Archive for the ‘Tonic Herbs’ Category
The herb of youth and sustained energy is astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus, syn. Astragalus propinquus). It has been used in China for thousands of years as a whole body supertonic, that strengthens muscle and improves metabolic functions. Today, astragalus root extract has been recognized by scientists all around the world who have proved:
Astragalus extracts are immuno-modulating, rich in stress-reducing adaptogenic compounds that help regenerate cell function and healing.
- A potent extract contains astragaloside IV, one of astragalus’ most notable compounds proven to increase immune system response to many viruses and boost cell function.
- Some proprietary extracts contain a blend of molecules called TA-65, which have ben shown to have age-reversing effects, including halting the shortening of DNA telomeres, if not increasing telomere length, which increases the potential lifespan of cells in humans so that they can divide (reproduce) more times without senescence.
- It greatly relieves fatigue and is used by athletes all around the world for peak performance.
In my experience, astragalus provides a long-burning, happy energy with no come-down (I do not notice when it leaves my system). My body feels charged but not over stimulated, and my mind is clear.
BONUS benefits of astragalus:
- It’s a non-bitter, almost caramel-flavored herb. Whether it’s a potent extract powder, tincture, or a tea you make yourself, astragalus’ delightful flavor increases compliance (herbs only work when you take them).
- It’s relatively inexpensive compared to some other herbs. You can get Mountain Rose Herbs bulk astragalus on the cheap (get a few pounds) so you can make your own tea decoction everyday at home.
- A perennial, you can grow your own astragalus in your garden with just about any weather and climate condition.
- Since astragalus is a supertonic herb, it can be used daily and safely with cumulative youthening benefits over a long lifetime.
I use a high quality potent extract of astragalus root in my formula, Longevity in a Bottle. Fans of my work are raving about Longevity in a Bottle and are super excited for it to finally be launched.
Polysaccarides, Sapponins, Polyphenals, and more nutrients from herbs than you can ever get from regular food. No offense, regular food. 🙂
Check out what those top few dozen tonic herbs are HERE.
Bethanne’s (behind the camera) blog.
Top 7 Herbs to Beautify Your Skin in 30 Days Part 1 HERE.
Use prepared (not raw) rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa) root extract for a massive revitalization of the kidneys and nourishment of the liver and blood. When the kidneys (your body’s battery packs), liver and blood are running strong, guess what happens: the skin beautifies with it’s full natural color and glow.
Get yourself the very cost effective bulk organic prepared rehmannia slices from Mountain Rose Herbs and brew them up with spring water and a pinch of stevia on a stove and simmer for 20 minutes or more until you have a dark rich tea. Serve this tea very warm. When you drink it you will feel the lifeforce activate from the core of your being and out to your skin. Hot rehmannia tea is THE most grounding elixir ever – as long as you don’t drink too much at once or it will loosen your stool slightly. 😉
Note: Raw rehmannia extracts are also great but have a cooling and slightly less nourishing effect.
6. Red Asparagus Root
Read all about this “Flying De-Stress” herb HERE.
Prepared (not raw, just like with rehmannia the raw is not as nourishing) He Shou Wu (“Old Black Hair”)(Polygonum multiflorum) has been used by tens of millions of people in Asia to nurture beautiful colorful hair. It deeply nourishes and cleanses the organs (which always leads to nourishing and cleansing of the skin). It greatly increases superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. SOD is a powerful antioxidant (free radical scavenger), demonstrated to have powerful anti-aging benefits in humans.
All 7 of the above herbs + 52 of the other world’s greatest tonic herb concentrates are synergized in my new beautifying product, Longevity in a Bottle. I invite you to pre-order yourself a bottle TODAY!
BONUS Beauty “Herbs:”
These are animal concentrates that behave like tonic herbs in the body, pushing the important “buttons” that create beauty from the inside out. These are generally congruent with a mostly vegetarian/vegan organic lifestyle.
Pearl: Pearl extract or hydrolized pearl has always been considered the quintessential beauty herb for women (and for men as far as I’m concerned.) It is rich in amino acids and trace minerals which nurture the delicate nuances of fantastic skin.
Deer/Elk Antler Tincture: For most people, taking deer/elk antler tincture daily for extended periods of time (but not everyday forever) dramatically recharges hormonal and endocrine health. This in turn causes your body to communicate with itself and create a very youthful look in the face over time. Because most of us come from a background of being exposed to xeno-estrogens (plastics and chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body and displace good hormones), antler extracts (tincture is absorbed the best) may be the powerhouse that someone needs to feel and behave young again.
Ant Extract: Polyrhachis Ant (considered the “herb of kings” in Taoist Tonic Herbalism) is the highest source of bioavailable zinc ever and a rich source of human active vitamin B12. Zinc and B12 get used up by stress. Having ample supply of these nutrients will leave the skin of your face looking bright and radiant, even amidst travel and other stresses.
Royal Jelly: This is the low-sugar high-nutrient honey-like-substance reserved for the royalty of a bee hive. It is a powerful beauty and longevity tonic. One taste and ~ZING!~ you will feel the power. If you can’t get it fresh and direct from a local beekeeper (it’s very susceptible to rancidity), then I recommend getting your hands on Bee Mana, the world’s first organic royal jelly powder.
