Herbal medicine can help our bodies and minds as we move through life, and may encourage us to age more gracefully.
The aging process is, of course, natural and inevitable. It is an accumulation of lessons learned and life lived, but with so many experiences available to us many people seek to slow down the aging process so that they can add life to their years while adding years to their life. And it never hurts to look good too!
There are a few body systems that have the greatest impact on our physical and mental health. When we support the underlying issues that influence whether someone looks older or younger than their actual years we can be pro-active in the aging process. Elements that encourage aging of both body and mind include toxic burden, emotional/mental/physical stress, and inflammation.
To ease the load on our bodies and minds of these factors there are two key herbs to consider.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an herbal powerhouse with more than 5000 references in published medical journals! It has three key actions on the body that have been well documented over several thousand years as a key herb in India and Ayurvedic medicine, as well as in modern day research trials. It is liver protective, anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic (anti-cancer).
By supporting the removal of toxins from the body through increased bile flow while supporting the health of the liver cells and protecting them from the very toxins they metabolize, as well as by reducing inflammation throughout the body, turmeric deserves a place in your supplement regime. It is an edible spice and can easily be added to cooking, however, it can be difficult for most people to achieve a therapeutic daily dose through diet alone. In our polluted world with low-grade inflammation linked to a myriad of health issues, a concentrated whole food turmeric supplement can be a game changer.
Inflammation is a necessary process in the body for healing from acute injury, infection, or trauma. However, when it becomes chronic it is associated with a variety of health concerns; from cardiovascular to pain with movement and can even cause depression and anxiety through the effects of inflammatory signals on the brain. Regulating inflammation in the body is an essential component to feeling your best now and in years to come.
Another herb that shines with its ability to support longevity and healthy aging by addressing multiple systems at once is an additional Ayurvedic herb, ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a calming adaptogen that benefits thyroid health. Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help us to adapt to change, which in turn helps with our stress response. Some adaptogens are stimulating and give an energy boost, while some are neutral and simply support the body over time. Ashwagandha is one of the few adaptogenic herbs that help us feel calmer and sleep better, simultaneously supporting our stress response over time. It’s right there in the Latin name “somnifera” – “somnus” is Latin for sleep and ashwagandha has a long history of relaxing restless bodies and minds.
Ashwagandha can be taken in the morning for those who jolt out of bed with their heart pounding, already anxious for the day ahead, or it can be taken closer to bedtime to help promote a restful sleep.
When we sleep, we heal. When we can laugh and let it go and roll with the curve balls that life throws, then we are in a better position to age gracefully both in body and mind. When we are calm and balanced we are more likely to make better decisions for our ultimate well-being. Choosing good nutrition over fast food “treats”, or deciding to get some exercise or perhaps connect with a friend rather than more negative, self-destructive behaviors can result in more positive health. Ashwagandha can be a wonderful support in helping us reach and stay in that “better place”.
Liquid vs Dried Herbs
Liquid herbal extracts offer superior absorption to dried herbs in capsules as the medicinal actives are already in solution and ready for absorption. Dried herbs that are not being steeped into a tea or tincture first have a limited window in the upper digestive tract to be solubilized and absorbed. Botanica’s liquid capsules were originally extracted in a water and alcohol blend to access the full array of medicinal actives. That extract is then added to glycerin and the alcohol and water are removed leaving behind a concentrated liquid extract that is delivered in a vegetarian capsule. They offer the body a powerful dose of herbal medicinal actives in a liquid form that is convenient for travel, ideal for those who avoid alcohol for religious or other reasons, or who want the benefit of a tincture without actually tasting the medicine.
Foundational elements to living well and aging beautifully include whole food nutrient dense meals, optimal digestion and detoxification, movement, sleep, and joy. Botanica’s Turmeric and Ashwagandha capsules can help to support those elements directly (detoxification, sleep), and indirectly (increased mobility from decreased pain, and mood regulation).