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At 26 years old, I’m already taking steps to stay young.

Call me paranoid or weird if you wish. I like to think of myself as a forward thinker.

The way I see it, why wait until things are going downhill to give your body and mind the nutrients they need to stay young?

No matter what age you are, if you also want your mind and body to remain as strong, quick, adaptable, and resilient as possible for as long as possible, you’re in the right place.

I’ve found the following four herbs to be powerful tools to stay young and reverse the trends of aging.

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at how each herb can help.

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Turmeric

If you’re on this website, I highly doubt I need to tell you what turmeric is!

This culinary spice, famous for its use in Indian curries and American mustards, has long been known to pack a serious medicinal punch.

Dozens of studies show turmeric’s ability to stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks by blocking the formation of bety-amyloid, the substance that builds up as plaque in the brain and impedes mental function.

Turmeric also contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds. These make turmeric a powerful treatment for arthritis, reducing both pain and inflammation.

Turmeric has also been shown to bring potent antioxidant and detoxifying effects to the body. The less inflammation, free radicals, and toxins in your body, the younger you’ll feel!

Turmeric can be taken as a supplement (400-600mg, 3x daily or as directed by product label), made into a tea, or added to pretty much any culinary dish.

I love turmeric added to eggs, curries, soups, and stir-fries. For more help working turmeric into your diet, check out this page here.

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Eleuthero

Eleuthero, aka Siberian ginseng, comes from mountain forest regions in east Asia. Eleuthero is only a distant relative to actual ginseng. It acts as an “adaptogen,” meaning it adapts its effects to bring balance to your body’s unique issues.

Eleuthero is commonly used to alleviate fatigue and improve energy, stamina, and endurance. Animal studies show promising evidence that it improves memory, boosts the immune system, and has anti-inflammatory properties as well.

Studies from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) also show that eleuthero may be helpful for relieving symptoms of the common cold and herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2).

Eleuthero is available in tinctures or capsules. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends 100 to 200mg twice a day unless otherwise instructed by the product label. You’ll need to take this herb regularly for an extended period of time to notice effects.

Because demand of this herb often exceeds supply, there are many fake Siberian ginseng products available. Make sure to buy only from reputable manufacturers, and look for products with standardized extracts of 0.8% eleutherosides (eleuthero’s active component).

Eleuthero may heighten the effects of medications that lower blood sugar, slow blood clotting, and induce sleepiness and drowsiness. If you’re on any of these medications, be careful when adding eleuthero to your supplement routine.

Photo of Ashwagandha herb (Withania somnifera)

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Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, aka Indian ginseng, winter cherry, or poison gooseberry, is an Indian herb prized in the Ayurvedic herbal tradition. It’s found in dry regions of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and is related botanically to tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes.

Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen. The leaves and fruit of the ashwagandha plant are used to treat wounds, tumors, boils, and back pain, while the root is often used to improve brain function, increase alertness, and reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and swelling.

Components of ashwagandha, such as alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins, have been shown to be more effective than psychotherapy at reducing cortisol levels, lowering anxiety, and improving energy levels!

Dr. Weil also recommends ashwagandha for the treatment of skin diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, epilepsy, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Ashwagandha is available in capsules and powder form or can be drunk as tea.

While dosage will depend on age and other health factors, Dr. Weil recommends starting with 500mg of standardized extracts with 2.5-5% anolides.

Children and pregnant women shouldn’t use ashwagandha, and people taking immunosuppressant medications or depressants like Valium or Xanax should talk to their doctor before taking ashwagandha.

Photo of green oolong tea leaves

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Loose-Leaf Herbal Teas: Green, Oolong, and Rooibos

Green, oolong, and rooibos teas are all full of powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols.

Polyphenols are compounds that occur naturally in plants, as well as many fruits and vegetables.

Polyphenols benefit the entire body with their ability to prevent cell damage and improve cellular health. They also boost the immune system, increase resting metabolism, regulate enzyme function, and protect against viruses.

Polyphenols have been shown to effectively fight cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, infections, osteoporosis, neurogenerative diseases, and other health conditions related to oxidative stress.

A healthy dose of daily polyphenols will lead to an all-around younger, healthier, more energetic, better-functioning body and mind!

Summary

Just because time passes the same for all of us doesn’t mean you need to age like everyone else!

Experiment in the kitchen and add turmeric to your dishes for some anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifying prowess. Try out a tincture of eleuthero to increase energy levels and cut through fatigue.

Add a cup of ashwagandha tea to your daily routine to reduce cortisol and balance your body. Or choose from a cup of green, oolong, or rooibos tea so polyphenols can energize and optimize your entire system.

With these four powerful herbs, you have the power to radically reduce the effects of aging in your body and mind.

It’s never too late to get started!