A large part of how long we will live is down to our genetic code, yet there are many contributing factors which are under our own control. Diet and lifestyle are the main contenders for affecting our longevity. Diet, probably the biggest one, is vital for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Sleep is also imperative for us to function effectively; the eight hour a day rule being upheld and extended to include those hours needing to be uninterrupted for optimum benefit. We must also ensure we are well hydrated and that we exercise regularly. Negative external forces such as stress need to be avoided, which is difficult but will absolutely threaten the balance we work so hard to achieve.
Our immune system is the part of us that we need to protect and keep strong if we wish to remain capable of fighting off any illness, bacteria, infection, viruses; any foreign threats to our bodily system will be fought here, and so a little help from the following herbs and spices (little gifts from mother nature) can assist us in our pursuit for longevity…adding these five miracles of nature will not prevent the natural process of ageing but they could well help in preventing a decline in health.
One of the most popular spices of late due to the golden milk trend taking off and the benefits of its active compound Curcumin becoming common knowledge. What isn’t so widely known is that it would take a mountain of the spice to really have an effect on our systems. For this reason it is far more beneficial to take a supplement, receive a sufficient dosage and reduce the risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Have you heard of adaptogens? An adaptogen is a natural root or herb that can adapt to the needs of your body and restore us by reducing or helping to manage stress. The way this works is by affecting the adrenal system. Ashwagandha is such an adaptogen deeply rooted in Ayurvedic medicine that can reduce stress and anxiety in adults, as well as reduce blood sugar levels, improve heart health by lowering cholesterol, improve concentration, fight inflammation and tumours, help prevent cancer, improve brain function and memory. Again, supplements are available or you can find it in powder form to be added to food and drinks.
This is another an adaptogen that helps to deal with stress and anxiety and maybe even depression. It is significantly antioxidant with a calming, effect – many plants contain antioxidants but do not have the same stress-reducing capabilities. Holy basil is often consumed as a tea, in supplements, or used topically it can help treat most skin irritations including acne, eczema and even ringworm.
Also used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, cinnamon is a staple spice used to treat gastric complaints such as nausea, heartburn and indigestion. Cinnamon can also help to manage symptoms of diabetes, lower cholesterol, fight bacteria and fungus, and, similarly to holy basil, has anti-inflammatory properties to help prevent free radicals which cause serious diseases including cancer. Add it to your food and drinks at any time of day.
Gone are the days where sage was merely used for for the treatment of a snakebite, protecting against evil, and boosting female fertility. Its modern-day usages are also geared towards quality of life promoting healing, wisdom and longevity. Sage can also help to improve your memory and brain function which can even help those suffering with mild level Alzheimer’s. The herb can also provide the immune system with a boost, lower inflammation, prevent chronic diseases, regulate digestion, alleviate skin conditions, strengthen the bones, slow the onset of cognitive disorders, and prevent or manage diabetes. Sage extract applied topically can also help with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
The bottom line is that to promote longevity for ourselves we need to take life seriously in terms of taking good care of ourselves in all the usual ways, yet there are assistants out there provided by nature that will give us a boost.
Online distance leaning diploma course in Herbalism
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we are really into herbs! Today 75% of medicines produced around the world are derived from herbs. We offer the following courses that once successfully completed will allow you to practice as a holistic therapist:
To see the full range of holistic health therapies we offer visit our A-Z course listing page where you will find more than 60 courses to choose from.