Essence is the ultimate longevity and whole-body health promoter. Comprised of a unique blend of herbs, berries, and fruit, this tisane supports both age-related ailments and those commonly developed from environmental and emotional toxins.
Sit back with a cup of tea and get to know the plants behind the name:
Known as the herb of immortality, gynostemma is a vine that hails from Asia. Gynostemma is one of the world's best adaptogens, helping to bring the body back into balance, or homeostasis. Plant phytochemicals known as saponins make this possible, and Gynostemma so far has 174 saponins. This is compared to only 28 saponins in ginseng. In fact, Gynostemma has the widest spectrum of saponins of any plant in the world.
One of the most impressive benefits of gynostemma, however, is its ability to protect the endcaps of our DNA, called telomeres. Telomere length can govern our lifespan, and as we age, these telomeres erode and shorten in length. Studies have shown that gynostemma has the ability to not only slow this erosion process, but even reverse it in some cases, making it one of the most powerful longevity herbs on the planet. In addition to this, gynostemma has also been shown to increase the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is efficacious at reducing and preventing oxidative stress.
Some other health benefits that are often attributed to gynostemma include:
- It could help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and increase good cholesterol (HDL)
- It is thought to release AMPK, which helps with energy production.
- It may be helpful for high blood pressure and cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation. It may also release nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels.
- Supports liver health
- May aid in respiratory function and conditions such as asthma by dilating the blood vessels.
- May balance T-helper cells to improve immune function.
- May help regulate stress levels.
- May also help regulate blood sugar levels.
Goji berries are considered another longevity food. They contain a high number of antioxidants, which help fight oxidative stress due to free radicals. These berries also contain an impressive amount of nutrients, as they have 18 different amino acids and a wide variety of trace minerals.
Goji berries have been used to promote eye health due to the high level of the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which can prevent UV damage to the eyes.
Goji has also been shown to increase glucose responsiveness, which may prove beneficial to those with blood sugar issues.
A few more potential benefits:
- Supports liver health
- May aid in fertility for both men and women.
- May help with energy levels and mood.
- May promote immune function
- Contains betaine, an amino acid shown to be effective against skin aging.
Also known as maidenhair trees, this ancient remedy is the last surviving species of its kind, which earns it the title of "living fossil." Ginkgo has been utilized for thousands of years and is one of the most commonly consumed herbs for brain health. It has been well studied for improving mental cognition and overall brain function. More recent research has indicated that it might be an aid for those with mild Alzheimer's and dementia.
The flavonoids and terpenoids within ginkgo are what make it so powerful. These constituents may prevent damage to the tissues and cells as we age.
Similar to gynostemma, ginkgo may help with the release of nitric oxide, which makes it a good ally for heart health and circulation.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginkgo are beneficial to those suffering from headaches and migraines, as well as asthma and COPD.
In addition, ginkgo may also be helpful for anxiety, depression, eye health, reducing PMS symptoms, and helping with low libido.
* Ginkgo may be contraindicated for those on medications, such as:
- Blood thinners
Stinging nettle, the "mineral miracle" herb, is beloved for good reason. Aside from being full of essential minerals and vitamins, it's also a wonderful source of lutein, a pigment that is often associated with eye health since it's one of the major carotenoids found in the eyes. Nettle is also a good source of quercetin, a flavonoid that has been growing in popularity in recent years due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Famously known as the "queen of herbs," "the elixir of life," and other illustrious monikers, tulsi (or holy basil) hails from India, where it has been consumed for centuries for its health benefits. Its uniqueness stems from tulsi having so many actions, such as adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and more, essentially protecting against toxicant, physical, metabolic, and emotional stress. This ability is attributed to its very high content of phenolic and antioxidant compounds.
Tulsi has shown an ability to increase glutathione and superoxide dismutase, both of which help protect against cellular damage caused by toxicants such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals. It also has very impressive radio-protective attributes via its ability to reduce oxidative and chromosomal damage.
Using the same mechanics as above and also its adaptogenic nature, tulsi can also reduce physical stress induced by cold, noise, and physical exertion. As an adaptogen, tulsi can help the body bring itself back into homeostasis by increasing its capacity for cellular adaptive functions.
Typically induced by poor lifestyle choices (diet, exercise), metabolic stress can materialize in different ways for different people. While some may develop diabetes, others may struggle with body temperature regulation or hormonal issues due to blood sugar misregulation. Several clinical trials have shown tulsi to be capable of reducing blood glucose (and thus helping to protect the liver and kidneys) and improving lipid profiles and blood pressure.
By now, it’s well known that stress can manifest physical toxins in the body that are every bit as harmful as the chemicals found in our food, water, and air. Regular consumption of tulsi has been shown to have numerous psychological benefits, such as enhanced cognitive function and memory. In addition, studies have shown that the anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties have effects that are comparable to those of common antidepressant drugs. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies indicate that tulsi aids in lowering stress and improving sleep issues.
Often utilized by athletes to reduce soreness post training, tart cherries are truly a multi-tasker with numerous benefits.
European studies have indicated that melatonin levels in those who took tart cherry supplements were elevated compared to the placebo group, indicating that tart cherries may be an effective sleep aid. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Because our brains detox primarily when sleeping (see: glymphatic system), it’s important to spend enough time in REM to support brain function.
Preliminary research has shown that tart cherries may have the ability to alter metabolic signaling pathways and thus improve metabolic function and longevity. Due to the rich content of anthocyanins (compounds that have antioxidant effects) in tart cherries, they may aid in mitochondrial function as well as reduce oxidative stress, which can lead to a reduced risk of age-related disease.
Lastly, tart cherries have been used with great success to lower inflammation, which is why they are so popular among professional athletes. These anti-inflammatory properties are primarily due to the anthocyanins present in the fruit.
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