When it comes to the wonders of herbs. They are amazing. Since the beginning of time, Humans have always turned to plants to supply and repair skin tissues that were damaged by the sun and other elements. Herbs even help to clear up acne. Herbs aid us by applying to the skin. With their antibacterial properties. Many of them contain medicinal properties. Herbs are popular for their remedial and odorous properties.
Here are some helpful tips on herbs and spices.
Did you know?
Some herbs help to boost collagen.
Here are 3 herbs that boost collagen.
For healthy bones, connective tissue, nails, and skin need collagen to be strong
1. THE IMMORTAL ONE, GYNOSTEMMA | (Gynostemma pentaphyllum)
Gynostemma contains over 80 different saponins (gypenosides) compared to the 28 found in ginseng. As well as these saponins, jiaogulan is a natural antioxidant and a rich source of healthy vitamins and minerals. Many people suggest that gynostemma is one of the best adaptogens found in nature and if you are unfamiliar with the term, they are also referred to as biological response modifiers.
Gynostemma is called the immortality herb for good reason. It was originally brought to scientific attention because population studies revealed that those who consumed it regularly were living longer and significantly healthier lives.
Researchers believe that the main reason for this general benefit is that it contains two very important antioxidants – glutathione and superoxide dismutase. One clinical study revealed that gynostemma taken each day for a two-month period reduced many of the signs of aging including fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, diarrhea, and poor balance.
Gynostemma has been used for thousands of years for its wide array of healing abilities. It’s commonly used for its energizing effects, its digestive help, heart/cardio health, and hormone balancing. Its demulcent qualities grant an extraordinary nourishing power to the gut, which is why it has been often used for weight loss, as it helps flush the intestinal walls while providing an anti-inflammatory effect.
2. ANCIENT BONE HEALER, HORSETAIL | (Equisetum ravens)
Horsetail is one of the oldest plants on the planet. The hollow stems and shoots of horsetail are a rich source of naturally occurring calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other valuable nutrients, including silica crystals. Many of the medicinal properties of horsetail can be attributed to its high silica content, which is easily absorbed by the body.
Silica is an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in the development, strengthening, and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Silica also restores weak connective tissues in blood vessels, cartilage, tendons, and collagen–the body glue that helps hold our skin and muscle tissues together. Silica speeds the healing of bone fractures is said to help rheumatism and arthritis by improving the elasticity of the joints, and is recommended to athletes for sprains, pulled hamstrings, and torn ligaments.
Healthy skin, nails, bones, and connective tissue need collagen to be strong and radiant. Collagen production naturally declines as we age — for most of us at least — yet if we nourish and intake high-quality collagen sources, we begin to defy the classic aging process.
3. ANTI-AGING ADAPTOGEN, HE SHOU WU | (Polygonum multiflorum)
(aka Fo-Ti, Chinese Knotweed)
The root of the fo-ti plant can restore fertility, help maintain hair color, boost energy, rejuvenate the nerves and brain cells, tone the kidneys and liver, fortify the bones, and purify the blood. Athletes use it to improve their performance and reduce recovery time. This adaptogenic root has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 3,000 years. According to legend, the man who first discovered fo-ti was delighted to find that with regular use, it revived his natural dark hair color and sexual virility. Since that time, fo-ti has been regarded as a “youthful tonic,” or “elixir of life.
"He Shou Wu also has a long history of use as hair growth and rejuvenation tonic. There are thousands of first-person reports and a handful of clinical studies of Fo-Ti (or preparations including the herb) demonstrating a remarkable ability to reverse hair loss and restore rich color to white or graying hair. Although the mechanisms are not completely understood, substances with a marked harmonizing effect on the endocrine system (hormone-producing glands) and high zinc content tend to have beneficial effects on hair growth and restoration. " (Read more about Fo-Ti on our friend's blog here)
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Its fiber-like structure is used to make connective tissue. As the name implies, this type of tissue connects other tissues and is a major component of bone, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. It helps to make tissues strong and resilient, able to withstand stretching. In food, collagen is naturally found only in animal flesh like meat and fish that contain connective tissue. However, a variety of both animal and plant foods contain materials for collagen production in our bodies. Our bodies gradually make less collagen as we age, but collagen production drops most quickly due to excess sun exposure, smoking, excess alcohol, and lack of sleep and exercise. With aging, collagen in the deep skin layers changes from a tightly organized network of fibers to an unorganized maze.  Environmental exposures can damage collagen fibers reducing their thickness and strength, leading to wrinkles on the skin’s surface. Collagen Supplementation Despite its abundance in our bodies, collagen has become a top-selling supplement purported to improve hair, skin, and nails—key components of the fountain of youth. The idea of popping a pill that doesn’t have side effects and may reverse the signs of aging is attractive to many. According to Google Trends, online searches for collagen have steadily increased since 2014. Collagen first appeared as an ingredient in skin creams and serums. However, its effectiveness as a topical application was doubted even by dermatologists, as collagen is not naturally found on the skin’s surface but in the deeper layers. Collagen fibers are too large to permeate the skin’s outer layers, and research has not supported that shorter chains of collagen, called peptides, are more successful at this feat. Oral collagen supplements in the form of pills, powders, and certain foods are believed to be more effectively absorbed by the body and have skyrocketed in popularity among consumers. They may be sold as collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen, which are broken down forms of collagen that are more easily absorbed. Collagen supplements contain amino acids, the building blocks of protein, and some may also contain additional nutrients related to healthy skin and hair like vitamin C, biotin, or zinc.
