Anti-Aging Herbs & Spices For The Heart, Circulatory System, Liver, Brain & Reproductive Systems of Men and Women

     Anti-aging herbs and spices are relative to what is being "aged", ie., which of our systems.   For the alcohol abuser it's the liver, for females but not males,  it may be the reproductive system, and for those with a family history of dementia it may be the brain.   When we focus on anti aging herbs and spices we need to decide what is it we are worried about and then direct our energies to that concern.    If you are not familiar with the distinctions between herbs and spices click here.

     Here is a short list of herbs and spices specific to the issues associated with aging.   Also it's good practice to remember that one can also overcome the aging process not solely by herb and spice consumption or substitution, as much as by eliminating harmful habits or foods such as alcohol, excess salt and sugar which occurs when herbs are used as seasonings or flavorings.

Brain Herbs:

     With the brain a major consideration is blood flow since this one organ demands the most blood of any organ.  Anything that impedes blood flow or reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients is detrimental to the brain.  When blood is thinner and not heavy or thick then more blood flows quicker and easier to the heart thus keeping brain cells alive and well.   With that in mind the below are recommended:

Gingko - (Ginkgo biloba)

   It is one of the top 5 medications prescribed in Germany to improve memory, improve attention span and memory as well as increase blood flow throughout the brain as a blood thinner.   There are over 400 studies published on it's efficacy and many of the studies have a target group over age 50.

Gotu kola - (Centella asiatica)

   Often used to improve memory and has been cited as being able to overcome stress and fatigue.  Steven Foster in his book, Steven's Foster Guide To Herbal Dosages, has broken out what dosage to use and what type compound to be aware of for an effective clinical response.

Liver Herbs:

Milk Thistle - (Silybum marianum)

   For over 2,000 years this herb has been reportedly used for liver malfunction.   The liver, being a filtering organ,  is affected by reducing the quantity and types of harmful chemicals allowed to enter the organ.  It is used to stimulate new liver cells which is a characteristic of this organ to reproduce and has been known to be an effective anti-oxidant which limits the toxic effects of oxidants.

Dandelion - (Taraxacum officinale)

   In animals it has been shown to increase bile production which is a digestive enzyme that helps aid in digestion.  By helping increase the digestability of consumed foods the work of the liver as a cleanser is reduced.   The effects of the leaves and flowers for the liver is not known at this time.

Reproductive Herbs:

Black Cohosh - (Cimicifuga racemosa)

   For women this herb has been known to reduce the severity of hot flashes and improve mood, also used for depression and to improve sleep.   Primarily believed to affect beneficially ovarian function during menopause.

Saw Palmetto - (Serenoa repens)

   For men this herb has been used to prevent prostrate conditions such as benign prostratic hyperplasia ( BPH) a preventive herb.

Circulatory Herbs:

Garlic - (Allium sativum)

    What more is there to say about this wonderful root herb?   Known to reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and as a blood thinner.  There are many forms of garlic preparations and one should consider the dosages carefully and choose products with approved constituent ingredients in the formulations.  Garlic is a great herb to use for food seasonings in many dishes.

Hawthorn - (Crataegus spp.)

Shown to improve blood flow to the heart muscles itself which then improves the heart's ability to pump more blood into the circulatory venuous and arterial system.  Used after heart attacks and as a supplement for those suffering from congestive heart failure.   As with all herbs one should not use Hawthorn extract with other medications and only upon disclosure to the treating physician.

  Information in this article is derived from, and we recommend,  The Herb Companion as a source of valid information often using research by the American Botanical Council and Stephen Foster.


Child Eating Horehound Candy

 Horehound, Sore Throat Herb

, or horehound (Marrubium vulgare, Linn.), a perennial plant of the natural order Labiatæ, formerly widely esteemed in cookery and medicine, but now almost out of use except for making candy which some people still eat in the belief that it relieves tickling in the throat due to coughing. In many parts of the world hoarhound has become naturalized on dry, poor soils, and is even a troublesome weed in such situations. Bees are very partial to hoarhound nectar, and make a pleasing honey from the flowers where these are abundant. This honey has been almost as popular as hoarhound candy, and formerly was obtainable at druggists. Except in isolated sections, it has ceased to be sold in the drug stores. The generic name Marrubium is derived from a Hebrew word meaning bitter. The flavor is so strong and lasting that the modern palate wonders how the ancient mouth could stand such a thing in cookery.

IMage of Bog Bean Heritage Herb & Flowers Used for Eye Disease

  Historically Bog Bean Used For Eye Paralysis

BOG BEAN (or Marsh-trefoil).

