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Top Ten Anti-aging Chinese Medicine Remedies (1)

23 February 2008
 

The earliest reference on anti-aging herbal remedy can be found in the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Medicine (《黄帝内经》), one of the four classic works on Chinese medicine written over 2000 years ago:

“The ancients, who knew about the Way of the Universe, closely followed the path of yin-yang, greatly empowered by the arts of transcendence, kept monitoring their diet, consciously regulating their activities and carefully avoiding obsession with passion, were able to maintain physical and mental heath for a hundred years.”

上古之人,其知道者,法于阴阳,和以术数,食饮有节,起居有常,不妄作劳,故能形与神俱,而尽终其天年,度百岁乃去

Of 365 remedies listed in the classic Divine Farmer’s Herbal Medicine (《神农本草经》) , about one third are categorised in first grade that possesses anti-aging properties while causing no or neglectable toxic side effects. Since the publication of the book, more herbal remedies containing natural antioxidants have been discovered. The following is a brief introduction of the top ten anti-aging herbals with their medicinal values being verified by both traditional Chinese and modern Western medical studies:

1) Fleece-flower Root (heshouwu 何首乌)

These plants can be found in most parts of China along the mountain streams and in valleys with thick shrubs. A fully grown plant could reach more than 4 metre high.

A steamed root possesses a slightly warm nature which brings positive effects to liver and kidney, while a raw root is more mild and helps promote the function of heart, liver and large intestine.

According to another classic Chinese medicine work Kaibao Herbal Medicine (《开宝本草》), produced during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), regular intake of fleece-flower root can help strengthen bones, develop nerve cells, lower blood sugar, replenish liver function, enhance cholesterol metabolism, clear away toxins, and restore the vitality, which are all essential for keeping a youthful figure and prolonging life.

2) Astragalus Root (huangqi 黄芪)

These herbal plants can be found in north and east parts of China. They have hairy stems and paired leaflets and are less than a metre tall.

Astragalus has properties of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and diuretic that helps eliminate fluid from the body, and thus works as a superb remedy to address the problems with spleen and stomach.

In Chinese medicine, spleen and stomach are attributed as a pair of Earth agents, with the stomach functioning as yang that converts the food and fluid into tangible nutritious essence (精), and spleen as yin, transforming the nutritious essence into qi, the intangible vital energy (气), and blood. Together, they play the central role in nourishing the body, sustaining individual life and maintaining health and well being.

Modern studies also confirm that astragalus root possesses the tonic properties that can neutralize the negative effects of damaging free radicals by cell division and dilution, which helps slowdown the aging process.

3) Ginseng (renshen 人参)

This species of vegetation with flashy roots that bear a resemblance to a human body grows extremely slow, and can only be found in cold and shady mountain regions in northern China and other northeast Asian countries.

Ginseng contains ginsenosides that include phosphorous, potassium, calciumm, sodiaum, iron, aluminum, silicon, barium, strontium, manganese, titanium, glucose, resins, saponin, tannin, aromatic bitters, volatile oils, panacin, and a dozen of other biological active compounds. Clinical evidences show it helps stimulate the blood circulation, increases oxygen usage, reduces heart rate and decreases lactic acid levels in the blood.

In the Divine Farmer’s Herbal Medicine, ginseng is described as having the power to "nurture five organs, calm emotions, appease spirits, heal anxieties, release decayed energy locked in the body, and improve eye health, mental function and intellectual performance". "If taking it on a regular basis" - the book says - "it would bring longevity" (补五脏,安精神,定魂魄,止惊悸,除邪气,明目开心益智。久服轻身延年).

An Austrian double blind study confirmed marked improvement in patients' mental and intellectual functioning after taking the ginseng remedy. In another study in China conducted by Chinese Medicine researcher Huo Yushu (霍玉书), the effects of gensing on delaying or even reversing - under some certain conditions and to a certain degree - the aging process (返老还童) were investigated and validated.

Top Ten Anti-aging Chinese Medicine Remedies (2)
Top Ten Anti-aging Chinese Medicine Remedies (3)

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