Escaping Father time
For centuries the western world has tried to escape the ravages of age or at least the appearance of ageing. Cosmetics have also been popular for centuries for they can make us look younger, and more radiant, often in a few minutes. . As a pharmacist I can assure readers that cosmetics are still very popular.
A simple folk remedy for everyone with visible signs of ageing, and age spots is to prepare a mixture of one teaspoonful fresh onion juice to two teaspoonsful of traditionally-made Apple Cider vinegar. This preparation applied daily is an old fashioned way to remove age spots, sometimes with noticeable effects in as little as 2 weeks.
Increasing scientific studies show that premature ageing can be reduced by following a few basic rules.
Firstly try to reduce inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a major cause of ageing in the body and of many modern diseases. Obesity, cancer, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers disease and of course arthritis are all linked by scientists to inflammation in the body in various forms. So if you are getting a few aches and pains in the joints, fixing your aches and pains may well be preventing the slippery slide to much worse conditions because progressive co-lateral damage from cell components called “inflammasomes” is averted. I suggest you adopt an anti-inflammatory life-style by eating anti-inflammatory foods, and avoiding inflammatory ones where possible. Dieticians list heated animal oils, sugar, refined carbohydrate and vegetable oils as inflammatory, whilst spices, fish, olive oils, flaxseeds, nuts and nut oils, coloured fruit and coloured vegetables are anti-inflammatory. (There is a larger list on our website). As an example, a 2003 study showed that a low intake of fruit and vegetables will double your risk of getting most types of cancer. My favourite anti-inflammatories are, Glucosamine, Chondroitin (both in beef soup), vitamin C (in most fruit), turmeric (in curry powder), pineapple juice (also called bromelain), green lipped muscle and Quercitin (in Onions and apples). Each of these by themselves is useful but you will get better improvements by combining lots of inflammatory foods together. A commercial product called Glucosaplex actually combines all these 7 together, and is highly recommended if your aches are just starting.
Secondly try to increase anti-oxidants in your diet. Oxidation is the process of the body going rusty and rancid. Whilst this is essential to life (as breathing itself is an oxidation reaction), excessive redox imbalance in the body is bad as it drives both ageing and chronic disease. Green tea and grape seeds are wonderful anti-oxidants to add to your diet. Also I like anyone with inflammation to consider Rolled Golden Flaxseeds on their breakfast cereal every day. These have the double benefit of being anti-inflammatory because they contain omega 3 oils and also powerful anti-oxidant because of the lignans contained in the seeds. Thus they fill two excellent anti-ageing strategies. Research suggests a long list of health benefits for golden flaxseeds. Notably bowel, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer protection; kidney tonic effects; improved skin and hair; lower blood sugar, cholesterol, Lipoprotein a, and blood pressure; and historically in medicine have been used as a treatment for constipation.
Thirdly make sure you exercise regularly, as this keeps muscles and joints lubricated and stretched. Around 30 minutes 3 times a week is a good starting point. Make sure your doctor is happy before you start any vigorous program if you have been inactive for a while.
The factors I call the medical six-pack are of course important to avoid. Namely high blood pressure, bad lipid cholesterol, large stomach measurement, smoking, under exercising and being diabetic are important to avoid. If you happen to have the full six pack you may be older than you think! Lots of factors, like increasing social contacts, friends, having a spiritual faith connection, getting out in the sun, getting adequate sleep, all help you avoid a premature death. In our clinic we find patients benefit from filling in our ageing questionnaire, which shows the areas in need of improvement and can give a biological age to our patients.
I suggest we all think about slowly down father time, sooner rather than later. Those wrinkles once established are hard to remove. As one wise man said. “Nature’s mill grinds very slowly but Nature’s mill grinds very sure.
Des Lardner is a local consultant pharmacist, and experienced herbalist with a master degree in herbal medicine and honours degree in inflammatory chemistry.
References available on request.