Anti-Ageing Herbs: 8 Ayurveda Herbs To Slow Down Ageing
Ageing is an inevitable; it involves the changes in a person with physical, psychological, mental and social change. Wrinkled skin, greying hair and macular degeneration are a few symptoms of ageing. While one cannot avoid these changes, but can definitely delay them through medications, natural kitchen ingredients or Ayurvedic herbs. Ayurveda is known to be the art of daily living in harmony and laws of nature. It is an ancient natural wisdom of health and healing. Ayurvedic treatment for an ailment is focused on three dos has of a person – vata dos-ha, kapha dos-ha and pitta dos ha. It believes in maintaining a perfect balance among these three aspects, which is the secret to staying youthful and healthy.
The process of degenerating cells as you grow old is known as ageing. Ayurveda suggests herbs that can help reduce the symptoms of ageing by regenerating body cells. Most of the herbs have various antioxidants that inhibit the growth of cell damaging free radicals in the body. According to Ayurveda expert from NirogStreet, Ram N Kumar, “Rasayana (rejuvenation) branch of Ayurveda specifically deals with ageing and its effects. As ageing is a degenerative and palliative phase and process, Rasayana checks its pace and impact substantially, resulting in slow down. Rasayana treatment is advised to people who are 35 years old and more.”
Here are some of the herbs suggested by Ram N Kumar that you can include in your diet in order to delay ageing.
Guduchi, or Giloy, is known to revive our skin tissues and resolve inflamed skin conditions by its anti-inflammatory properties. Guduchi is responsible for promoting mental clarity and enhance our immune system
Guggulu is a powerful and potent herb that is derived from the flowering tree Mukul Myrrh. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in combating various diseases and inhibit the growth of free radicals in the body.
Brahmi, or Bacopa, is a memory enhancer, especially useful for those who may be suffering from age-related memory loss. It is believed to have refreshing effects on your bran
Amalaki, or Amla, is an excellent source of Vitamin-C and antioxidants that help your body fight various diseases. Also, it helps you keep safe from age-related macular degeneration and Cataract.
The compound curcumin in Turmeric has shown to possess a powerful anti-ageing effect. It has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that help keep diseases at bay
Ginseng contains a lot of phytochemicals that help stimulate and activate skin’s metabolism. These phytochemicals also help you get rid of free radicals that get accumulated when your skin is exposed to pollution and sunlight.
Gotu kola is rich in flavonoids with antioxidant activity that helps protect the skin and body making it an extremely essential anti-ageing herb.
Ashwagandha helps in rapid cell regeneration and rejuvenation that in turn helps in delaying signs of ageing, especially pertaining to the skin.
Let’s be honest. If you were granted a wish to turn the skin clock back, you would love to do that. I mean, who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, none of us have the magic lamp, and no genie is going to grant us that wish. But hey! There is a world full of magic and wonder deep within nature. Puzzled? Don’t be – because I am here to reveal some of Nature’s best kept anti-aging secrets that can slow down the signs of aging. So, here we go!
15 Anti-Aging Herbs To Fight Skin Aging
Holy basil or tulsi helps in preventing the signs of aging. Excessive UV exposure damages your skin and causes collagen depletion. Collagen is the compound that maintains the elasticity of your skin. In a study, researchers found that topical application of basil helped in retaining skin moisture levels, reduced skin roughness and scaliness, prevented wrinkles, and made the skin smooth
Cinnamon is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for its healing properties. It is also said to have anti-aging benefits as it prevents collagen breakdown and prevents loss of skin elasticity. A study says that it also boosts collagen synthesis and prevents signs of aging
Clove has immense health benefits. Clove oil is widely used in Ayurveda for treating many ailments. A study has also found that clove has free radical scavenging properties and contains antioxidants that slow down signs of aging
This herb has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for over thousands of years for treating multiple ailments. Ginger has high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help in preventing the signs of aging. A study found that ginger could control the production of harmful free radicals that affect your metabolism and increase oxidative stress, which is harmful to your skin
Guggula is a very powerful herb that is extracted from the Mukul Myrrh tree. A study found that Arugula could prevent wrinkles (5). It is also used for its anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the effect of the harmful free radicals.
