As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing global health crisis, it becomes even more important for people to focus on their health — and this is especially true for seniors. There are many ways this can be done, like sticking to a healthier diet, engaging in low-intensity physical activities, and being more in tune with their mental health. But if you're an older adult looking to maintain your health in holistic ways, you can also consider subscribing to various healthcare traditions, such as Ayurveda.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurvedic medicine, also known as Ayurveda, is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. It has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years and is based on the belief that overall health banks on the delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Recently, interest in Ayurveda research from a public health perspective has been increasing due to this tradition’s ability to improve quality of life and to empower individuals to stay healthy. Unlike other healing systems, Ayurveda treatments are often aimed at maintaining health, and not curing disease. This unique characteristic makes Ayurveda extremely suitable to elderly people who must focus on prevention to lead healthier and happier lives. Nonetheless, it continues to be important for older adults to contact a healthcare professional first before trying alternative treatments. This is especially important for those who are dealing with chronic illnesses or specific diseases. Your geriatrician should be able to help you out, as well as a geriatric nurse. As one of the most in-demand nursing careers at the moment, geriatric nurses are trained to assist the elderly and their families with regard to age-related health issues and preventive care, which has been a critical service in light of the current shortage in geriatric doctors. It would also be a good idea to check whether the Ayurvedic medicines and herbs you are planning to use are manufactured with Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and are marketed correctly. Before buying a Ayurvedic product, take the time to research about the brand and their manufacturers and to know how each one is made. And now that you are all set, here are some of the Ayurvedic herbs you should check out:
Ayurvedic herbs for elderly people
Typically used as a bitter digestive tonic, Jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculatus) is often associated with improved brain function due to its ability to act on the acetylcholine level of the brain and interact with certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine. Some studies also highlight how this particular shrub can help maintain normal inflammatory markers that are already in a healthy range. Moreover, one particular study that examines the effects of Jyotishmati seeds in animal models of pain and inflammation noted how the plant has shown antioxidant properties.
Ashwagandha is a small wood plant that is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. Due to its popularity, multiple studies tried to look into how it can help improve the quality of life of healthy individuals. Some of the human studies cited by an article on Healthline suggested that it can help boost the immune system. Meanwhile, in a study involving chronically stressed adults, it was observed that those who supplemented with Ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol, compared to the control group.
Boswellia is an herbal extract from the Boswellia tree. This Ayurvedic herb can help maintain a healthy level of leukotrienes, which are a group of biologically active compounds that have a role in many inflammatory conditions. Due to its rich scent and flavor, a lot of people often use this herb to create incense, popularly known as frankincense.
Like jyotishmati, bacopa is also widely promoted as a herb that enhances memory and cognitive function. A number of studies have found some evidence suggesting that bacopa extract may even boost memory during free-recall tests and encourage improvements in cognitive function.
Known as the “herb of longevity,” Gotu Kola is a tasteless, odorless plant that's a staple not just in Ayurvedic medicine but also in traditional Chinese and Indonesian medical systems. These fan-like plants contain triterpenoid saponins. Triterpenoid saponins are a diverse group of natural products that are considered as defensive compounds against pathogenic microbes and herbivores.
Specially written for rebelherbs.com
By: Reina Javlyn