You’ve gotten over the shock of your fortieth birthday—-maybe way over it. You’ve come to accept changes in your mind and body. Your skin is wrinkling, that spare tire won’t go away, you forget the occasional name. The circles under your eyes are getting darker, your hair grayer. Sound familiar?
Aging involves our whole being—it’s a biological, physical, psychological and cultural process. According to some inherent genetic code, our cellular processes have started to decline. Our immune system has become less efficient. The connective tissue in our skin produces more collagen than elastin, so the tissue is less pliable. Free radicals are taking their toll on various cell and organ systems. Whatever is happening, it happens to the best of us.
Although the legendary fountain of youth doesn’t exist, the search for improved longevity—living better lives longer—is far from a hopeless task. In fact, it can be a highly rational process, one that involves identifying risks associated with aging and minimizing or treating those risks. Herbs can be some of our best allies in this process. They help improve, strengthen and heal major body systems as we age. Via the following links, you’ll find our picks for the best-researched and most useful herbs for living longer and healthier lives.
Steven Foster is an authority on medicinal herbs, and the author of many books, including Steven Foster’s Guide to Herbal Dosages (Interweave Press, 1999).
• Bradley, P. R., ed. British Herbal Compendium. Vol 1. Dorset, England: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992.
• Brown, D. Herbal Prescriptions for Better Health. Rocklin, California: Prima, 1997.
• Foster, S. 101 Medicinal Herbs. Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press, 1998.
• Schulz, V., R. Hansel, and V. E. Tyler. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physicians’ Guide to Herbal Medicine. Berlin: • Springer, 1998.
• Weiss, R. F. Herbal Medicine. Translated from the German by A. R. Meuss. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield, 1988.
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