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Home > Newsletters > February 2007 > A Few Secrets of Longevity

A Few Secrets of Longevity

By Dr. Maoshing Ni, L.Ac.

Ginger Gives You a Snap

Best known in the West for its antinausea properties, ginger has probably been in the longest continuous use of any botanical remedy in the world. The Chinese use it for both medicinal and culinary purposes, frequently in cooking seafood, since it acts as a detoxifier to prevent seafood poisoning. Besides its popular application for digestive distress, ginger has been found to contain geraniol, which may be a potent cancer fighter. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve pain, prevent blood clots, and inhibit the onset of migraine headaches. Since ancient times, Chinese physicians have regularly consumed ginger tea to keep their Vitality fired up.

Secrets of the Evergreen

In ancient times, Taoists living in the mountains of China observed that during snowy winters the only plants exhibiting Vitality were evergreens such as pines. Through experimentation, they found a therapeutic use for every part of the pine tree: a physical and mental energy boost from pine needle tea and bark tea, antimicrobial properties in sap, and sustenance from pine nuts as a food. Since then, the pine has become a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture.

A potent antioxidant in pine called pycnogenol protects endothelial cells (which make up the lining of the blood vessels and heart) from free radical damage, serves as an anti-inflammatory, and preserves healthy skin structure. It is one of only a few antioxidants that cross the blood-brain barrier, protecting brain cells from the ravages of free radicals in the blood. Pycnogenol is available in dietary supplement form, but the same beneficial flavonoids can be obtained by eating pine nuts.

Longevity for Your Hair

For many people, losing hair is more distressing than getting older. Hereditary factors obviously play a role in premature hair loss but for many others, hair loss can be reversed by natural methods. Start by eliminating hair care products containing harsh chemicals that can damage hair roots and strip vital nutrients from the follicles. Use only products with natural ingredients. Massage your scalp with your fingers or a hard-bristle hairbrush in a circular pattern. Apply the Chinese herb arborvita to stimulate follicles, improve blood flow, and strip away root-clogging oils. I have used this herb for my patients over the last twenty years with very good success. Of course, stress is a common cause of hair loss. Do your best to reduce it in your life.

Excerpts from Dr. Maoshing Ni's book, Secrets of Longevity
Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100

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February 2007
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