This is one herb that has been widely studied for its immense health benefits. Gingko bilabial is revered for its memory boosting properties, but it is also known for its anti-aging benefits. A clinical study found that Gingko extracts, when applied on skin, could prevent wrinkles and improve the skin texture by boosting hydration and skin smoothness and reducing roughness
Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng or winter cherry is an extremely popular herb used for its medicinal properties. It has antibacterial, anti fungal, and cognitive boosting properties and is loaded with alkaloids that protect the cells (including skin cells) from oxidative stress and damage. This keeps your skin healthy and the signs of aging at bay
This Chinese medicinal herb is popular worldwide for its anti-aging benefits. A study found that a mixture of ginseng and Chinese hawthorn protected the skin from the effects of aging. It improves pro collagen synthesis and moisture levels of the skin and prevents wrinkle formation
Also called shave grass or mare’s tail, this perennial herb contains natural silicon that can give you youthful and glowing skin. Horsetail contains flavonoids, vitamins E and C, carotenoids, and coenzyme Q10 that improve the collagen levels in your skin, neutralize the harmful free radicals, and enhance the skin firmness
This herb not just makes your food taste good, but it also helps in slowing down the aging of your skin. Oregano is a storehouse of antioxidants and flavonoids that prevent free radical damage and delay the signs of aging
This herb protects your skin from photo damage. Excessive exposure to UV rays causes fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of UV-induced aging. Rosemary prevents photo damage while improving your skin’s elasticity and preventing wrinkles
Sage is rich in antioxidants that help in reversing the signs of aging, such as age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. Sage contains flavonoids, phenolic carboxylic acids, phenolic diterpenes, and other antioxidants that protect your skin from aging
This is another herb with multiple benefits. It not only makes your food flavorful but also prevents skin damage and signs of aging. Thyme is a free radical scavenger and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect your skin from the signs of aging
14. Gotu Kola
In Ayurveda, Gotukola is considered a magic remedy for its Vayasthapana (meaning age-defying properties). The Ayurvedic texts say that it maintains a balance between all the dos-has in your body and promotes collagen synthesis
Whether it is for treating an infection, a cut, or a bruise or improving your immunity, turmeric is a magic solution for everything. But did you know that it has age-defying properties? Yes. That’s because of a compound called curcumin. This compound is a strong antioxidant that has free radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory properties that protect your skin from UV-induced signs of aging
Live longer, live stronger: 10 of the best herbal adaptogens for anti-aging
Why do some people seem to age quicker than others? Is it just a matter of genetics or are there things we can do to slow down the aging process? How much does lifestyle and diet contribute to aging? Don’t we all age? Shouldn’t we just accept it?
These are some of the questions my patients ask me. The women I treat want to look and feel good as they get older and, because feeling well is as important to them as looking younger, they’re looking for natural ways to increase vitality. Personally, I feel fine about aging but I do want to live as long as possible and be healthy into old age and yes, call it vain, but I want to look as good as I can. This is where Chinese medicine may be able to help. The Chinese have a tradition of longevity practices that go back thousands of years and involve a system of diet, exercise, sexual practices and herbal formulas all of which can slow down the aging process and contribute to an active and healthy old age.
Even thousands of years ago, the ancient Taoists saw aging in remarkably modern terms. They believed that people are born with a finite amount of qi and that this depends on their parents. In modern science this corresponds to your genes. They then discussed how to supplement this qi by eating well, exercising and getting sufficient rest. All this good advice is now part of an emerging field called epigenetics, which is the study of how your environment and your choices can influence your genetic code.
We can’t do much about the genes we inherit but we can adapt our lifestyle and habits to give us the best chance of aging well.
The first step is to identify the habits that are aging us prematurely. These include:-
- Stress. This includes work stress, unsupported relationships and poor work/life balance
- Eating foods that are not nutritious. This includes foods that create inflammation such as alcohol, coffee and, for some people, wheat. The additives in processed foods have been shown to accelerate aging in mice, so to keep your body feeling young, limit foods made in a factory and instead stock up on whole unprocessed foods.
