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The “Eyes” Have It – Adaptogens for Better Vision

They say that the eyes are the first to go. Well, I AdaptoGenie, having been around for hundreds of years myself can tell you there is a lot of truth to that statement.  But, you know what else has been around for hundreds of years?  Adaptogenic herbs that provide antioxidant support AND strengthen the nervous system noticeably improving eyesight.  Here are three adaptogens that when consumed regularly will improve your eyesight.

siberian-ginseng

Eleuthero

In addition to being an adaptogen, Eleuthero is also classified as an antioxidant which also supports the optic nerve.  Noted herbalist, Christopher Hobbs stated that “studies show that Eleuthero extract, when taken on a regular basis, can improve visual and hearing acuity.” A number of studies have evaluated the effects of eleuthero on eye conditions.  One study evaluated the pre and postoperative effects of eleuthero extract (1.5 ml twice daily) on 282 male or female patients suffering from primary glaucoma (102 cases) and eye burns (58 cases). Beneficial effects were noted in both treatments.

schisandra

Schisandra
Various human studies have also shown that Schisandra can improve vision, even enlarging the field of vision, and can improve hearing. It also improves the discrimination ability of the skin receptors. It has been determined that this increased sensitivity is due to improved function of the central nervous system’s ability to analyze data flowing to it from the peripheral sensors.
In addition, Schisandra has demonstrated the ability to correct night blindness. In one study, there was a general increased sharpness of vision and a widening of the boundaries of the field of vision after a 10-day regimen using schisandra.

lycium

Lycium

Lycium has been known to herbalists in Europe for centuries.  Lyceum contains high amounts of two different carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.  Carotenoids are the antioxidants compounds that produce the orange or bright yellow coloring various fruits and vegetables.  These pigments are used by the retina of the eye and are essential for good eyesight.  Lycium stabilizes the small capillaries in the eyes, helps with night vision, relieves dry, tired and painful eyes and helps prevent cataracts and glaucoma.

 

eyesight

I think it is clear, (if it’s not take these 3 adaptogens and it will be) that a daily regimen that incorporates these three powerful herbs can either improve vision or prevent future eyesight issues.  If it’s the eyes that are indeed the the first to go, by delaying that manifestation, you may be able to put off the effects of aging indefinitely.  Brilliant!!!

 

Better Immunity With Impunity

Guest Contributor, Betty Wells Runkle, ND, CNHP, CECRP is the owner of The Health Fix Center for Natural and Alternative Health Solutions

The fact of the matter is ..The human body is a MAGNIFICENT, VIRUS FIGHTING, PATHOGENIC BACTERIA ENGULFING MACHINE by Grand Design.  The problems occur when we as the conductors of this body, don’t put the proper fuel into it on a regular basis to keep it functioning full steam ahead.  You know, stuff like processed foods, non-nutritive, junk, and as my teenagers say…eating crap!  We all do it…don’t kid yourself.  However, there is hope in learning new ways to change your lifestyle for the better, by learning to eat healthy and make better choices.

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For now, let’s concentrate on the immune building properties of ADAPTOGENIC herbs.

Let’s start by covering the word adaptogen, as a term used in herbalism to reflect the ability of a plant to work as a biological response modifier. For a plant to be adaptogenic it must meet three criteria, as defined by the Russian doctor I.I. Brekman:

  • It should cause no harm and place no additional stress on the body.
  • It should help the body adapt to many and varied environmental and psychological stresses.
  • It must have a nonspecific action on the body, supporting all the major systems, such as the nervous system, hormonal system, and immune system, as well as regulating functions (such as the blood sugar); if they are too high, an adaptogen will lower it and vice verse.

Let me tell you about some of these ADAPTOGENIC HERBAL ALLIES.  The most commonly researched herbs like astragalus, Ashwaganda, Nettle, and reishi mushrooms are also some of the heaviest hitters in the herbal adoptogenic world.

reishi

You can research til the cows come home all the numerous scientific studies about the pharmacological actions of adaptogens…but I warn you it can get really complex.  In the nutshell, here are a few of the abilities noted in those studies regarding ADAPTOGENIC HERBS. 

