Holistic Health Journal

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o-BLUEBERRIES-570From anti-wrinkles creams to Botox to surgery, there are a number of options out there for people who are wanting to look and feel young again. However, the very best way to do with is from the inside out, with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, adequate rest, hydration, stress management and, of course, diet. Below are six anti-aging foods to consider adding to your bill of fare that will help you naturally fight off the aging process and that will also be good for your overall health.

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Apricots

Apricots are rich in compounds called carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that can help repair damage to the skin caused by aging and sun exposure, as well as promoting cardiac health, warding off some forms of cancer and lower cholesterol levels. In addition to this, carotenoids are converted by the body into Vitamin A, adequate levels of which are needed for healthy hair, skin, eyes and gums.

Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and fruits like them are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with Vitamin C which helps to strengthen then immunity so that the body can more easily ward off disease; it is also rich in antioxidant which can protect your liver and skin, among other organs, from oxidative damage that can come as the body ages.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another important weapon in the war on aging: they are high in lycopene, another anti-oxidant which can help prevent skin damage that can lead to wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration and can even help with the growth of new skin cells.

Apples

Apples contain compounds which nourish the skin and help it to rejuvenate: the anti-oxidant properties help to prevent oxidation damage that can cause wrinkles and other signs of aging and can help skin cells to regenerate faster. It can also impart a wonderful, glowing complexion.

Avocadoes

Avocadoes are rich in both Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids, both of which help to nourish the skin and help to eliminate wrinkles and fine lines. It can also help lower the bad cholesterol in the body and even moderate blood pressure, both of which can help support cardiac health.

Oranges

Rich in Vitamin C, a natural anti-inflammatory, oranges can help support the health of collagen which keeps the skin firm and elastic. Its anti-oxidant properties can also help prevent damage caused by aging and sun exposure. It is also good for strengthening the body’s immunity and helping it to ward off infection and disease.

So, if you are interested in fighting off the aging process without resorting to cosmetics or surgery, consider adding or increasing the intake of these foods in your diet. They will improve your overall health but will help your skin maintain its youthfulness and elasticity, as well as keep its soft, smooth and glowing.

Valerian RootHave you heard of or used Valerian root? It’s very popular in Europe and is used to calm nerves and to manage certain cardiovascular problems.  I remember growing up in Europe, it was all my grandparents and parents used (here).   In Latin, valerian root means “to be healthy!”

Not bad, right?  Oh, and this plant is famous for its ability to drastically calm shattered nerves down, normalize sleep and just improve ones entire overall mood. Valerian root was also used in ancient Greece and Rome. It was used as a remedy for several various health problems such as anxiety and insomnia.

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How to Use Valerian To Cure Anxiety And Insomnia

The unique composition of Valerian Root has no analogues among other medicinal plants. The roots of this plant contain about a hundred individual substances, which include essential oils, acids, alcohols, alkaloids, tannins, organic acids, saponins, glycosides, vitamins A, B and C. Due to the unbelievable content of useful substances  (the area of influence on the human body is enormous) scientists have found that this plant has the ability to suppress the Central Nervous System and reduce muscle spasms. The essential oil of Valerian Root reduces anxiety and increases the functional mobility processes in the brain cortex. The healing properties of Valerian Root regulate the cardiovascular system, improve the circulatory processes, reinforce the processes of bile secretion and increases the secretion of the gastrointestinal tract. But, the main (well-known) property of this plant is, of course, antispasmodic and sedative.

Top Effective Ways To Use Valerian

Headaches an Migraines

Though scientists are not sure how Valerian works when it comes to getting rid of migraines.  They believe that the substances contains in Valerian possess sedative and relaxing properties that can relieve headaches and migraines.

Insomnia and Anxiety

Valerian Root has sedative properties that help with sleepless nights. It’s a great natural alternative to sleeping pills as it doesn’t cause drowsiness throughout a day.  There is no standard dose of valerian. For insomnia, many studies have used between 400 milligrams and 900 milligrams of valerian up to two hours before bed. Valerian can be taken as a tea or herbal tincture or in capsules or tablets. You can take 150 mg two or three times daily to help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Digestive Aid

Valerian Root has been shown to get rid of pain and discomfort caused by diarrhea, gas, and cramps. Valerian is also able to cure indigestion as it helps to relax the lining of the stomach.  You can buy Valerian Root in various forms. It’s sold as a powder, liquid extract (here), as a supplement and as a dried extract to make tea (I use this one). Dosage varies depending on the health problem.  

