Staying healthy and maintaining a youthful appearance as you age can quickly burn a hole in your wallet. Many methods to prevent aging, such as botox and cosmetic fillers, are expensive and provide only temporary results. However, traditional medicine has used natural herbs and spices for centuries, and they have proven to be powerful against age-related diseases and skincare concerns. So why not give them a try? Here are five natural, anti-aging herbs and spices to incorporate into your diet and skincare routine.
Basil is a staple in most kitchens and a popular herb used in many Italian dishes. While there are many basil varieties, the most popular type is sweet basil, commonly used in Western cooking. In Ayurvedic medicine, another form of basil, known as holy basil, plays a role in the prevention of age-related health conditions.
Holy basil contains adaptogens that boost the body’s ability to fight stress, a leading cause of premature aging. The adaptogens balance out cortisol levels, producing a calming effect on the mind and body. By managing the stress hormone, holy basil reduces the risk of stress-related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Since stress also affects the skin, applying the herb topically can reduce inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
A primary spice used in Indian cuisine is turmeric, which gives curry its golden yellow color. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and this compound provides turmeric its potent, anti-aging properties. A powerful antioxidant, the compound protects cells from free radicals which damage cells and lead to aging.
If you mix turmeric powder with a small amount of milk, the paste acts as a deep exfoliator to improve the appearance of your skin, evening out skin tone, and visibly reducing pores. Used regularly, it can also tighten the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Aside from the visible signs of aging, turmeric may prevent a variety of health conditions that coincide with aging. Scientists in the UK are exploring ways to use curcumin as an eye drop to treat patients with early signs of glaucoma. Researchers are also exploring turmeric as a cancer treatment that could help prevent or slow the spread of cancer.
A common herb used in the kitchen, oregano is a flowering plant often used to flavor pizza, and a common herb used in the kitchen. Extracting oil from the leaves of the plants produces oregano oil. The oil contains a compound called carvacrol, which prevents aging and improves overall health.
If you dilute oregano essential oil in a carrier oil, it is safe to apply it topically to the skin. The oil contains a host of antioxidants and vitamins, which improves skin elasticity and produces a fresh glow.
Oregano oil may also speed up the healing of small scrapes and cuts due to its antibacterial properties. Researchers have also found that oregano oil mixed with a variety of other herbs and spices lowered glucose levels, which is promising in managing diabetes symptoms.
Bilberries are native to Europe and are known as blueberries outside of the US. Bilberry extract is a popular herbal supplement that contains chemicals known as anthocyanosides. These chemicals provide bilberries with their purple color and play a role in promoting eye health.
Studies have shown that bilberries may reduce the risk of cataracts and glaucoma due to their ability to strengthen blood vessels, shielding the eyes from retinal damage. The berries also increase blood flow and promote circulation, supplying extra oxygen to the skin. This boost of oxygen maintains skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of varicose veins.
Ginkgo biloba, more commonly referred to as ginkgo, is a tree native to the Chinese region. Traditionally, the plant’s seeds and leaves were used in Chinese medicine to treat respiratory ailments and improve cognitive performance. The two active components in ginkgo are flavonoids and terpenoids.
Flavonoids protect cells from damage and contribute to healthy, youthful skin. Applying ginkgo extract onto the skin acts as a barrier from UV damage, similar to the effects of sunscreen. The other active ingredient, terpenoid, increases blood circulation and may prevent blood clots, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Whether you’re trying to prevent age-related health complications or looking for ways to reverse visible signs of aging, anti-aging herbs and spices are a natural way to do the trick. So incorporate these herbs and spices into your lifestyle, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy, vibrant life.