Anti-aging Herbal Therapy
TCM Herbal Medicine for Graceful Aging
TCM views the process of aging as a depletion of organ function, specifically Kidney organ, and exhaustion of fundamental substances, such as essence, qi, blood, body fluids and spirit. According to TCM, the Kidney organ system is the original source of Essence and primal qi, also called Yuan Qi. Each person is born with a certain amount of Yuan Qi, the life force at birth. While normal aging causes Kidney Qi to become deficient, other factors such as chronic emotional stress, overwork, prolonged illness, overuse of stimulants and drugs, over exercise, excessive sexual activities can accelerate the exhaustion of Kidney qi and essence, leading to premature aging and decline of vitality.
Another important organ that contributes to the aging process is the Spleen, which functions as the main digestive organ in TCM. Spleen transforms food into Qi and Blood in the form of nutrients and transports them throughout the body. As we age, the Spleen decreases the ability to metabolize nutrients and replenish the body with Qi and Blood, leaving the body under nourished. Our modern hectic lifestyles frequently cause Spleen deficiency as a result of improper diet, processed foods and irregular eating habits. The truth is most people have Spleen deficiency to a certain degree in the fast paced world we live in now.
Signs of premature aging are easily identified as premature graying, hairloss and thinning, diminished hearing and vision, weakness and pain in the lower back and knees. A loss of appetite for food and sexual desire and sexual dysfunction is also a hallmark sign of decline of vitality, signifying depleted Kidney and Spleen energy.
Fortunately, it is not too late to replenish the Qi of these vital organs to resist premature aging. Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has a long history of preserving health and vitality. There are many carefully crafted, time tested classic herbal formulas that are used for this purpose, such as Huan Shao Dan, (“ Returning to Youth Pills ”), Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan, (“ Seven Treasures for Beautiful Hair Pills ” ), Zhen Bao Fang, (“ Vital Treasure Formula”), to name a few. Many herbs possess anti-aging properties by tonifying the Yang qi of the Kidneys and Spleen, and replenishing the vital substances of Jing Qi Shen. Recent research studied the active ingredients and pharmacological effects of several Chinese herbs on their anti-aging properties along with other therapeutic effects.
- Herbs that Invigorate Qi and strengthen Yang
- Ginseng (Renshen)- increases lifespan, regulates the function of cardiovascular, nervous, and cutaneous system through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- Astragalus (Huangqi) – demonstrates immuno-regulatory, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, antihyperglycemic, hepatoprotective, expectorant and diuretic effect
- Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi)-increases lifespan; exerts immunomodulatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, and anti-tumor effects
- Cistanches (Roucongrong) – used for chronic renal disease, impotence, female infertility, morbid leukorrhea, profuse menorrhagia and senile constipation; has direct lifespan elongation effect
- Herbs that Nourish Yin and body fluids
- Lycium (Gouqi)- contains abundant polysaccharides; has anti-aging effect through antioxidant, immunoregulatory, anti-apoptotic properties and reduces DNA damage
- Dendrobium (Shihu) – contains astringent, analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory substances; is traditionally used to enhance body fluids and nourish stomach
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