Did you know…that the longest-living man’s secret to longevity was the use of two best herbs, ginseng and fo-ti, for health benefits which deliver the “elixir of youth” effect?
Li Ching-Yun, resident of the Kaihslen region in the province of Szechwan, was a Chinese herbalist, martial artist and former university professor who had the longest confirmed lifespan in history. He lived to be 256 years old (1677-1933).
According to one account of Li’s married life, he outlived 23 wives and was living with his 24th wife — a woman of 60 — at the time he was over 200 years old. A New York Times article published at the time of his death in 1933 reported, “Many who have seen him recently declared that his facial appearance is no different from that of a person two centuries his junior.” (S. Fred Strong, New York Times, May 6, 1933, p. 13)
According to the book, Nature’s Medicines (Wilshire Book Company), “Li’s longevity was due to his strictly vegetarian diet, his calm and serene attitude toward life and the fact that he used two powerful rejuvenating herbs prepared as teas.” One of the herbs was ginseng, and the other was fo-ti.
Ginseng benefits are as ancient as the herb itself
Ginseng is a sweet-smelling herb native to China, Russia, North Korea, Japan and some areas of North America. The herb is usually referred to as panax ginseng (panax is the Greek word for panacea, which means “all healing”). Ginseng roots are also called Jin-chen, which means “like a man” because they resemble the shape of the human body.
Ginseng, one of the best herbs, has been used as an all-around herbal remedy for more than 7,000 years, and it has had widespread use since the 18th century. The herb has grown in popularity in recent years ever since scientific research studies showed ginseng’s remarkable health-enhancing and anti-aging abilities.
While ginseng is generally thought to be an Asian herb, originally produced in China and Japan, American ginseng is now considered the most potent. Grown primarily in Wisconsin, American Ginseng appears to offer the most powerful health benefits compared to other varieties.
1 of the 2, best herbs: Ginseng, provides numerous benefits and has been used successfully to treat a variety of medical conditions, such as:
- Memory Loss and Cognition problems — boosts brain function, especially in older adults
- Diabetes — contains active compounds that can help lower blood sugar naturally
- Anxiety and Depression — contains important adaptogens, which helps the body handle stress more effectively, and help alleviate anxiety and depression
- Aging — helps slow the signs of aging in most users
- Dysfunctional Immune System — helps give your immune system a boost and strengthens your resistance to colds and flu, autoimmune diseases, etc.
- Menopause — helps relieve hot flashes and balance hormone levels, especially in peri-menopausal and menopausal women
- Chronic Infection — strengthens the immune system so that the body is better able to fight off infection
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – enhances the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the cells, thereby supplying the body with energy and relieving chronic fatigue and tiredness.
Because of its wide variety of healing properties, such as natural blood thinners and immune system stimulants, ginseng is frequently used to fight cancer, diabetes and cardiac disease.
Fo-ti benefits are widely known in Chinese herbal medicine
The other best known herb, Fo-ti, also called he shou wu or ho-shou-wu, is the dried tuberous root of the plant Polygonum multiflorum, an herbaceous climbing vine that is a native of Japan. The plant has seen widespread use as a folk remedy in China and other Asian countries.
Fo-ti should not be confused with the herbal mixture that is marketed as Fo-ti-Tieng. Fo-ti-Tieng is actually a registered trademark representing a product that combines 3 herbs (gotu kola from India, meadowsweet from Europe, and kola nut, an African herb, which has also been cultivated throughout the tropics).
Li Shizhen, was one of the greatest physicians and pharmacologists in Chinese history, whose major contribution to medicine was his 40-year work contained in his epic book, the Bencao Gang Mu (“Compendium of Materia Medica” – 1578). In the book, he described ho-shou-wu, as follows:
The root of the 50-year-old plant is called “mountain slave:” taken for a year, it will preserve the black color of the hair. The root of the 100-year-old plant is called “mountain brother:” taken for a year, it will bring a glowing complexion and a cheerful disposition. The root of the 150-year-old plant is called “mountain uncle:” taken for a year, it will rejuvenate the teeth. The root of the 200-year-old plant is called “mountain father:” taken for a year it will banish old age and give the power to run like a deer. The root of the 300-year-old plant is called “mountain spirit:” taken for a year, one becomes an earthly immortal.
For over four centuries, ho-shou-wu has been regarded in China as a reliable safeguard against old age. Fifty-year-old and 300-year-old wild ho-shou-wu plants are very rare these days, and the herb is presently cultivated and collected after 3 to 4 years growth.
Perhaps hou-shou-wu’s claim to fame is that it maintains the hair’s original color — that is, it prevents premature graying and hair loss. This is attributed, in part, to the herb’s tonic effects on the kidneys and liver. According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, the condition of hair (on the head) is governed by the kidneys and nourished by the blood in the liver.
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