   The Buck-bean, or Bog-bean, which is common enough in stagnant pools, and on our spongy bogs, is the most serviceable of all known herbal tonics. It may be easily recognised growing in water by its large leaves overtopping the surface, each being composed of three leaflets, and resembling the leaf of a Windsor Broad Bean. The flowers when in bud are of a bright rose [59] color, and when fully blown they have the inner surface of their petals thickly covered with a white fringe, on which account the plant is known also as "white fluff." The name Buckbean is perhaps a corruption of scorbutus, scurvy; this giving it another title, "scurvy bean." And it is termed "goat's bean," perhaps from the French le bouc, "a he-goat." The plant flowers for a month and therefore bears the botanical designation, "Menyanthes" (trifoliata) from meen, "a month," and anthos, "a flower." It belongs to the Gentian tribe, each of which is distinguished by a tonic and appetizing bitterness of taste.

  The root of the Bog Bean is the most bitter part, and is therefore selected for medicinal use. It contains a chemical glucoside, "Menyanthin," which consists of glucose and a volatile product, "Menyanthol." For curative purposes druggists supply an infusion of the herb, and a liquid extract in combination with liquorice. These preparations are in moderate doses, strengthening and antiscorbutic; but when given more largely they are purgative and emetic. Gerard says if the plant "be taken with mead, or honied water, it is of use against a cough"; in which respect it is closely allied to the Sundew (another plant of the bogs) for relieving whooping-cough after the first feverish stage, or any similar hacking, spasmodic cough. A tincture is made (H.) from the whole plant with spirit of wine, and this proves most useful for clearing obscuration of the sight, when there is a sense, especially in the open-air, of a white vibrating mist before the eyes; and therefore it has been given with marked success in early stages of amaurotic paralysis of the retina. The dose should be three or four drops of the tincture with a tablespoonful of cold water three times in the day for a week at a time.

From the Heritage Herbs Collection by M.G. Kains, American Agriculturist, 1912.

Betony Herb Plant W Leaves and Flowers

BETONY Herb Plants Used For Headaches

Few, if any, herbal plants have been more praised for their supposed curative virtues than the Wood Betony (Stachys Betonica), belonging to the order of Labiates. By the common people it is often called Bitny. The name Betonica is from the Celtic "ben," head, and "tonic," good, in allusion to the usefulness of the herb against infirmities of the head. It is of frequent growth in shady woods and meadows, having aromatic leaves, and spikes (stakoi) of light purple flowers. Formerly it was held in the very highest esteem as a leading herbal simple. The Greeks loudly extolled its good qualities. Pliny, in downright raptures, styled itante cunctas laudatissima! An old Italian proverb ran thus: Vende la tunica en compra la Betonia, "Sell your coat, and buy Betony;" whilst modern Italians, when speaking of a most excellent man, say, [49] "He has as many virtues as Betony"—He piu virtù che Bettonica.

In the Medicina Britannica, 1666, we read: "I have known the most obstinate headaches cured by daily breakfasting for a month or six weeks on a decoction of Betony, made with new milk, and strained."

Antonius Musa, chief physician to the Emperor Augustus, wrote a book entirely on the virtues of this herb. Meyrick says, inveterate headaches after resisting every other remedy, have been cured by taking daily at breakfast a decoction made from the leaves and tops of the Wood Betony. Culpeper wrote: "This is a precious herb well worth keeping in your house." Gerard tells that "Betony maketh a man have a good appetite to his meat, and is commended against ache of the knuckle bones" (sciatica).

A pinch of the powdered herb will provoke violent sneezing. The dried leaves formed an ingredient in Rowley's British Herb Snuff, which was at one time quite famous against headaches.

Balm herb plant is used as antibiotic dressing for wounds and for menstruation

Melissa Balm Herb Plant Leaves

BALM - Heritage Medicinal Herb Plant Used For Bandaging and Destroying Infectious Germs - Menstruation Aid Herb.

  The herb Balm, or Melissa, which is cultivated quite commonly in our cottage gardens, has its origin in the wild, or bastard Balm, growing in our woods, especially in the South of England, and bearing the name of "Mellitis." Each is a labiate plant, and "Bawme," say the Arabians, "makes the heart merry and joyful." The title, "Balm," is an abbreviation of Balsam, which signifies "the chief of sweet-smelling oils;" Hebrew, Bal smin, "chief of oils"; and the botanical suffix, Melissa, bears reference to the large quantity of honey (mel) contained in the flowers of this herb.

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