The link between nutrition and longevity is perhaps obvious. Make sure you are eating a broad range of top nutrition, reduce your calorific intake and you will dramatically improved your life expectancy.
But there are also a variety of herbs and superfoods, documented in sacred scriptures from around the world, (and re-appearing in modern preparations), with an ancient pedigree of combatting or even reversing the effects of agening.These tonics are attributed with the power to keep you young, restore your hair colour, give you the strength of a stallion and the sexual potency of a twenty-something.
Listed here are examples of plants with these reputations. As always, you should research these things yourself and rely your intuition when looking to enhance your diet with longevity in mind.
Ashwagandha is the tonic for the 21st centuary lifestyle, it is said to bring "the strength of a stallion". It is known as Indian Ginseng. It is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine.
Ashwagandha is rejuvenating and strengthening to the nervous system, and it works as a mild depressant to the over agitated nerves whilst nourishing and protecting. So it is excellent for stress induced disorders such as Insomnia, Anxiety, Neurosis.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, so it helps the body and mind adapt to stress that cannot be avoided, whilst strengthening and calming the mind and body.
Brahmi Bacopa Monniera
Brahmi is named after the Hindu God Brahman, who is the all pervading consciousness responsible for all "creative forces" in the world. Bacopa monniera is the authentic Brahmi, it is often confused with Hydrocotyle asiatica or Gota Kola which is also known as Brahmi in North India.
Brahmi is recommended for use in adults and children as it is mild and gentle and appropriate for any age. It is a tonic in Ayurveda.
Cordyceps Cordyceps sinensis
Cordyceps / Cordyceps sinensis is a much praised and highly sought after herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has a wide range of potential therapeutic possibilities including longevity. It is also known as a performance enhancer. (Cordyceps are said to be the secret weapon for the unexpected success of the Chinese atheletes in the 1996 Olympic games!)
Fo-ti (Ho Shou Wu) Polygonum multiflorum
Fo ti is one of the most widely praised herbs in Chinese herbal medicine, some claiming that it is second only to Ginseng in reputation and use.
In China, Fo-Ti has a long history of reversing and preventing the effects of ageing as a bittersweet, astringent, slightly warming herb that was first recorded in 973 A.D as a key remedy for the elderly. The Chinese common name for Fo-Ti is "He-Shou-Wu," and its history is rich in legend.
Ginkgo Biloba Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo is one of the most popular herbs in use today, originating in Asia. It is the oldest surviving tree on earth and it has been used traditionally to improve concentration and memory. It is also known to stimulate circulation and thin the blood. It should not be taken along side blood thinning medicine.
Goji Wolf Berries Lycium barbarum
Goji berries / Wolf berries are known as the ultimate tonic for longevity, within the Chinese medicine tradition. They are thought to nourish Yin energy in the body, having a cooling and nourishing effect on the whole system. They are the perfect daily tonic for modern living, which is said to create too much heat, fire and Yang energy in the body. Goji berries have been used in traditional Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese medicine for 1000s of years.
Gynostemma is a powerful and inexpensive tonic herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine with potent adaptogenic qualities, which is well suited to the modern western lifestyle.
Korean Ginseng Panax Ginseng
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Korean Panax Ginseng is used to promote yang energy, increase the blood supply and improve blood circulation. Panax Ginseng is a stimulant, so it is energizing and can help restore vitality after illness.
Korean Ginseng is an adaptogen so this means it is indicated as a stress busting herb. Because Panax Ginseng is stimulating and helps buffer the cycle of stress, it stands out as an excellent tonic for the modern lifestyle.
In Chinese medicine it is used as a tonic for the whole body system in times of weakness, fatigue and stress.
Mucuna / Kapikachhu Mucuna pruriens
Kapikachhu / Mucuna pruriens is a well known Ayurvedic herb. It is well documented for its Aphrodisiac qualities as well as for trating Parkinsons Disease and a range of other conditions.
Mucuna / Kapikachhu has an interesting range of unusual phyto-chemicals including l-dopa.
Reishi Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum
The Reishi mushroom is one of the most valued plants in traditional Chinese medicine, and is described with Ginseng as one of the two most important elixirs.
Rhodiola Rosea Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea optimises the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your body, meaning reduced stress levels and fatigue as well as increased mental and physical performance.
Schizandra Schizandra chinensis
Schizandra is documented in early Chinese texts as a superior herb capable of promoting overall well-being and enhancing bodily vitality.
Siberian Ginseng Eleutherococcus snticosus
In China it has an ancient reputation as a LOVE POTION. This is probably because of it's capacity to boost physical endurance, create stamina and endless energy in the user.
It helps the body adapt to an extreme environment and fight stress, in the form of exhaustion and physical overwhelm. As an aphrodisiac it stimulates the bodies wellbeing by sooth the over-adrenalised burn out experience and encourages stamina and strength.
Siberian ginseng stimulates the bodies natural stamina and physical prowess during love making.