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Discover the Secrets of Anti-Aging Adaptogenic Herbs, Part I

Monday, December 07, 2009 by: Paul Fassa
Tags: anti-aging, herbs, health news

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(NewsTarget) For the past 2500 plus years, both Chinese and Indian Ayruvedic health systems have used adaptogenic herbs as tonics for overall health and longevity. Adaptogens act as regulators or modulators in either direction. Balancing the body's energy and immunity means if there is not enough, more will be created. If there is too much, it will be diminished.

When we take stimulants such as ephedra or caffeine, there is a peak of energy for high performance followed by a drop in both. Adaptogens avoid that and the resulting wear and tear by balancing the body's endocrine and immune system. This allows us to draw on our native energy as needed and relax when not needed.

Adaptogens Defined

When modern western medical scientists started investigating these herbs in the late 1940's, the term adaptogen was adopted, and eventually with its defining features, which are: 1) Nontoxic with normal dosage. 2) Produces a balanced defense against stress in whatever direction is needed. 3) Normalizes the whole body toward homeostasis.

Homeostasis is the internal system's ability to remain constant and balanced despite the external stressors. Hormones are kicked into high gear to create fight or flight responses when dangers appear. Thousands or even hundreds of years ago, stressors were mostly life and death matters.

For most of us, today's dangers are usually less dramatic. But the body's internal reactions remain the same. And usually we don't fight or flight! The resultant stress and anxiety created causes poor health and aging issues.

Adaptogenic Tonic Herbs

The toll of stress on our internal systems is a major source of aging issues. Adaptogenic herbs have been used as anti-aging and longevity tonics for thousands of years. Tonics can be taken daily over a lifetime for overall well being.

They are adaptogenic since the body as a whole is addressed, not just a specific organ or malady that medicinal herbs address. However, there are various differences peculiar to individual physiological characteristics, climates, and emotional needs. It's wise to educate yourself more or consult with an appropriate practitioner or herbalist.

The Basic Approach

The Chinese medicine approach will be used as a guide in this and subsequent follow up articles since it is easier for western minds than Ayurveda. Chinese medicine divides the human energy system into three categories, which are comparable to a candle and its function. They are:

Jing - This is the physiological energy basis or foundation. It is likened to the candle itself, the actual wax portion. It involves all the fluids that hold the body's functions together. When depleted after "burning the candle at both ends" too long, there can be no flame or Qi.

Qi or Chi - This is the function of energy itself. It is the candle's flame. As Qi or Chi, it is the energy that enables our bodies and organs to function. Low or blocked Qi leads to illness. But weak Jing cannot sustain strong Qi. They are very dependent.

Shen - This is the area of spiritual and emotional tone. It involves our attitude and ability to create and our spirituality. And of course, it is dependent on the candle (Jing) and the flame (Qi)!

Of course, adaptogenic herbs or tonics address all three parts of the human candle. But there can be a different emphasis with any of the parts. Different times, different needs, and different situations will determine which herbs should be used to obtain the homeostasis that ensures longevity with a healthy body.

The next article will focus on what some of those herbs are and the methods of preparing them.

Sources for this article available with more information are:





About the author

Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com

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