types of nerve damage caused by diabetes, alcoholism, obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is not only good for you but gives a nice flavor to food if you choose to cook with it. It is an antiviral herb that helps lower high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has been used to improve memory and extend longevity in India.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is good for the liver. The liver is that organ that processes all the toxins in our bodies, so it’s a good idea to take care of it.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) helps relieve indigestion and other gastrointestinal ailments that sometimes come with age. It has antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent cancer, heart disease and other age associated diseases.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is rich in the antioxidants A, C and E. It is also rich in a compound called glutathione which is an antioxidant and immune system booster. You can also find glutathione in fruits and vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, grapefruit, oranges, peaches and watermelon.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a good source of anti-aging chemicals and adds a flavorful touch to many dishes. It is also a good aid for muscle spasms if used in a nice hot bath. Just throw a handful of the dried herb into a tub of hot water to ease your muscle aches.

Willow (Salix) was the original source of aspirin and can be made into teas for headaches, toothaches, arthritis and other aches and pains. It can also help prevent heart attack, stroke and colorectal cancer.

Camomile1 (Matricaria recutita) has anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve arthritis, but it is also a mild tranquilizer making it a good stress herb.

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) was used in the old days for fractures and torn ligaments. It is a good source of silicon which plays a vital role in the repair of bone, cartilage and connective tissues. The body’s levels of silicon drops due to age and declining hormonal activity so the silicon decreases in our arteries and skin. This may be a good herb to help prevent osteoporosis related injuries as we age.

1There are several varieties of camomile (Chamaemelum nobile) (Matricaria recutita) (Chamaemelum nobile syn. Anthemis nobilis) and two variants of the spelling; camomile and chamomile.

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