Fish oil and algae oil: This is how we get those precious long chain omega-3 fatty acids that nourish the nervous system, put out inflammation, and put youth and moisture back into the skin. There are countless fish oil products out there that vary in quality, heavy metal content and ecological origin. I’ll let you do your research on that and decide for yourself what is best for you.
P.S. Playing around with individual herbs is really fun. AND, having them all together in a balanced tried and true formula that’s simple to use is even better. I’m talking about my up and coming anti-aging product, Longevity in a Bottle. Pre-order yourself a bottle NOW!
Before I go into the specific top herbs that beautify your skin in 30 days, there is an idea I want to express to you that is more important than any 1 herb: This idea is that:
Herbs are essential for one’s health. Period.
Even a most wholesome organic modern western diet will skimp on the herbs, or have herbs in small doses for flavoring only. You can take whatever nutritional path you are on, and just ADD HERBS IN! Herbs should have a BIG section in your food pyramid.
The herbs to ‘go to first’ are the tonic herbs which are adaptogenic herbs that tonify the body, are safe for daily use with no side effects, and can be used ongoingly for a lifetime of cumulative benefits.
1. Schisandra Berry
Schisandra Berry (Schisandra chinensis), also Schizandra, the “5-flavor berry,” is the most well-rounded-in-effect herb ever. Those 5 flavors (sour/astringent, sweet, bitter, salty, spicy/pungent,) correspond to a wide range of nutrients and effects on the organs of the body. Schisandra’s dominant sour and astringent flavor boosts liver cleansing and thus skin radiance because they are so closely related. Astringency locks in moisture for the skin and helps your body assimilate all other nutrition consumed with schisandra. A richly-red high antioxidant food and herb to be taken daily for beauty through the ages.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense, Equisetum telmateia, and some other species of the Equisetum genus) is one of the highest bio-available-silica substances ever. And, silica is THE BEAUTY AND YOUTH MINERAL. An extract of a young horsetail plant gives the body the free silica it needs to regenerate tissue and make it soft, supple and strong. Silica is the main co-factor nutrient required in bone growth. The more organic silica you can get in your body the more your skin will be baby soft.
3. Goji Berry
A handful of delicious red-orange goji berries (Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense) or a couple doses of goji berry extract a day is a tradition going back eons to create a youthening effect in the partaker. A super-antioxidant, carotenoid-rich, polysaccharide-laden, flavonoid-dense superfood, goji does wonders for your inner and outer body. It’s not “just a berry.” Try them daily and experience the glow.
Eucommia (Eucommia ulmoides) bark is rich in a rubber/latex substance. An extract of this tissue, joint and skeletal repairing material promotes inner health and beauty and helps youthen the skin. An active constituent in Eucommia, aucubin, has been shown to protect the skin against UV radiation and helps prevent photo-aging.
One of my favorite herbs ever is the red asparagus root (Asparagus cochinchinensis) also known in Chinese tonic herbalism as Tian men dong.
To be perfectly clear, this is not garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis), nor the ayurvedic herb Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), although shatavari is a very prized herb with different effects.
Tian men dong is often considered the flying herb or levitation herb, because is induces a light state. So prized was it that many monks have used it heavily in Asia for generations to induce a profoundly spiritually lifted state and a widened, wiser perspective.
It’s a really fun herb to take because of this lift (with no crash whatsoever), but it’s the long term cumulative effect of taking this herb daily where the real magic is.
Tian men dong is a tonic herb, meaning it is safe for daily use with no side effects. Think of it as a very intelligent superfood.
First let’s go through the legend and lore of Chinese medicine, then I’ll break it down to the science of it. This 5 out of 5-star herb opens the heart, prolongs life and tonifies the sexual functions of both men and women. Not only a keynote aphrodesiac, it tonifies the lungs, nourishes the heart and kidneys, and moistens and beautifies the skin.
The herb is cooling. It’s name suggests so (Tian men dong, or lush winter aerial plant). In Chinese medicine there is a life energy called Shen (your spiritual health), which must be uplifted daily or else it is reduced by stress. This herb dramatically nourishes Shen.
After 2000+ years of traditional use, now we have science to back up the lore:
Sweet and bitter in flavor, and oh so full of adaptogenic (health modulating) molecules. Studies show that consumption of Tian men dong increases interferon (immune system proteins) in humans (a very good thing for immune system response). It possesses anti-tumor functions and is currently being studied for the treatment of lung cancer. It is rich in polysaccharides (immune system food), quercetin, and a huge array of phytonutrients which help your body assimilate more vitamins.
Contraindications: People who run cool or get cold easily should combine this herb with warming foods and herbs like maca and Panax ginseng.
UPDATE JUNE 2013: I love this herb so much that I created a delicious product out of it: LEVITY 100% Pure Red Asparagus Root Extract Powder.
I also put my potent elite-quality extract of red asparagus in my product Longevity in a Bottle.
Recipe: Check out my Butterscotch Flavored Levity Elixir Recipe over at LongevityPower.com!