Anthony Rees ND, Dip Herb Med
Until recently, most people believed growing old and dying was unavoidable. However, it now appears the assumption many of us held as children, that "I will never grow old and die," was not quite as absurd as our parents thought. Different cultures have varied definitions of aging.
Until recently, most people believed growing old and dying was unavoidable. However, it now appears the assumption many of us held as children, that "I will never grow old and die," was not quite as absurd as our parents thought.
Different cultures have varied definitions of aging. In Ayurveda, you’re only as old as your spine is stiff. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, you’re getting old when your digestion weakens. In the Western world, we’re only old when our memory is gone or Medicare runs out!
People at 65 who choose to live in accordance with proper nutrition and wholesome herbs are in the prime of life. They look and feel younger than those in their 40s did just several decades ago. As we progress into the 21st century, many re-discoveries will be made about how to live longer by using nature’s dispensary in the forms of food components, herbs and other natural modalities.
Only about 30 percent of the characteristics of aging are genetically determined. The other 70 percent are linked to lifestyle. As a naturopath I always try to keep people on a balanced path, and encourage the use of "food as medicine." The advice I am sharing with you here is simple and effective. However, I suggest you find out more through your own studies, health food store, naturopath or herbalist.
As people age, they usually get dis-eased in predictable ways. Here is a list of ailments, which afflict people in their "ageing" process.
Agility and Mobility
Regular exercise allows muscles and tendons to be supple. A teaspoon of celery seeds in a glass of hot water every morning relieves stiffness and lack of mobility caused through the build-up of lactic and uric acid. Also, avoid an excess of acid-forming foods and beverages, such as meat and all animal protein, refined white flour, sugar, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol. Make sure that you drink plenty of water, as this helps to flush out these acids. Reduce excess weight in order to help keep mobile.
We all know someone with arthritis. This crippling dis-ease can be helped with the use of proper nutrition, exercise and herbs such as the following:
Burdock helps to eliminate toxins in the body, thereby detoxifying the body of harmful substances which can cause the immune system to dysfunction.
Devil’s claw, a South African herb, has been used for centuries by bushmen to relieve aches and pains. Devil’s claw contains active ingredients which expell uric acid from the body and help reduce inflammation and assist the joints in repair.
Horsetail is used to replace lost silica in the joints, thereby promoting the re-growth and repair of cartilage.
Meadowsweet contains an active ingredient called salicylic acid, which is the basis of the common drug "aspirin." Meadowsweet helps to control the pain associated with arthritis and reduced inflammation. You can take all, or a combination of these herbs to help with arthritis.
A supplement that is proving to be a success in treating arthritis is glucosamine. This natural health product helps to repair damaged joints and assists in building up damaged bone tissue.
This common symptom (not disease) of aging can be alleviated by proper exercise and weight reduction if caused by obesity. Persons with high blood pressure should avoid refined salt in their food preparation, as refined salt raises the fluid volume of blood.
The berries of hawthorn have been proven to strengthen the blood vessels, as well as normalize the blood pressure.
Garlic balances blood pressure if taken as part of a a preventative health strategy against blood pressure.
Bearberry is used to nourish the walls of the blood vessels, in order to keep their elasticity. As one ages, the elasticity of the blood vessels weakens, causing many blood vessel ailments. Stress is a large factor in blood pressure ailments, and can be helped with proper relaxation, and exercise.
Cancer is the number two leading cause of death in North America. With refined and manufactured foods that have had valuable nutrients removed or heat damaged, toxic drugs, mental stress and an environment full of pollutants, there is no wonder our bodies are breaking down! A crucial step in the right direction is whole foods, fresh and certified organic.
Studies have shown that drinking green tea helps protect against cancer. Recently, scientists found that green tea contains polyphenols, chemicals that act as powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants have the ability to inhibit free radical cell damage, which is a factor in the onset and progression of certain types of cancer. A study conducted in China concluded that drinking green tea was associated with significant reductions in risk of rectal and pancreatic cancers in both sexes with a 50 percent reduction in women. As for protection against strokes, results of a four year study of 5,910 Japanese women showed that drinking several cups of green tea daily significantly reduces risk of stroke.
Grapes May Save Your Life
Delicious and healthy organic grapes have hundreds of active beneficial chemical compounds. Phenols, wine’s non-alcoholic components, are natural antioxidants. Grapes contain three compounds that may help reduce the risk of hardening of the arteries. This seems to be the source of the "French Paradox," where French people who consumed high levels of meat, cheese and butter, along with plenty of red wine, had less than half the death rate from heart disease than North Americans.
Red grape juice contains flavonoids, which have been predicted to be a significant factor in protecting against heart attacks. To make sure you’re getting enough flavonoids, take a grape seed extract supplement.
It is time to drop our Nature Apathy, and follow Naturopathy.