Advertising
Advertising

Top 18 Herbs that Promote Long Life

Top 18 Herbs that Promote Long Life

Of the hundreds of edible herbs, there are several that can be categorized as “life prolonging.” While some of the better known herbs have a reputation for boosting the digestive or immune system, or for helping people become more mentally alert or have better vision, there are some powerful herbs that specifically work to prevent serious diseases and illnesses, particularly in the area of heart health and overall cardiovascular fitness.

A general review of the medical evidence to support claims made for herbs was published in WebMD. It discussed many of the ways in which herbs help aid practically every known component of the human body, from cardio health to brain function. Keep in mind that many herbs have been around for more than a thousand years as remedies for common ailments. Garlic and Echinacea are just two examples of herbs that have a long, rich history as healing agents.

Any herbal plant that is able to make the heart work better or just achieve a better state of health can indeed prolong a person’s life. Heart attacks are one of the most common causes of death in industrialized nations. Likewise, herbs that work to boost the immune system can keep the body generally more healthy and go a long way toward increasing longevity. Here is a brief outline of the 18 best-known herbs that can help add years to a person’s life, either through better heart health or by addressing serious illnesses and the immune system. The name of each herb is followed by a short description of its medical effects:

1. Garlic

Garlic has been used for decades to help control high blood pressure and to prevent heart disease. In addition, some people use it because of its bacteria-killing properties and suspected role as a way to prevent certain types of cancer.

2. Hawthorn

This herb works to bring on lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate and open the arteries. It is reported that hawthorn takes several months before the benefits become apparent.

Advertising

3. Guggul

A cholesterol-specific herb that chemically reduces “bad cholesterol” even before it is able to reach the blood.

4. Horse chestnut

This age-old remedy, long popular in Europe, strengthens veins and capillaries, thus reducing swelling. Healthier veins are an all-around form of protection against a wide array of heart ailments.

5. Cinnamon

This tasty little herb is known to strengthen the circulatory system in various ways, primarily by reducing high blood-sugar levels and controlling cholesterol.

6. Dandelion

Long beloved in the West for its use in a home-brewed wine, dandelion is an effective way to get blood pressure under control. The chemical mechanism by which this process works is intriguing: Dandelion actually reduces the amount of blood in the body, thus cutting down on overall blood pressure.

7. Angelica root

People who have weak hearts often take angelica root as a remedy. For centuries, this oddly named root has built a reputation as a general strengthener of the circulatory system and especially the heart itself.

Advertising

8. Coriander

Working much the same way as angelica root, coriander is another herb that works in numerous ways, and through several chemical processes, to energize and empower the human cardiovascular system.

9. Cayenne

This well known herb is often used to slow the rate of bleeding in accident victims. It also works by making blood vessels more elastic. As a result, cayenne is an effective agent for establishing normal blood pressure.

10. Motherwort

This herb has been around for centuries, though only today are scientists learning how it works. It contains a rare alkaloid by the name of leonurine, which directly relaxes the heart muscles when taken in therapeutic doses.

11. Gynostemma

An effective herb for healing wounds and making the heart stronger. It also affects the entire circulatory system in beneficial ways.

12. Echinacea

An internationally popular way to fight infections, eliminate dangerous bacteria, and bolster the immune system. Echinacea is one of the best-selling herbal supplements in retails stores in the U.S. and Europe.

Advertising

13. Astragalus

Popular among the ancient inhabitants of China, this herb is a powerful agent that helps strengthen the immune system.

14. Elderberry

Contagious influenza is a serious global problem, especially in underdeveloped nations. Elderberry helps prevent the flu and is an effective way to prevent its spread within large populations.

15. Andrographis

Okay, perhaps not a life or death issue, but this hard-to-pronounce herb is a powerful cold remedy.

16. Kelp

An ancient remedy for infections of various kinds, kelp is one of the most commonly consumed herbs on earth, especially in Asia. The secret to its power is high iodine content.

17. Yucca Root

Arthritis sufferers have long known the relief provided by this root with the strange-sounding name.

Advertising

18. Nettle

Arthritis and hay fever, as well as anemia, are the primary maladies treated with nettle.

What about tea?

Tea is in an in-between category with respect to its categorization as both an herb and a spice. Because many teas are fermented during processing, they can be considered spices. But because the leaf is the part of the tea plant we use, some consider it to be an herb. Because drinks like matcha tea use the entire leaf of the tea plant, they are perhaps more commonly thought of as herbs, rather than spices, which tend to come from parts of a plant other than the leaves.

Herbs have been in existence longer than humans, and these ancient plants provide much more than a source of food flavoring. It is thought that some of the earliest human communities consumed herbs and drinks made from them to treat various ailments. Now, medical science is taking a closer look at the exact chemical processes that make particular plants and herbs virtual healers among the earth’s flora.

Whatever one’s specific reason for taking herbs, one of the most important is the prolonging of human life. Herbs play a vital role in the life of our species and will likely continue to do so for as long as human beings roam the planet.

Featured photo credit: Herbs/Hornet Arts via flickr.com

More by this author

Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

Wealthy, Successful People Who Choose Less over More: 10 Real-Life Stories of Minimalists If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First Why Do We All Feel Empty Sometimes Everything We Can Learn from the Most Famous Entrepreneurs Around the World YouTube Blogger 4 Pillars of Becoming a Successful YouTube Blogger

Trending in Health

1 How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind 2 Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It) 3 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 4 12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health 5 17 Healthy Late Night Snacks for When Midnight Cravings Hit

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

Advertising

This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

Advertising

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

Advertising

For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Advertising

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

More About Mental Strength

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Read Next