People do some very strange things to improve their looks. Silicone injections, implants, “going under the knife”, liposuction, etc. are routine in our modern society. I’m a firm believer of natural therapies, however, which bear quite a slim price tag in comparison to its unnatural and often risky alternatives.
My first beauty secret is not an herb, it’s water! From a young age, I was encouraged to drink at least 2 liters a day of good, clean water. The controversy still continues as to what adequate water intake really is, and many people fear they are not consuming enough glasses per day. When I question patients regarding their water intake, the answer is often, “not enough” or some such reply, spoken with a hint of guilt.
In these warmer summer months, adequate water intake is especially important. I recommend home filtering and other mineralized water sources. The potential dangers of reverse osmosis and other demineralized water sources have been documented. When you have some extra time, check out this report from the World Health Organization.
Now that you’ve just poured yourself a glass of delicious clean water, let’s talk about some of the best kept beauty secrets known for centuries in Asia.
Herb #1 is Pearl Powder. While most women enjoy wearing them, few have thought about consuming them in order to look beautiful. Scientific studies confirm its status as an anti-aging substance. [1, 2] Quality pearl powder can speed wound healing and prevent dark spots from ravaging the skin. It is useful in the treatment of acne and can keep the skin looking luminous. It is also a reliable source of calcium and 8 essential amino acids. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine to calm the spirit. It has been investigated as an agent to enhance sleep. The Pearl Powder I use in my practice is very finely ground (almost nano-size) and easily assimilated. Beware of less-expensive and potentially ineffective products on the marketplace.
Herb #2 is Schizandra. I detailed Schizandra in a previous post. It stands as one of the most amazing and well-studied herbs in all of Chinese medicine. It can sharpen concentration, improve memory and increase alertness, all without the side effects of caffeine. Aside from its valuable adaptogenic properties, Schizandra is very highly regarded as a beauty tonic. It has been used for centuries to make the skin soft, moist and radiant. Schizandra benefits the body’s fluids and in particular the sexual fluids in both women and men.
Unheated Schizandra has liver-protecting effects and can help detoxify poisons. Known for its regulating effects on the nervous system, Schizandra has also been investigated for its ability to improve sleep. I don’t doubt that the anti-stress/rest-enhancing properties of these herbs are a factor in their ability to help maintain a youthful appearance.
Herb #3 is Goji Berry. Being a rich source of carotenoids (beta carotene and zeaxanthin), Goji Berry is recognized as an important anti-oxidant herb. It also contains a vitamin C precursor, flavonoids, and is rich in zinc. Quality Goji Berries are delicious on their own or can be added to smoothies and cereals. It is used in Chinese medicine to improve the eyesight and benefit the Liver and Kidneys.
Goji contains polysaccharides which are powerful immune-supporting phytochemicals. They also contain iron and are used medicinally to help build Blood. An abundance of Blood can help to ensure a moist and vital complexion. Evidence also suggests that Goji can improve one’s mood, which is consistent with traditional thought.
There are several other herbs which can contribute to great looking skin. I have touched upon three of the most important ones in this article. Be sure to drink plenty of water, exercise to your ability, and provide for adequate rest and sleep.
I am happy to be a partner in your quest for beauty. Call My Acu Spa at (858) 581-2287 to request an appointment for herbal consultation, acupuncture, and/or facial rejuvenation. It is always best to discuss supplementation with a qualified health consultant or physician.
True beauty starts from within. Be well, and look your best!
Christopher “Erich” Cook, L.Ac.
Disclaimer: The above article is for general information only. In no way should it be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. Any questions regarding your health should be addressed to your own physician or other qualified healthcare practitioner.