5 Herbs to Reverse Hair Loss, Boost Immunity, Ward Off Brain Aging, and More
Tasty herbs in your garden have been used for centuries to reverse signs of aging, and research proves they really do rewind time! Here are five health boosting herbs that you should add to your diet to feel great no matter what.
Boost immunity with a thyme oil drizzle.
After age 40, your body produces fewer of the T cells that fend off illness-causing invaders. The fix: Give yourself a little more thyme, say Greek scientists. They found that folks who consumed the herb daily reduced their risk of a cold, flu and Covid-19. Thyme ups virus-fighting immune cells and lowers virus potency by 80 percent. Just add two teaspoons of snipped thyme or 1⁄4 teaspoon of dried thyme to two tablespoons of olive oil, then drizzle on pizza or roasted veggies. (Norwegian scientists say dried thyme boasts a 4,000 percent higher antioxidant content than fresh!)
Restore stamina with a glass of mint tea.
Your garden’s most prolific plant is also a superstar when it comes to restoring youthful pep, thanks to antioxidants that ward off stamina-sapping oxidative stress. Mint counters bouts of tiredness that become more frequent over the years due to a combination of restless sleep and loss of muscle strength, which makes everyday tasks more tiring. So go ahead and sip a cup — or three — of hot or iced mint tea. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that folks who enjoyed peppermint daily reported 51 percent more energy and powered through strenuous tasks like yard work with 25 percent more endurance.
Ward off brain aging with a sage swish.
A daily swish with sage mouth rinse cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 70 percent, suggests a study in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy. Antibacterial compounds quash the bad actors along the gumline before they travel to the brain and spur the production of memory-hampering proteins. Steep five sage leaves and one teaspoon of sea salt in five ounces of boiling water Let cool; swish with one ounce for one minute daily.
Reverse hair loss with a rosemary spritz.
More than 40 percent of us experience hair loss by age 55 due to a dip in estrogen. The fix: Massage rosemary water into your clean scalp daily. Doing so reverses hair loss as well as minoxidil, a study in SKINmed found. Herbal compounds block the hormone DHT that weakens follicles, while a four-minute daily massage boosts blood flow to increase hair density, Japanese scientists say. To make your own rinse, infuse 2 sprigs of rosemary in 4 cups of water overnight.
Strengthen bones with a dash of parsley.
The humble hero that outsmarts postmenopausal bone shrinkage: parsley! Just two tablespoons of the herb is packed with 136 percent of your RDA of vitamin K. This underthe-radar nutrient triggers specialized cells called osteoblasts to get to work building bone (without causing harmful calcium to build up in arteries). The result: Research in the journal Medicine found that women who did nothing other than boost their vitamin K levels reduced their fracture risk by 22 percent.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.