Fun Fact Cats are crazy about Valerian as it contains a chemical called valerinone which is similar to catnip. 

AstragalusUsing Nature To Unlock Our Immortality

Immortality has always been a dream of conscious humans. The desire to avoid death and live eternally is universal, profound and God-like. 

Answers to the mystery of immortality have been growing in forests and jungles since the dawn of time.

I believe that it only makes sense that as consciousness in the animal kingdom evolves, so too should consciousness in the plant kingdom. The very same plants that help in the healing of diseases, infections and chronic illnesses can also help us to live longer, more productive and healthier lives.

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The most powerful herbal medicines assist the body by unlocking the codes of what your genes can already do. These most effective herbs are known as adaptogens, which assist the body in its natural task of maintaining homeostasis—the delicate state of balance necessary for survival.

A body out of balance is considered to be in negative homeostasis, a condition in which the restorative and degenerative systems of the body may not function properly. If untreated this may eventually lead to symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia and other various sicknesses.

But adaptogens help the body adapt to, and compensate, for change. In a person with high blood sugar, for example, an adaptogenic herb might help to lower glucose levels in the body, whereas, in a person with low blood sugar, the herb would help to raise them.

One of the main things adding to your lifespan is an enzyme called telomerase. Have you ever gone camping and cut a rope, and then burned the end of it with a lighter to keep it from splitting? The telomerase works in the same way. It keeps the ends of your DNA from unraveling.

Unfortunately, every time your cells divide, some of this is lost, meaning you are breaking your body’s ability to regenerate itself every time you grow or heal. Adaptogenic herbs are programmed at finding ways to either rejuvenate telomerase or prevent its loss in the first place. I believe that in nature we can finds ways that could effectively halt or even reverse the aging process.

What are these herbal treasures, you ask? I have spent years researching the best adaptogens and medicinal mushrooms and here are the top three:

Astragalus 

Astragalus and Life Force

Astragalus ranks as one of the most potent health tonics in the world. For over 2,000 years it has been one of the most popular tonic herbs used in Asia. Astragalus is said to strengthen the primary energy of the body and to tonify the three burning spaces, or in other words, to strengthen all metabolic, respiratory and eliminative functions.

As an energizer, Astragalus is famed for its strengthening effects on the outside of the body, in particular to the musculature. It is therefore beneficial in particular to adults who tend to be physically active and require abundant external energy. In China, Astragalus is sometimes considered superior to Ginseng as an energizer for active people. Astragalus is used to strengthen the legs and arms and is commonly used by people who work outdoors, especially in the cold because of its strengthening and warming nature.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek and Growth Hormones

Fenugreek seeds contain chemicals known as saponins, which have a wide range of medicinal applications. Fenugreek’s saponins, in particular, are linked to stimulating release of growth hormone from pituitary cells. This gland is located right in the center or the brain, near the hypothalamus at the base of the skull. It’s only about the size of a pea, but it’s incredibly important. It secretes various hormones into the bloodstream to assist in several processes throughout the entire body. This gland is often referred to as the “master gland” because of its various roles in the body. The pituitary gland supports the adrenal glands, thyroid gland, ovaries and testes, which in turn produce other hormones.

Medicinal Mushroom Red Reishi 

Health benefits of Reishi

Perhaps Reishi’s greatest potential medical benefit is its ability to strengthen the body’s immune system. Consumption of Reishi is therefore considered preventive and immune enhancing, rather than treatment for a specific disease. In addition to triterpenes in its fruiting body, Reishi mushroom also contains polysaccharides. These enzymes are found under the spores released under the cap of the mushroom. Reishi polysaccharides affect blood by increasing the white blood cells count, which boosts the immune system’s ability to fight disease.

Among the medicinal plants, Reishi is a potent adaptogen. It may assist the body in adapting to stresses of various kinds; these stressors may be temperature, trauma, sleep deprivation, exposure to toxins, radiation, infection, or psychological stress. Like adaptogens, Reishi shares the properties of causing no side effects with regular consumption; it helps an organism return to a state of equilibrium.

Red Reishi acts as an immune modulator—a substance that regulates, and fine-tunes the immune system. The primary responsibility of the immune system is to detect pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and other microbes that invade the body. Under normal circumstances, an intact immune system is capable of deterring most of these organisms before it causes any damage. However, if the immune system is compromised, viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi can proliferate and cause disease. Consuming Reishi eliminates these problems.