- Not eating enough nutritious foods. Busy people on the run sometimes don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. If I could give you one anti-aging tip it would be to eat as many fruits and veggies as you can in a broad range of colors.
- Lack of sleep. There are plenty of studies that show that poor sleep habits affect many of the body’s systems. A 1999 study conducted by the University of Chicago and published in the Lancet found that cutting down from 8 hours of sleep a night to 4 hours produced significant hormonal changes and had an effect on glucose tolerance. “We found that the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging,” said Eve Van Carter, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the study.
- Lack of exercise. Regular exercise can slow down the effects of aging on many of your body’s systems. It’s most important effect is on the heart where it slows down resting heart rate and increases pumping capacity. It also lowers blood pressure and makes the heart muscle and blood vessels less stiff. On top of that exercise increases red blood cells and decreases the blood’s viscosity. A regular exercise regimen can also lower cholesterol, boost your metabolism, increase your glucose tolerance, and regulate your hormones. Oh, and it’s a good stress reliever too!
- Environmental toxins. Many of the chemicals found in household cleaners, soaps, shampoos, deodorants and cosmetics have been found to be endocrine disruptions and can contribute to premature aging. How ironic that the cream we buy to reduce our wrinkles may well contain additives that are making us age from the inside out. My advice is to pick natural alternatives where possible.
Many of the oldest and best known herbs protect the body from degeneration and fall into a category called adaptions. Adaptogens are so called because they help our body adapt to the strains of daily living and normalize the body’s functions in the face of stressors, restoring homeostasis. Some have a systemic effect whilst others benefit specific systems. Many of them also regulate cell metabolism and support the immune system. Chinese soldiers used to take adaptions before a battle and Tibetan monks used them so that they could survive with very little food.
10 of the best herbal adaptions for anti-aging
- Ginseng – In Chinese herpetology Ginseng is a qi tonic so it has long been priced for giving energy and increasing vitality. It seems to offset the effects of stress on the body and there is good scientific evidence that ginseng improves the immune system.
- Cordyceps – High in anti-oxidants, Corduroys has been used for thousands of years in China where it is revered for it’s immune boosting properties and it’s ability to enhance energy. Recent research has shown that coryceps can reverse some of the effects of aging in mice.
- Rhodiola – Widely used by Russian athletes and cosmonauts to improve energy and performance, rhodium helps your body manage stress. It is calming and plays a role in normalizing heart rate after stress or exercise.
- Ashwagandha – High in anti-oxidants and used in Ayurvedic medicine for its infection fighting properties, ashwagandha is also used to address depression and reduce the effects of stress.
- Holy Basil – Another ayurvedic herb, holy basil supports the cardiovascular system, balances insulin and even improves the moisture level of the skin. It helps to reduce the effects of stress by lowering cortisol levels.
- Turmeric – used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been shown to protect against alzheimer’s disease when paired with vitamin D. It also promotes circulation, relieves aches and pains, reduces inflammation, can prevent certain cancers and protects the liver.
- Fo-ti -This Chinese herb is also known as he shou wu which translates as “black-haired Mr. He”. This name refers to a famous folk story of an ool mad called Mr. He who took fo-ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance and vitality. Fo-ti is used for fatigue, immune dysfunction and to treat premature aging, particularly premature grey hair.
- Ginko Biloba – Like turmeric ginko improves circulation and can be used to protect against alzheimer’s and other conditions that affect memory and cognition. It can also be used to prevent heart disease and macular degeneration,
- Royal Jelly – This creamy substance produced by young nurse worker bees is used as a nutrient-rich food for the queen bee. It is these nutrients that have given it a reputation as a longevity tonic. High in antioxidants, royal jelly is used to strengthen the immune system and priced for its ability to reduce inflammation.
- Green Tea – Studies have shown that tea polyphenols have a protective effect against free radicals, cardiovascular damage, some cancers and infections. There has been some positive research that has looked at how drinking green tea can protect the skin from sun damage and so reduce wrinkles.