Live Longer with These Top Immortality Herbs and Spices

Fresh ginseng root

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Everyone is looking for the “fountain of youth,” a means of looking younger, being healthier, and living longer. Perhaps we need to look no further than our own gardens! There are plenty of herbs and spices that can help us heal an untold number of infections, diseases, and chronic illnesses that will help us live longer, and definitely more enjoyably healthy, lives.

Aging is a fact of life. From the minute we are conceived we begin to grow older. However, succumbing to the illness that tends to come with age does not have to happen. Mother Nature provided us with lots of natural means to combat illness. Everything from antioxidants to fight disease, nutrients to stop stiff joints, and other compounds to clear out congestion as well as keep our minds sharp, are all right here on planet earth.

Take a moment to read about all the ways you can live longer with Mother Nature’s top immortality herbs and spices.

 

1. Ginseng

OK, so maybe you don’t have ginseng growing in your back yard, but ginseng is fairly easy to find and it’s been used for thousands of years to treat many of the symptoms of aging, by both the Native Americans as well as the ancient Chinese. The two most common types of ginseng are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Korean, or Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Although they are similar, Asian ginseng is thought to be more stimulating and has been used as a restorative health tonic for the elderly.

Hundreds of studies show that ginseng is great for the heart, regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as lowers blood pressure. It also can increase energy levels and enhance the immune system. Ginseng also increases blood flow to the rain, which enhances nerve development, which can lead to an improvement in cognitive function, according to research done at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

2. Holy Basil

According to the Hindu people, basil is thought to be a scared reincarnation of divinity. The holy basil plant (a cousin to sweet basil) is called “the incomparable one”. Perhaps it is called this because of its unparalleled ability to increase energy, lower stress levels, and promote longevity.  Holy basil is often recommended for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems.

Holy basil is the plant you want to turn to when you have such as stressful life that you can barely keep it under control, even with meditation. This herb reduces stress and cortisol levels like crazy, better than any other plant or even other types of supplements, all without any side effects. Holy basil also reduces inflammation, a key component of heart disease and many other chronic diseases that plague Americans today.  This plant is super easy to grow and can be used dried or served fresh. Consider planting some in your herb garden.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

3. Cardamom

This super aromatic spice is often used in Arabian and Ethiopian dishes but those who love it also add some to tea and coffee. It might sound strange, but try it before you dismiss it. Coffee with a bit of cardamom is divine!

Cardamom relaxes the muscles that line the blood vessels so they don’t become tight and cause blood pressure surges. One study had those who were suffering from high blood pressure add just a half a teaspoon of cardamom to their diets each day. Within 12 weeks, all subjects saw significantly lower blood pressure readings. This study was published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Cardamom is terrific at improving digestion, stops heartburn, and upset stomachs. In many countries, people chew a bit of cardamom after meals to help their meal digest more efficiently. Chewing it also fights bad breath!

Cardamom is available everywhere and most people enjoy cooking with it.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4. Saffron

Another super tasty herb with exciting health benefits, especially in the area of depression. The University of Tehran did three clinical trials, all of which found that eating just a pinch ( about 1/10 of a teaspoon) of saffron eased the depression symptoms for 75 percent of the women involved in this study.

This means saffron is much more effective than any prescription anti-depressant medication available today. Crocin is the active ingredient in saffron, a powerful antioxidant that encourages the brain to produce more serotonin that feel good hormone. Saffron can also suppress your appetite, which might be why many countries use saffron the way Americans use salt!  India is one country with the highest reported consumption of saffron but they have the lowest obesity rates in the world.

Saffron is another spice that is available everywhere but can be pricey. Try growing this herb at home. It’s fairly easy to grow in almost all locations, even in a sunny windowsill.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

5. Sage

Although sage is not an adaptogen herb, it still ranks up there as one of the best herbs for promoting longevity. There are almost 900 types of sage, but Spanish sage and garden sage are the two most common types that are used for healing purposes.

The Aztecs called this the “herb of immortality”. It has both calming and clarifying effects on sinus and respiratory congestion, making it great for anyone suffering from breathing problems. It also is known to stop headaches dead in their tracks and contribute to improved memory and clearer thinking. Sage oil has been shown in studies to have immune enhancing properties, protect the heart, and fight cancer. In some cultures, it was said that those who drank sage tea each night would never grow old.

Sage is high in antioxidants, which fight the free radicals that cause premature aging. It is also high in anti-inflammatory compounds, which can stop arthritis and its pain. No wonder people believe that those who consume sage are ageless!

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

6. Reishi

Traditional Chinese medicine called this the “superior herb” and the Taoist tradition calls this the “mushroom of immortality.” Medicinally, it’s the red reishi that is most commonly used. Reishi not only increases energy levels, but it improves the heart, stops immune disorders, improves arthritis pain, and is super effective against cancer. Reishi mushrooms stimulate brain neurons, prevent the development of new fat cells, and destroy cancer cells. Read more about other mushrooms that prevent diseases.