What does the research say about collagen supplements?
Most research on collagen supplements is related to joint and skin health. Human studies are lacking but some randomized controlled trials have found that collagen supplements improve skin elasticity. [3,4] Other trials have found that the supplements can improve joint mobility and decrease joint pain such as with osteoarthritis or in athletes.  Collagen comprises about 60% of cartilage, a very firm tissue that surrounds bones and cushions them from the shock of high-impact movements; so a collagen breakdown could lead to a loss of cartilage and joint problems. However, potential conflicts of interest exist in this area because most if not all of the research on collagen supplements are funded or partially funded by related industries that could benefit from a positive study result, or one or more of the study authors have ties to those industries. This makes it difficult to determine how effective collagen supplements truly are and if they are worth their often hefty price. A downside of collagen supplements is the unknown of what exactly it contains or if the supplement will do what the label promotes. There are also concerns about collagen supplements containing heavy metals. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration does not review supplements for safety or effectiveness before they are sold to consumers. Another potential downside is that taking a collagen supplement can become an excuse to not practice healthy behaviors that can protect against collagen decline, such as getting enough sleep and stopping smoking. That said, the available research has not shown negative side effects in people given collagen supplements. [3,4]
Can You Eat Collagen?
There is a lack of research to show that eating collagen can directly benefit skin or joint health. When digested in the stomach, collagen is broken down into amino acids, which are then distributed wherever the body most needs protein. Still, many foods that support collagen production are generally recommended as part of a healthful eating plan.
Food containing collagen
There are foods rich in collagen, specifically tough cuts of meat full of connective tissue like pot roast, brisket, and chuck steak. However, a high intake of red meat is not recommended as part of a long-term healthy and environmentally sustainable diet. Collagen is also found in the bones and skin of fresh and saltwater fish. 
Bone broth, a trending food featured prominently in soup aisles, is promoted as a health food rich in collagen. The process involves simmering animal bones in water and a small amount of vinegar (to help dissolve the bone and release collagen and minerals) anywhere from 4 to 24 hours. However, the number of amino acids will vary among batches depending on the types of bones used, how long they are cooked, and the amount of processing (e.g., if it is a packaged/canned version).
Gelatin is a form of collagen made by boiling animal bones, cartilage, and skin for several hours and then allowing the liquid to cool and set. The breakdown of these connective tissues produces gelatin. Collagen and its derivative, gelatin, are promoted on certain eating plans such as the paleo diet.
Foods to boost collagen production
Several high-protein foods are believed to nurture collagen production because they contain the amino acids that make collagen—glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.  These include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, and soy.
Collagen production also requires nutrients like zinc that is found in shellfish, legumes, meats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains; and vitamin C from citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
Is bone broth healthy? Bone broth has been eaten for centuries in various cultures because it is easy to digest and believed to have healing properties. Chicken broth is highly valued by some as a remedy for the flu. In more recent years it has been promoted to help symptoms from psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity.  Claims that it detoxifies the liver, improves digestion, reverses wrinkles, builds bones, and relieves joint pain have led some marketing analysts to predict that the bone broth market will approach $3 billion by 2024. In reality, bone broth contains only small amounts of minerals naturally found in bone including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and copper. The amount of protein, obtained from the gelatin, varies from 5-10 grams per cup. There is some concern that bone broth contains toxic metals like lead. One small study found that bone broth made from chicken bones contained three times the lead as chicken broth made with meat only.  However, the amount of lead in the bone broth per serving was still less than half the amount permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency in drinking water. A different study found that bone broth, both homemade and commercially produced, contained low levels (<5% RDA) of calcium and magnesium as well as heavy metals like lead and cadmium.  The study noted that various factors can affect the amount of protein and minerals extracted in bone broth: the amount of acidity, cooking time, cooking temperature, and type of animal bone used. Therefore it is likely that the nutritional value of bone broths will vary widely.
Healthy Lifestyle Habits That May Help
Along with a healthy and balanced diet, here are some habits that may help protect your body’s natural collagen:
Wear sunscreen or limit the amount of time spent in direct sunlight (10-20 minutes in direct midday sunlight 3-4 times a week provides adequate vitamin D for most people).
Get adequate sleep. For the average person, this means 7-9 hours a night.
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