  • Increase Endurance
  • Reduce Fatigue
  • Build Resistance to non-specific stresses (chemicals in environment, overwork, poor diet and emotional stressors)
  • Immune Stimulants – boost resistance to pathogenic bacteria and viruses

astragalus

Let me tell you a little bit about just one adaptogen, astragalus.  Astragalus is an immune building powerhouse. In fact, U.S. institutions all over have conducted medical studies supporting the increase of white blood cells, strengthening the activity of macrophages and that it actually promotes immunity of the cells.  Here, in Texas where I live, the University of Texas at MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute did a study on T-cell function in cancer patients which were being lowered by the use of chemotherapy and radiation.  When the extracts from astragalus were administered, immune functions improved dramatically.  Even the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has done their fair share of research concerning Astragalus and the increase total number of white blood cells and strengthening of macrophages.  This activity significantly promotes the healthy immune function on the cellular level. In addition, studies at the University of Texas MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute found that the t cell function in cancer patients was lowered by the use of chemotherapy and radiation, so to combat that effect astragalus extracts were administered.  Researchers found that immune functions improved dramatically. Currently astragalus is also being researched in HIV and aids related syndromes.

The Effects of Adaptogens Can Be “Limitless”

You know the movie “Limitless” starring Bradley Cooper?  The sci-fi thriller released in 2011?  Well, for the cinematically challenged, its a film about a struggling author who is experiencing writers block.  In the movie, the author (Cooper) is given a nootropic or smart drug that allows him to miraculously increase his brain function, allowing him to recall, categorize and utilize information at an incredible rate.  The end result is that his productivity shoots off the charts and he becomes rich, successful and famous.

Now, what if I told you that there was an all natural, plant sourced version of a smart drug and that it had actually been tested in double blind studies and proven to work?  What if you knew that these plants had been consumed for centuries and that there was no risk of side effects? Would you be interested?

Well, according to a 2010 double-blind, placebo controlled study, adaptogenics herbs can dramatically effect cognitive functioning.  (Phytomedicine. 2010 Jun;17(7):494-9. Epub 2010 Apr 5.)

rhodiola3 siberian-ginsengschisandra
The study, which used a blend of rhodiola, schisandra and eleuthero, “improved attention and increased speed and accuracy during stressful cognitive tasks, in comparison to placebo.”  In addition, “there was also a tendency…to reduce percentage of errors, which means better accuracy and quality of the work…”  The study also reported, ” no serious side effects…”

 

Kind of mind blowing, right?  (pun intended) That, my friends, is the power of adaptogens and the kind of useful information that we are just beginning to learn.  (Actually, it’s stuff YOU are learning, AdaptGenie has know all about this for hundreds of years and it’s why I created this blog)

Adaptogens Provide Broad Mind/Body Benefits – Dr. Alison Caldwell-Andrews

You may be one of the millions of people who are looking to feel better. Perhaps you want to improve your immune system or simply get over bronchitis. Maybe you are hoping to avoid coming down with a cold this year or possibly you want to take steps now to avoid future health problems. Or, perhaps you wish you had more endurance and stamina. If you’re a runner or a biker or are hoping to schedule your next triathalon, you probably would love to find a way to increase your ability to train and get better results.

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Another category of people who are looking for help are those who would like to be less anxious, more emotionally stable or less depressed. Better quality sleep, lower blood sugar, improved liver functioning….this list of what we wish for can go on and on. The sum-up here is that most people want better health.

We know that you can’t get healthy by taking a pill.  It’s just common sense, isn’t it?  However, there are some plants that are almost as good as free health in a pill: Adaptogens.

adaptogen-pill  Adaptogens are plants that have been shown to have “non-specific” beneficial effects. What this means is that the effects are not limited to one area; multiple areas of the body will benefit from one plant. You can think if this effect somewhat like nutrition: if your cell mitochondria are fed by nutrients, your whole body will benefit. Adaptogenic plants will not only help you feel more energetic, they will usually help lift your mood, boost your immune system and provide a variety of other benefits including (and not limited to) protecting the liver and improving liver functioning, protecting the heart and improving cardiac function, protecting the brain from beta-amyloid plaques that are associated with degenerative brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease, soothing and strengthening gut tissues and functioning, and much more.

Look forward to future posts that will discuss specific adaptogens, current research, and other adaptogen-related health concepts and concerns.

 

alison

Dr. Alison Caldwell-Andrews is an expert contributor to the AdaptoGenie blog.  Dr. Caldwell-Andrews received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky and completed a post-doc in Mind-Body Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine.  As a faculty member at Yale, she served as Director of Research for the Yale Perioperative Research Group, conducting clinical research and publishing 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Her interest in mind-body healing began in the early 1990’s and she is a Certified Nutritional Herbalist.  She’s an active public speaker, author, conducts workshops, and consults in the areas of creating success behaviors, herbs and the mind-body connection, and science-based holistic treatment for psychiatric disorders.

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