Researchers using lab mice have shown that they have extended lifespans after eating Reishi mushrooms, as much as 20 percent! That would be between 7 to 16 more years for a human being, all from one little mushroom. Other studies show that these mushrooms help to manage most of today’s troublesome age related issues such as autoimmune disorders, liver disease, neurodegenerative problems, cancer, and much more.

There are plenty of powdered supplements, or you can use it fresh in your cooking. They might be a bit expensive in some areas and at certain times of the year, but no one ever said that immortality came cheap!

turmeric

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7. Turmeric

Super popular in Asian, Indian, and African cuisines, this golden spice has so many health benefits, it’s hard to list them all here. If you aren’t a fan of the flavor, you should take supplements. Just one teaspoon of turmeric each day can cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 50 percent, according to studies done at Thailand’s Srinakharinwirot University. Turmeric stops free radicals from damaging your organs and cells. It also helps to stop the aging process when it comes to heart health, memory function, and providing important support to your immune system.

Turmeric can help you to maintain your healthy bones and joints, well into your senior years, and regulate your cholesterol levels. Turmeric is known to help your body, right down to your cells, by neutralizing substances that cause stress and provide your body with the antioxidants you need to keep your cells strong from excessive oxidation. Turmeric is a well-known adaptogen, which helps your body fight off the effects of stress.

You can drink turmeric tea, put some in your smoothie, or, if you aren’t a fan of the taste, take supplements.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

8. Astragalus

This herb has earned a powerful reputation for its deep healing effects on the immune system. This is another one of China’s healing marvels that works wonders on numerous health issues including fatigue, inflammation, circulation, liver issues, the flu, blood pressure, and cancer. In fact, this herb works so well and is so popular that even pharmaceutical companies are using it as a base for some of their newer prescription drugs! Astragalus seems to be able to slow the aging process by encouraging the health of telomeres, which is the compound that holds our chromosomes together. This herb is perhaps best known to many as a means of improving the immune function right down to a cellular level. It has been used throughout history as a means of improving digestion, and protecting the heart, liver, and lungs. On top of all that this herb has cardiotonic compounds, which means it can protect your heart from the damage that free radical oxidative stress can cause. All of these benefits in one little herb! Really impressive!

Buy this as an extract, or in tablet form as a supplement.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

9. Jiaogulan

You might not have heard of this one as much as its cousin, ginseng. This herb is literally called the “immortality herb” by the Chinese people. Jiaogulan helps the liver burn fat by moving carbs and sugar into your muscles, rather than storing them. It is also a super heart defender because it improves good cholesterol and regulates the body’s blood pressure. This means it can also protect you from problems that come with high cholesterol and heart issues, mainly stroke and heart attacks.

Jiaogulan, which in Chinese means the twisting vine orchid, grows almost everywhere and is often consumed in the form of a tea. Elderly persons often refer to Jiaogulan as the source of their longevity. This plant can improve digestion, protect your immune system, stop free radical damage, regulate hormones in both men and women, as well as regulate cholesterol levels. Basically, this herb is the perfect balancing compound, if something is high, it lowers it; if something is too low, it raises it. Jiaogulan is an adaptogen, like ginseng, so it adapts and restores balance to whatever it is that needs it.

Jiaogulan is mainly taken as a tea.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

10. Ginger

Ginger is thought of as a universal medicine in India. No matter what is ailing you, ginger is thought to cure it, including muscle pain, headaches, joint pain, and even back injuries. About 3 slices of fresh ginger root, or one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger is all it takes to fight off the aches and pains most people experience after just two weeks. This study was done at the University of Miami.

 

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Fruits That Fight Premature Aging

 

Ginger is well known for easing stomach issues as well, everything from poor digestion, slow digestion, and nausea.  Ginger tea is perfect for those suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and it can even fight against certain cancers, such as ovarian cancer. Although you don’t see much ginger in the US (except for cookies) it’s often used in many parts of the world. Try making some of your own fresh, ginger tea and consuming it on a regular basis. It has a calming effect on the digestive system and the bowels. After drinking at least one cup per day for two weeks, you should feel a huge difference in your digestive system.

Ginger helps neutralize gas and acts as a natural, mild diuretic, so be sure to drink plenty of water.

References:

Alsearsmd.com

Wholeliving.com

Healthmad.com

Naturalnews.com

Chen LW, Horng LY, Wu CL, Sung HC, Wu RT. Activating mitochondrial regulator PGC-1alpha expression by astrocytic NGF is a therapeutic strategy for Huntington’s disease. Neuropharmacology. 2012 May 24.

Sun LX, Lin ZB, Duan XS, et al. Enhanced MHC class I and costimulatory molecules on B16F10 cells by Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides. J Drug Target. 2012 Aug;20(7):582-92.

Thyagarajan-Sahu A, Lane B, Sliva D. ReishiMax, mushroom based dietary supplement, inhibits adipocyte differentiation, stimulates glucose uptake and activates AMPK. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11:74.